I need to tell a long, stupid story. Take your shoes off and settle in. Drink some milk and eat some chocolate cake. If you've got them, smoke them.
I'm not playing softball this year.
(Hello, that's what I heard! You're muttering, "Damn it, Jim, you think I don't know this?" Since summer, you've told me this at least 20 times. Continue ahead with the inept story!"
Smarty-pants, pay attention. It would not be such a long, stupid story if I didn't tell you all the little details, so it was necessary. Additionally, there could be another person who seconds ago found this blog - maybe while searching for poodle prepping tips - and we couldn't maintain that that individual should have no clue about why I was wearing pants, could we? Of course not, no. If I don't tell the person looking for poodle grooming tips that I'm not playing softball this year, then he or she won't understand why my money and credit cards ended up in Saugus, which is why I have to buy the parking lot attendant a nice sandwich next week. You and I are nice people – especially you, since I use profanity – and the wearing of jeans is integral to the story.
See? It's all extremely basic. Continue with the cake. I'll prepare the coffee.)
After retiring from fast-pitch softball competition following the previous season (which, if you want an even longer stupid story – the WAR & PEACE of long stupid stories, really – you could go here first to read all about my final season, and then come back in a couple of weeks), I did not anticipate being on a ballfield on Thursday evening. Once in a while, notwithstanding, our assumptions have chance to damnation. Consider, for instance, the contrast between how you felt at the beginning of this story and how you feel now.
Nevertheless, I received a phone call from Pete Mittell while I was at work on Thursday morning, minding my own business in a pair of off-white chinos, and it may as well be that we are going nowhere fast. Since Pete is the coach of the team I used to play for on weeknights, you probably already know that I have retired from softball. Of course, you wouldn't know if you just came in for poodle grooming advice. As an issue truth, you're most likely dead at this point - or, in any event, kicking your canine - on the grounds that what amount of my horse crap might you at any point potentially take without having developed a resistance ahead of time?
Presently, where could I have been? I realize it had something to do with softball...
Goodness, better believe it. As a result, Pete calls and tells me, "Sully, I need you tonight."
(Our softball team goes by the name The Flames, and we play in The Fens.) If you're from Boston, you already know that I could come up with a hundred different gay jokes right now. I won’t. Even to a corny sucker like me, they are too obvious. That is the issue for you if you are not from Boston.)
The problem is this: After I authoritatively resigned last year, I let Pete know that he could keep me on his "crisis" program; guys to call if he had no other choice but to cancel a game because there weren't enough players. I really wasn't expecting him to call in a 51-year-old broken down catcher to play on a muddy field in a 55-degree drizzle when he has about 19 able-bodied twentysomethings available to him.
(About the fulfillment of expectations, see above.)
Since I'm an honest man - the word is "dipshit" - I let Peter know that I'd see him at the field by 6:15, which was down time. I won't wear my grayish chinos to take care of business on a sloppy field, however, so first I needed to return home and change. I would be there, even if I didn't make it there in time for the first pitch.
I went home a couple of moments before 5pm and hustled home to change. Having resigned after last season - did I as of now enlighten you regarding that? - I decided that the uniform pants I had been wearing all year were filthy and ripped. I tossed them out. Thus, I have no softball pants. I needed to wear something that wouldn't restrict my range of motion but was also sufficiently snug so that I could wear a jock under them without the jock shifting. It's possible that I'm stupid, and this could be a long story about stupidity, but it doesn't depend on me getting hit in the testicles by a softball—which, despite its name, is not soft at all, especially when compared to my jewels.)
I put on the tightest pair of jeans I had ever owned. You can get an idea of the age of these jeans from me. They have a button fly. I believe I purchased them in 1975. In fact, I was quite pleased to still be able to enter them. I really look at the pockets to check whether I had left any great medications in them in those days, yet no karma.
After ensuring that the pants fit, I put on my jock by undoing the buttons. I took a look in the mirror after finishing the buttons once more. I gave the impression that I was about to participate in a scene in a Deep Throat remake by wearing a jock cup and extremely tight jeans. It was an illustration of advertising's extreme untruthfulness. In order to avoid being arrested for indecency on my way to the ballfield, I decided to wear my old uniform shirt untucked.
The Museum of Fine Arts is directly across from the ballpark. With the intention of parking near the museum, I drove toward it. In the event that there were no on-road spots, I'd stop in the historical center's paid part. It turned out that there were no freebies. I parked at the far end of the lot, as close to the field as possible, took a ticket from the automatic ticket dispenser, and pulled into the lot. It was around 5 minutes before the game. I opened the storage compartment, got my spikes (and one flimsy batting glove) and stuffed the leaving ticket into my inside coat pocket, alongside my vehicle keys.
My devoted former teammates welcomed me to the field with general approval ("Sully? Why on earth are you here? Didn't you resign?") and utilized the most effective warm-up possible in light of the lateness and miserable wet and cold weather. I was about as prepared as I would ever be after a few futile sprints up and down the first base line.
The pitcher was Jack Atton. I realized that I had my money, credit cards, and other items in the pocket of my jeans just as I was about to take the field to get him warmed up. I didn't believe my significant stuff should get sloppy and wet, so I inquired as to whether he'd mind placing them in his gear pack until after the game. He concurred, so I gave him my stuff to hold. Then, at that point, we went out onto the field.
Even though it was muddy, it was fun to be back in a game. I realized my legs would be a piece sore the following day, from the hunching down, however I likewise realized I could surely utilize the activity. I'm about ten pounds heavier this year than I was any other year at this time because I didn't play.
Jack pitched well, the Flames quickly took the lead, and we prevailed, 16 to 2, beating them. I only caught the first two innings for my part. From that point onward, Pete had found another person to have my spot. He asked me if I wanted to bat in the second inning and if I wanted to. I assured him, "Why not?" I'm happy to report that I won the base-on-balls draw, scored, and now have a perfect season for the Flames. I enjoyed being on the winning team and watched the remainder of the game from the bench, supporting my former teammates.
When Jack said, "Come on, Sully, I'll give you a ride over there," I was about to walk back to my car at the museum lot after the game. I have my car parked here.
That was pleasant of him. I went with Jack and his child, Pat, as they drove me to the parcel. I got out as soon as we arrived, thanked them for the ride, and waved as they drove off. I went to my car on foot. After opening the trunk, I removed my cleats and put on my sneakers once more. I got in, started the car, and drove up to the gate.
After retrieving the ticket from my jacket pocket, I searched my jeans for money to pay for my parking. It was as of now I understood that my cash, my charge cards, my driver's permit, and each and every other thing that might have been of any utilization to me, was partaking in a ride to Saugus in Jack's hardware pack.
Have you ever had a dream in which you suddenly find yourself naked in public? Except for the fact that I was naked, that's how I felt. Despite this, I was in a situation that was just as uncomfortable, so I could have just as easily been barefoot.
How could I proceed? I couldn't get my car out of the parking lot. I was wearing sloppy pants, it was cold and drizzly, and tap-off for the main round of the NBA end of the season games was happeing in under 60 minutes. I wasn't going to let that go by. I seriously thought about trying to get my car through a space on the other side of the gate. There might have been sufficient space. Or on the other hand I might have gone all activity experience flick and just crashed through the wooden arm. I went with the more rational option of making a plea to the security guard at the gate rather than risking the future stress of being caught on camera destroying museum property.
I'm nothing if not articulate. I used my charming glibness, my extensive powers of persuasion, and my silver tongue. The guy let me go because my personality was too much for him. In reality, it was likely either that I looked predominantly sad or marginally disturbed. Or on the other hand perhaps the person just became as ill of paying attention to me as you likely are right at the present time. In any case, he was a nice guy. When I got my life back from Jack, I tried to get him to send me an address where I could send the parking fee, but he said he was putting it down to a lost wallet, which is true, and that I didn't have to pay anything. I promised him that the next time I was in the area, I would at least bring him something like a sandwich. I will as well. I hope he likes the cheese and pepper steak subs.
On Sunday, Jack returned my belongings, so I guess everything works out in the end. However, I believe God was communicating with me. I mentioned that I would be retiring from softball, and he said, "Jim, you can't tell people hundreds of times that you're retiring from softball, but then go and play softball, anyway." I believe I did mention this to you. On the off chance that you rehash it, it will be a great deal more terrible than just briefly losing the items in your pants pocket. Furthermore, incidentally, never wear those pants again, except if you're cruising to have me part what's left of your hair with a lightning bolt. Great Me! In 1982, those things ought to have been thrown out."
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