Stealing Home

Throws people off when my girlfriend (White Fang) chomps at backyard fountains, as if fishing for salmon, or lifts her leg to pee.

I explain that I’ve raised her like a boy, just as I’ve raised my daughters, to be assertive, almost subjugating, in competitive situations, such as weddings, soccer games and high-stakes Scrabble.

Actually, I suppose writing is the ultimate Scrabble game. I don’t really care for writing. Always been a Plan C for me anyway, behind baseball and lobstering.

Sad news to share. As you may have heard, I went undrafted in the recent Major League draft, and am currently seeking a free-agent contract with some clueless ballclub that might see a future for me in its organization.

The Cubs, for example.

A bit about me. I’m 64 years old. My pronouns are moo, duck and Silly Putty.

My head is super round, basically a bowling ball. I have a mustache that technically qualifies as sod.

I’m very fit, obviously, though I have trouble getting up from the carpet after playing with my granddaughter, Catty Cakes, who despite being only 3 months old, already pins me when we wrestle.

“You keep letting her win, Dad,” the lovely and patient older daughter teases.

I promise you: No.

See, my left knee’s been bugging me. If you sign me, I’ll have immediate impact on your ballclub. Just don’t be disappointed if I limp a little down to first.

I’ve never actually been to second base, at least not in a very long time, so I don’t know exactly how I would motor there. Promptly, I’m sure. Sportswriters would call it “electric.”

Third base? Never been there neither. But if I ever made it to third base, I would put a lot of pressure on the opposing catcher, for I am very aggressive and always a threat to steal home.

In baseball, there are two magic tricks for getting a runner home from third – the “suicide squeeze” and the “safety squeeze.” They are both very exciting plays, hence Major League Baseball shuns them at all costs, determined as it is to put all of America into the deepest possible coma.

It’s working. Look around.

Anyway, for me, I’d recommend the suicide squeeze, which means the runner on third is going with the pitch and relying on two things: 1) That the batter is aware of the suicide squeeze and doesn’t swing away, in which case he might actually behead me; 2) That the batter can, in fact, feather a perfect bunt down toward first, after which I will score in a mushroom cloud of dirt, anger and mistrust, which is how I approach most every confrontation.

See what you learn in these free weekly sermons? I’ll bet most of you didn’t even know about the suicide squeeze, arguably the most-exciting play in baseball, a lovely and poetic game – kind of dull, actually — built mostly on its overpriced candy-corn cuisine.

But the suicide squeeze? When I make it to the Major Leagues, it will be my signature move…and the main way I draw female fans to the park.

I’ll steal home even when the third-base coach doesn’t send me. If I’m feeling especially bold, I might come all the way around from first base to steal home.

“Look at that new kid!” fans will say. “He just stole three bases, yadda-Badda-BOOM!”

You probably know that Jackie Robinson – very much my muse, almost my archetype — stole home five times in 1948, and five more in ’49. In the 1955 World Series, his steal of home helped launch the Dodgers to the world championship.

That’s all I have to report for now. I need to go work on my base-running, to study up on the pitchers, for when I get my big break, at which point I plan to evolutionize the young game of baseball. FYI, evolutionize is not a Scrabble word. Yet.

After my baseball career, I plan to buy a bar – the business version of the suicide squeeze.

I can see it now, a tired place, not too busy. I don’t want to be running some trendy hot spot…each night a war.

In my bar, patrons could post photos of the grandkids on the wall, and bring in fresh herbs and tomatoes from the garden, which we’d use in the Bloody Marys, or in our famed vodka soup.

Nobody’s ever seen a place like this – half country store, half Cheers. People will bring in their dogs.

An old typewriter will sit in the corner, with a dim little lamp, and if the urge hit me, I’d tap out a little something, a dirty limerick perhaps, a love poem, a playful grocery list…a psalm.

It would be a simple place — no pretense, full of incomplete thoughts. Ordering a drink would require an encounter with the crank behind the bar — probably me, or Bittner, or my attorney Billable Bob. If you get your drink, feel lucky.

The bar would be called “The Good Novel,” and like a novel the bar would feature conflict, lots of yearning, big gobs of unrequited love. Folks would wonder whether it’s all scripted – the arguments, the showdowns, the invitations to pistols at 20 paces in the street.

Debutantes would stumble in late, as would married women with money problems.

On Yelp, reviews would say, “Avoid this joint. Nothing worthy happens here. Reeks of desperation.”

Our business plan would look like a ransom note. No one would really know where the money comes from. Lore has it a rich head case from Pasadena funds the whole shebang, and she pops in once a year to check on her investment.

She’s leggy, a bit mysterious and chews up suitors like wads of gum. Killed a man in Barstow. Shot a grifter in Coeur d’Alene.

Some say she is actually a ghost, an apparition, the culmination of everybody’s boyhood dreams.

“Must’ve raised her like a boy,” someone will speculate.

Actually, she is the Goddess of Baseball, the most elusive and lovely woman you ever saw … a Trossi Roadster…the mother of the moons. Everything about her is high and tight.

“Buy me a drink,” she’ll kitty-cat purr.

And you will.

Wanted to warn you that only a few million copies remain of “Lavender in Your Lemonade,” my latest book, which deals with the wonders of gin, the price of a pandemic and curative qualities of chicken chili. If not that, perhaps another book, or a t-shirt, or a set of cocktail glasses? For info, please click here. Meanwhile, we’re looking at a Lake Hollywood hike soon, with drinks to follow at The Federal, a tavern in nearby North Hollywood. Stay tuned for details. Have a wondrous weekend. Cheers!

10 thoughts on “Stealing Home

  1. I hope you do get that bar. You would make a great barkeep, never running out of interesting stories to tell. Could be another stream of income, in case this writing thing and the wedding officiating don’t pan out. Patty Cakes looks strong. Look at those fists of fury! No wonder she always wins your wrestling matches.

  2. Very well done. There was a Novel Cafe off of Main Street in Santa Monica years ago that was a favorite hangout of Keanu Reeves and Charles Bukowski. You know the type: real baseball fans comfortable in front of Smith-Corona. Looking forward to visiting “The Good Novel.” Let us know which dark alley it will be down….

  3. If your picked up by the cubbies you don’t play the Astros till playoffs
    Don’t let them steal the third base coaches signs

  4. “My pronouns are moo, duck and Silly Putty.” ~ !!!! Love this ! though I am probably going to stick with “her royal highness” or just plain “goddess” ~ ~ and ~ you will no doubt be needing a piano player for said bar ~ I’m available 3 nights a week ~ “I thought I told you never to play that song !” ~ Lady K

  5. Must love baseball. Must love dogs. Must be at ease in dive bars and among variants and reprobates of a certain age. Must be literate, literal, and love language, and respond to any request for movement with,”How high and how far?” The specification is under development and gradual explication, and should soon be fully revealed, except for the unknowns. Like the depth and mystery behind a smile, that line of calf that rivets the vagrant attention, that scent of skin like no other, the way the sun glows on a bare shoulder, the laugh that is intriguingly somehow musical—you know, the little inconsequential things. The young man goes, Fall warms its way in, and the man steps forward into the golden light of Autumn’s attention, where much will be revealed.

  6. I can see you investing in the bar once the screenplay sells, which is soon I hope. I’ll offer a slight alteration to the name: “A Novel Idea” perhaps? It’ll be more fun than “Cheers”, where everybody knows your byline.

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