Now that you stopped funneling your family secrets my way, cutting off the lifeline of ideas I had for daytime soap plotlines, you can kiss goodbye your chance at being invited to the first public tasting of Pat’s Truth Serum Ale. That’ll be a big bummer for you. While all your friends are reveling in the first sips of this specialty beer, which will have been dry-hopped with my very own secret mix of horse manure-fed Willamette cones, tangerine peel, coriander, and sodium pentothal, you’ll be home drinking Bud Light and watching the Daytona 500 from little monitors set up in your chicken coop.
Of course, I fully realize that one of the two of us might be dead by the time my Truth Serum Ale is ready for consumption (in 3 to 5 years, depending on government regulators), which would make this complaint of mine somewhat moot. Another possibility is that you develop your own competing truth serum product (aged in French oak -- clever!), which you use to spike my breathing space such that I find myself telling everyone off. “Your front teeth are too large.” “I never understood your weird art.” “You were crazy to buy that stallion for alternative transportation.”
Sorry to bring on the negative karma, but I tried a little truth serum in my Count Chocula this morning and this is the result.
Back when I was just out of college, I saw the movie “Cry Freedom” about a journalist investigating the death of Steve Biko while in police custody in South Africa. What I knew about Biko before I entered the cinema, which was precious little, came from the song “Biko” by Peter Gabriel (It was business as usual in police room 619) and an aside or two by the professor of my History of Southern Africa class in college, who had given us lessons in how to pronounce Apartheid. ("It's not Apart-hide; it's apart-hate.")
What I remember of the the movie all these years later is also precious little. However, I do recall that I sat next to a woman who kept yelling at the screen whenever the police smacked around this or that black activist or stonewalled investigators. She was particularly incensed by the brutalizing of Biko, and voiced her anger, quite literally. “Jerk!” “Asshole!” "Liar!" This went on all movie long.
I came very close to turning to my neighbor to explain that the characters couldn’t hear her and, anyway, they weren’t really police but just actors. “And that’s not blood, it’s ketchup,” as dear old dad used to say.
But I put up with all of this woman’s moaning and yelling, as it was a pretty emotionally tense movie for all of us, and anyway, we weren’t watching The Rockford Files, where you knew Jim Rockford couldn't die because, as my dad would point out, "He has a show to do next week."
My old friend Sly told me that once, when he was in England for a summer, he saw a sign on an old English roadside farm stand that read “Free Range Eggs.” This was quite a long time ago – like the early 20th century (OK, not quite that long ago) – when free range eggs and organic foods were forbidden by holy edict.
Sime (another nickname of his, along with “Mr. Simons”) thought, what the heck, why not get a dozen while I’m here, so he knocked on the door and told the crusty old English farmer that he was there to get his “free eggs.” At which point the farmer unleashed a pack of soccer hooligans on Simon to provide a right proper ass-whuppin’. (Or maybe he just laughed at him.)
Xander Bogaerts may be everyone’s favorite Red Sox player, what with his leading the league in hits and ability to speak more languages that several dead popes. Plus, there’s this: Xander admitted, during his 20-plus game hit streak, that if he didn’t get a hit in the first two at-bats he was definitely thinking about it by the third at bat. “That’s refreshing,” Joe Castiglione kept telling us. Is it?
I was there at Fenway on June 3rd when his 26-game streak was about to end. He went down in his first two at-bats, was walked in his third, and got one more opportunity with two men on and two out in the bottom of the ninth. Here was Xander’s chance to be a hero: a home run would tie the game; a single would extend the hitting streak; a walk would load the bases with Big Papi coming up. (Big Papi!) With the count three and one, Xander fouled off a tough pitch that looked, felt, and smelled like ball four. Well, at least it kept his chances at continuing his damnable streak alive.
At this point, the catcher for the Blue Jays called time and went to talk to his pitcher. I wasn’t privy to the “conversate” (as I’ve heard people call it), but I can guess what the catcher said: “This guy wants a hit more than anything, so don’t throw him a strike.” Sure enough, the next pitch was up in Xander’s eyes, and he swung at it anyway, striking out to end the game.
If Christian Vasquez had been on deck, I’d have understood, but it was David Ortiz!
New clubhouse rule: no more hitting streaks, as they tend to interfere with sensible at-bats late in the game.