World Series 2012

The Giants beat the Tigers.

In a world without emblems, this would be quite dramatic, even cinematic.  In a literal world, this would bring to mind oversized men wielding clubs against large ferocious cats with black and orange bodies.  The giants would be muscular, square-jawed, beady eyed, merciless.  The tigers would have powerful limbs, sharp claws and elaborately camouflaged faces that disguised the dead, pitiless eyes.  There would be grunts of exertion, thuds and squeals, the stench of sweat and terror.  There would be a Hesiod or a Homer to record the action.  That’s in a world without emblems, a world that Thomas Hobbes would have called ‘solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short’.

But we do have emblems.  We have things that stand in for other things.  Representatives.  Metaphors. Images. Symbols.

The Giants I refer to are normal sized men, mostly, who play baseball for a team located in the city of San Francisco.  The Tigers are human, have, mostly, uni-colored faces, and play baseball for a team located in Detroit.

Or at least they did play in those cities.  Neither will play a meaningful game again until April of next year.  April.  Of next year.  Tomorrow is November 1st, which means there will be five months without baseball.

April.  Of next year.  Five months.  Without baseball.

Sigh.

I don’t blame the Giants.  Well, not much.  They played fairly and they played better than the Tigers.  Mostly, they pitched better.  The Tigers couldn’t hit jack squat if it meant a multi-year contract.

Mostly, I blame the Tigers.  Because, as I may have mentioned, the Tigers couldn’t hit jack squat if it meant a multi-year contract.  They couldn’t hit the parish if they were standing inside the church.  They couldn’t hit the moon if they were standing on a crater.  They couldn’t hit water if they were standing in the river.  Okay, okay, I’ll stop now.   Wait, just one more.  They couldn’t hit Pluto if he was orbiting Mickey Mouse.  Or whatever.

The Tigers beat the fekakta Yankees in four games.  Seven games would have been nice, but whatever it takes to beat the Yankees, I’m in favor of.  The Tigers had the best pitcher on the planet.  They had a triple crown winner, the first since 1967 (and just to mumble the names of the other Triple Crown winners brings momentary tranquility.  Try it: Carl Yastrzemski.  Frank Robinson.  Mickey Mantle.  Ted Williams.  Lou Gehrig.  Ahhhh.  I feel better already.) They had a bullpen, they had a steady, seasoned manager, they had momentum, they had god on their side.  And they got swept and we got to watch only four games in the World Series.

I’m not a Tigers fan, not really.  I’m a baseball fan, and a World Series fan.  I was hoping for some good games and hoping that the series would go at least six games, maybe a bonanza of seven.  A few extra innings contests, maybe a walk off or two, maybe an almost no-hitter.  You know, October baseball.

Didn’t happen.  The best pitcher on the planet got hammered in the first game, the Triple Crown winner watched helplessly as the final pitch of the series sailed across the plate, and the steady, seasoned manager managed to say, “I never thought we’d sweep the Yankees, and I never thought we’d get swept by the Giants.”

I am trying to curb my sarcasm here so let me just say this, “mmmmmggggllltytufoffffaaarforg”.  Yes. That sums it up exactly.

Aesop Apocalypse

The meteor passed within a few parsecs of earth, spreading its invisible poison, and causing the dead to rise.

Or perhaps an ancient curse came to life, infecting a few unsuspecting tourists, and causing the dead to rise.

Or maybe a secret government laboratory had a breach of security, releasing a massively infectious research gas, and causing the dead to rise, ravenous and inexorable.

In any case, Aesop, the ancient Greek storyteller and moralist, again walked the earth, although this time with a limp and trailing a few decaying body parts, and dispensed a peculiar form of wisdom.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

A Macintosh and a PC were having a discussion about which was the more powerful computer.  The PC said, “Why don’t we just shut down, and whichever the owner starts up first will be declared the more powerful.”  So they both shut down at the same time, for what seemed like no good reason.  The owner of the computers became so incensed that he got a two foot long piece of rebar and smashed both computers into very small pieces.  The moral of the story:  Get over yourself.

 ~~~~~

A squirrel decided he would cause some havoc by running half way into a crowded road and then running back again.  He thought the cars would swerve to avoid him, and there would be a very entertaining crash and a pile up.  Instead, the first car ran over him and squashed him flatter than a third grade violin solo.  The moral of the story:  People don’t really care about squirrels, and probably never will.

 ~~~

A mustache spent years looking up the nostrils of a man, always pining to see what was at the end of that dark, dark tunnel.  One day, a few of the mustache hairs pulled away and began to climb up into the nose.  The man, unaware that it was his own mustache that was making him itchy, sneezed with the force of a Guatemalan atomic body slam, and blew the hairs onto the shelf of his potbelly.  A few of the hairs, depressed at this setback, jumped off and committed suicide.  One, though, sighed deeply and began the long climb back up to the nose.  A trudge along the ripple of the ribs, a slow trek across the sternum, a hard climb up the Adam’s apple.  Gray, shriveled and exhausted, he collapsed into the cleft of the man’s chin and waited there until he was washed off during the next morning’s shower.  He found himself in a long dark tunnel of a completely different sort.  The moral of the story:  Sometimes it’s better to just give up.

~~~

An ostrich sensed that a storm was coming, and, in the fabled way of its species, stuck its head in a hole and waited for the storm to pass.  The storm turned away well before it reached the ostrich, but, with his head in a hole, the ostrich didn’t realize it.  He stood there for several days until the bright sunshine fried his feathers to a crisp and his head swelled so much that he couldn’t get it out of the hole.  Some ocelots came along and took pictures of this foolish animal with his scorched rear end held high and his head in the sand.  The moral of the story is; you can’t fix stupid, but you can take pictures of it.

 ~~~

An elephant and a raccoon decided to live together, despite the misgivings of their parents and friends.  ‘You’ll never get along’, they were told.  ‘It will never last’, they were told. But they were determined.

They found a cozy cave, picked out furniture, and stored plenty of food for the winter.  In the spring, the elephant emerged from the cave, stretched, yawned and sauntered off.  On the floor of the cave was a dead, flat raccoon.  The moral of the story: never shack up with something that can turn you into a Frisbee.

 ~~~

A certain car had one wheel that always wanted to go its own way.  The other wheels would yell “Hey!  Stay in line!”  But to no avail.  This wheel would always want to go just a little to the right, or just a little to the left.  One day when the car was doing eighty on a dirt road with ruts, the wheel pulled to the right and crashed into a tree.  The inhabitants were all wearing seatbelts, and survived the crash, but the car was a total wreck. One of the passengers, an ex-navy seal with an anger management issue, shot the rebellious tire eight times and then slashed it with a knife until it was in shreds.  The moral of the story; wear a seatbelt if you ever hope to beat the crap out of a tire.

Gotcha! (almost)

I fell into a TV show last night.  Doesn’t matter which one.  From a distance, and when you get really close, they all look a like. It’s only in that middle distance that they can fool you.

It really isn’t like me to fall into one.  I’m usually cautious, even suspicious, around them.  This one, though, must have been soft around the edge, or unusually slippery, or something.  I was being careful, just tippy-toeing around the edges when, and I don’t know what happened, I was suddenly in the middle of it.

At first, you can’t tell when you’re in the middle of one of these things, because it seems like real life.  It seems like something interesting and fun.  Something that might be worth your time.

So, I couldn’t really tell at first.  There were men and women, some were police officers, some murderers, some kidnappers, and all of them were handsome or beautiful and had perfect teeth.  The cars were all new, and there was always plenty of parking.  There were computers that could find the most arcane and personal information with just a few keystrokes.  All the conversation was smooth, witty and fluent.  No pauses for thought, no ‘um’ or ‘er’.  No one belched, or blew their nose.  Someone may have farted, but no one grinned or grimaced, so I’m not sure.  There was amusing banter, DNA samples, all the apartments that were neat and perfectly decorated.  Very similar to real life, but only similar.  A lot like it.  Resembling it. But not it.

When I realized I was enmeshed in something that was a lot like life, but wasn’t actually it, I panicked, started thrashing around, gasping for reality.  Luckily, my thrashing found a rectangular object with a bunch of mysterious buttons on it.  Buttons like ‘CBL’ and ‘CH+’       and ‘VOL-‘ and ‘Mode’.  I’ve seen all of these before, and I know that they are somehow important, but no one has ever taken the time to explain them to me. There are manuals, of course, but, well, you know.

Fortunately, there was a big, bright red button on the top of the rectangular thing with a broken circle on it.  It looked sort of like the sign for handicapped parking or handicapped bathrooms, and that seemed right for me. Spending too much time in this world could make one handicapped, and maybe the button was some kind of virtual escape route.

So I pressed it, and wow.  Talk about immediate reinforcement.  The TV show I had unfortunately, accidentally, inadvertently and through no fault of my own fallen into vanished like Snow White into a black hole.

Poof!  Gone.  You could’t even call it fade to black, more like an implosion to black.   And I was back in this world, a world of dust mites, rust, inconsistent lighting, sticky locks, frost on the windshield, flat tires, root canal, male pattern baldness, ring around the collar, and all the other inconveniences of life that make it real.  You know, real.

I’ll be more careful in the future.  I’ll wear a life jacket, and never sit in the living room alone.  It’s just not worth the risk.