March 08, 2006

My Private Wisconsin

Over the next week I'll be dividing my time between this blog and Sean's digs over at The American Mind. Sean will out of his snowy element for a week between the mesas in beautiful Phoenix, Arizona.

He'll be enjoying something called baseball. I gather it involves grown men standing around in a field, playing with balls and sticks and being watched by other grown men who drink beer. As I understand it, this is all followed by more drinking of beer, supplanted (in Sean's case) by the consumption of margaritas, just to break things up.

I'll be driving up to the Bay Area on Sunday, and I'm hoping to get you all a little coastal photoblogging action. So with some luck both blogs will be filled with pretty pictures from warm places.

Enjoy. And make sure to meet me over at The American Mind when you have the chance.

Posted by Attila Girl at March 8, 2006 12:07 AM | TrackBack

Yes. It is a most…interesting and subtle sport.

The men are divided into teams. One team plays with their balls. The other team rubs and shakes and swings their sticks. After one team is "outed" three times, a new "inning" begins. The teams switch sides, and now the team that was playing with their balls swings their sticks, and the team that was swinging their sticks plays with their balls.

Some of the more subtle moves that I have observed include the antics of the man called the “batter”, otherwise known as the “man whose turn it is to shake his stick at the other team”. The “batter” emerges from a cave in the ground called a “dugout”. In the cave, other men can be observed spitting and grunting and scratching their balls. The “batter” approaches a certain location, spits on his hands, and then rubs his stick. He thumps it on the ground a few times, shakes it menacingly toward the other team, and then raises it in the air over his head.

These antics appear to be designed to draw the attention of a man from the other team called the “pitcher”, otherwise known as the “man standing on a hump, fondling his balls.” This man glares at the “batter” for a few moments, like a bull contemplating the matador. He glances around at his teammates, as if summoning courage. Then all of a sudden he rears up on one leg in a MOST dramatic fashion, kicks his other leg outward defiantly, and hurls his ball at the “batter”!

This is a most startling development, and one that would be expected to result in an immediate melee in any other context! But no melee ensues. Instead, the hurled ball is caught by a man kneeling behind the “batter”, called a “catcher”, otherwise known as “oddly dressed little man squatting behind the batter in a submissive posture”. After catching the hurled ball, he fondles it and tosses it back at the “pitcher”, then kneels down again behind the “batter” in an expectant pose. The “pitcher” kicks at the ground with his foot, snorts and spits an enormous quantity of mucus, then proceeds to examine and fondle his ball again.

Meanwhile the “batter” seems to completely ignore this “catcher”. He kicks the ground several times himself, rubs his stick and waves it around again, and then returns to focusing his attention on the “pitcher”. There certainly seems to be some kind of tension between these three players, that’s for sure. (The other players are gathered in a broad circle around the field, watching the drama unfold.)

Simultaneous with the hurling of the ball, there is yet another man hunched down behind the “catcher”. At the moment the “catcher” catches the hurled ball, this man barks an unintelligible command (sometimes “EE-Ryke!", sometimes “Bwoah!”), and makes a (lewd?) gesture with his fist. What this means I cannot fathom, (although this same man is sometimes observed fondling and exchanging balls with the “catcher”). Perhaps he is expressing his dismay at this outburst of temper from the “man standing on the hump, fondling balls”.

There is much more that I have observed, much of it most startling and dismaying. But I haven’t the time to go into it all right now.

Posted by: Desert Cat at March 8, 2006 12:11 PM

I hope that you didn't cut and paste that, cause it was too good, had me laughing. Please can we have some more, perhaps some on hockey and maybe cricket, and don't forget GOLF.
You are one funny guy!

Posted by: Azmat Hussain at March 8, 2006 05:05 PM

That was off the cuff, but I was *supposed* to be working at the time, so I had to cut it short.

Posted by: Desert Cat at March 8, 2006 06:17 PM


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