Thursday, April 20, 2006

Hey Rube!

Some men think of baseball to keep pleasure at bay—which strikes me as strange and sad, because baseball is pleasure.

Thanks to the wonders of broadband Internet, D and I were watching Tuesday’s NESN webcast of the Red Sox / Devil Rays game, having a nostalgic wallow in the sights and sounds of hometown advertisements (Giant Glass! WZLX!) and grooving on a ninth-inning squeaker that ended with the most spectacular holy-shit-did-you-see-that diving catch that I’ve ever seen.

Afterwards D, commenting on the little roster pics that puts up on the Gameday service (and Gameday is such a weird and fascinating hi-lo tech fusion anyway, operating on precisely the same principle as those moving-scoreboard dealies that brought baseball to the masses before the ubiquity of television or even radio), said of the Devil Rays, “Most of those guys look like they smell really bad.

That’s an odd thing to pick up from just a visual, but looking over the photos, I had to agree. We couldn’t put our finger on just what quality it was in those faces. They weren’t just rednecks, they weren’t just thugs, they weren’t just wifebeaters, they looked like—

We said it in unison: “Carnies.

You know, I hate to kick a team when they’re down, but really, looking at these pictures it’s all too easy to imagine some cowboy-suited Colonel Parker type trawling the lots of the Southeast and saying, “Hey, boy, you’re mighty good at runnin’ them bumper cars—how’d you like to make yourself some money playin’ PRO-fesh’nal baseball?”

Try ya luck, mistah? Three balls for a dollah.

What th— Cletus? Is that you?

Hey, Earl, some kid done throwed up on the Tilt-A-Whirl ‘n’ I need me a bucket o’ pixie dust.

Very helpfully rhymes with “eatin’ possum.”

Dude comes with his own sound effect: McCLUNG!!!

Say, Red, all them lizards we’s givin away for prizes is dead—take these spoilt hot dogs out b’hind the Dumpster and see if you c’n ketch some more.

We may laugh, but honestly—we would expect no less from Our Nation’s Weirdest State.

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