The other night while watching baseball on the Smart TV, we saw the $80 million pitcher for the visiting team struggling. His cut fastball kept bleeding out; his hairball showed scarcely a follicle; and his trademark sleazeball danced into the zone freshly scrubbed and polite to a fault.
The TV announcer described it like this: “Something’s going on up there inside his head. When you get those things inside your head you fight. You fight.”
I mean, haven’t we all been there — summoned to a hastily called meeting of the mind only to find nobody minding the store but those things. To outsiders it may look like you’re talking to yourself, but inside the old jelly bean, it’s kung fu city.
Meanwhile, as Manny, a long-slumping member of the home team, stepped into the batter’s box, K-Mac grabbed the metaphorical microphone on the metaphorical PA system.
“Manny,” Manny” Manny” she announced, -nounced -nounced “is going to hit hit hit a meatball” ball” ball”
Although a baseball fan for just a few seasons, K-Mac quickly became one with the insider jargon. (“That pitcher has good tilt on his slider.”) But before I could kindly — though patronizingly — tell her meatball is not a baseball term, Manny belted a big fat hunk-a hunk-a burning meat-a-ball high above the Hemorrhoid Awareness sign in centerfield.
I do realize that baseball is not-a-for everyone. Some say it’s a-too slow, a-too boring, a-too full of fat contracts and fatso umpires. Too full of odd terminology.
Good example: In real life you can tell your friends you flew out to LA, but the Grammar Lady would never let you say you flied out to LA. In baseball you can’t say a batter “flew out to right field” (unless he’s with the Angels), but you must say the batter “flied out to right.” (If you’re keeping score at home, that’s F-LA or F-9).
In baseball you can say short stop, but never tall stop. You can steal a base, murder the ball, slap a dribbler, even gun down a man at home, all with impunity. You can say of the pitcher “His ball location is tremendous.” But saying of your colleague at the Monday morning staff meeting “His ball location is tremendous,” draws only stunned silence.
Since revealing her meatball super-power, K-Mac has turned down speaking engagements with door-to-door roofing salesmen. Her loyal assistant, however, usplains the policy: ten-nine-eight get off the porch, seven-six-five or I’ll start reciting “Sonnets From The Portuguese,” four-three-two all forty-four of them, one, How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways.
Frankly, though, K-Mac has been stingy with her super-power. More than once during a game, I’ve said “This guy needs a meatball.” Her response: “I’m not going out on a limb for every Tom, Dick or Larry with a bat in his hands.”
“What happened to Harry?” said I.
“I wasn’t aware,” I replied meekly. “So, will we ever see another meatball?”
Cryptically, she said “The meatball knows.”
People say “It must be fun being married to a super-hero.” Actually, no one has said that yet, but they will as soon as K-Mac orders up another meatball. It would certainly silence some skeptics on the couch who are beginning to toy with the term “one meatball wonder.”
“Okay,” I said in frustration last night with the bases loaded. “I’m taking over. Manny is going to hit a meatball. I can just feel it.”
In fact, Manny struck out. Looking.
K-Mac flashed me a vicious line drive to third and as I was ducking, she coolly repeated her “Meatball knows,” line.
I mean, I’m pretty sure she said “knows” and not “nose.” Because nobody but a meathead has a meatball nose. Right? Right? Right?
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2017, all rights reserved.