What are Those?

I like the lull of mid-July — the hitch, the hesitation.  I like a day with nothing pending.

The eggs are bubbling slowly on the stove, and you can smell the coffee and the toast. Just for kicks, I squirt a tiny bit of Dijon into the scrambled eggs. It adds a hint of smoke, of Côte-d’Or. The result is super subtle. A caress. A nectar. A circumflex.

Seriously, I’m just here to help and annoy you, with all my talk of food and baseball and lazy summer mornings.

And children … always children. They are my life blood, perhaps my only passion outside of the silvery lass I’ve been seeing.

Been an odd summer. At the farmers market, the nice lady at the honey stand told me there are no apples in Vermont this season.

“No peaches in Georgia either,” she said.

Is the Earth more broken than usual, or is it always broken in some regard: epic heat, record snows, pestilence, endless movie sequels?

As your next president, my first act will be to ban movie sequels, forcing Hollywood to think a little, something that doesn’t come naturally to the suits in the fancy offices.

After the ban, there would be nothing in the theaters for two years. Then there would be this outpouring, this renaissance, this payoff of movies. Fans would line up at the theaters again, falling in love by the second act, as Americans have done for decades.

Tell the truth, doesn’t it seem the end of so many eras all at once? Journalism, movies, music, network TV…

Only sports teams stay the same, yet the other day, the New York Times demolished its sports section and my alma mater, the Los Angeles Times, quit running game stories and box scores.

Can you imagine October with no college scores or top-20 lists? What will deadbeats like me do to pass the day?

Like so much that happens, this move makes no sense. It would be as if L.A. banned Botox. It would be as if Disneyland banned children.

A box score is such a grace note, rendered in the smallest possible type; Helvetica Eyelash, I think it’s called.

FYI, I’m having t-shirts made: Bring Back the Box Scores. Let me know if you’d like one.

Like many dads, I used these baseball summaries to teach my kids to read. I used them to teach percentages and winning pitchers and all the things you really need to know to get by in L.A. on a day-to-day basis.

Sure, the kids could read Jim Murray or Bill Plaschke. But first they had to read the box scores. It was like tilling the mud for oysters.

For years, my youngest son began his days with the league standings and box scores. It was the sheet music of summer.

A good life is based on cherished little rituals that speak to the heart. Well, a box score is the ultimate summer sonnet.

Oy, this world lately. Is it any wonder I concentrate on the kids?

“Hope is a muscle,” notes author Krista Tippett. “It’s not wishful thinking, and it’s not idealism. It’s an imaginative leap.”

One more reason to appreciate the hopefulness of kids.

Speaking of which: There’s this terrific new device for filling water balloons. Many moms and dads know of this, but if you don’t…

You attach it to your garden hose and fill the balloons using multiple straws. Genius, right?

Must’ve been invented by a dairy farmer inspired by multiple teats. Not that I know that much about dairy farming. Or teats. I just like saying “multiple teats.”

If your grandkids don’t have one yet, you would be a rock star if you showed up with one of these water balloon kits (Google “Zuru Bunch O Balloons”)

And here’s more important breaking news: The new slang term for a hotdog is “glizzy.”

Yep, the cool kids now refer to hotdogs as glizzies. Don’t know why, nor much care. As noted earlier, I’m mostly a deadbeat.

But your cred will go way up if — over the grill one evening — you say: “Please give me another one of those delicious glizzies.” See what your kids or grandkids say to that. They will either roll their eyes or roll their eyes.

At least you’ll have their attention for 30 seconds. Usually, that requires wads of cash.

Tell them that some wise guy on TikTok even created a “glizzy dispenser,” using a refrigerator ice machine to release hot dogs onto your plate. 

That’s all for now. But, come on, isn’t that enough?

Raising a toast to summer tonight at our Gin & Tonic bash. Grateful to all those who responded. Wait till you see the fun we have in store. The event is a sellout, but more on the way soon. Stay cool, stay hydrated, be well. Special shoutout to old pal Jim Brock who is on the mend but will bounce back soon. Take care of yourself, brother Jim.

24 thoughts on “What are Those?

  1. “A good life is based on cherished little rituals that speak to the heart.” For me, reading your posts twice a week has become one of those cherished rituals. This one is a little gem, along with the always-welcome Cakes pics. Yes, it is enough. Thank you, Chris.

      1. I don’t want to be a wet blanket on a great story Chris, BUT, balloons are not friendly to our environment. How many people actually clean up all the little broken balloon pieces? I personally feel that balloons need to be gotten rid of entirely. I know, I know!! But seriously?? Always enjoy your writing!

  2. It’s always enough. You never fail to deliver. Would love to make it to a G&T bash. Maybe you can hold a Midwest chapter G&T bash when you swing through next month 😉

  3. It seems like the end of so many eras at once has created a lot of very angry people. Sad.

    Keep us posted on the status of “Box Score” T-Shirts.

  4. “multiple teets”…good one! Way to innocently squeeze that into a column! Now I need to figure out a way to use that term in polite conversation with someone. And yes, I would love a t-shirt with “Bring Back the Box Score” on it. Pretty sure maybe one in a hundred seeing it would even know what it means. But I don’t care. I’ll find out where that one guy in a hundred is. A kindred spirit if there ever was one. Incidentally, I’m betting your time working at the Times was a lot more fun back then than it would be now.

    1. Rick, I feel the same about the box scores. In Chicago, t-shirts like that would resonate. Here, not so much. But Dodger fans are great. And that 1 in 100 would make it worthwhile.

  5. Glitziest? I refuse! It’s as sacrilegious as Ketchup or Mayonnaise on a hotdog! I confess to know a few sinners…

  6. “FYI, I’m having t-shirts made: Bring Back the Box Scores. Let me know if you’d like one.”

    “Tell the truth, doesn’t it seem the end of so many eras all at once? Journalism, movies, music, network TV…”

    Personally, I think it’s a travesty that the NY Times has deep-sixed its sports column from the newspaper for a separate publication (Athletica?). It’s sad that journalism and movies are fading so fast. I would opt in for a Bring Back Journalism T-shirt.

  7. Water balloons 😡 This is plastic free July & i’m still finding pieces from last year.
    I’ll let you know my opinion on box scores (I know, you really need this info) when hockey season starts.

  8. Let me know when the t-shirts are available. Maybe I am not the only
    LATime’s reader who is unhappy!

  9. The Pictures of Summer….The little lady Catherine informs the sunrise. At sunset, she re-radiates its peachy tones in a resonant synchrony of illumination. In between, she glows like a candle flame. Summer becomes her. Is she becoming Summer, on fire with some hidden heated sweetness? She gives Summer, and children a good name, not that in this disassociating dissonance of a world they need one, since one is the dream of Winter, and the other is the hope, worry, and dear obsession of our
    most tender desires. Of late, I have noticed the images of her have been growing ever more illuminate. Is this an effect of Summer, or are we witnessing the birth of a super nova?

  10. Excellent suggestion to put Dijon on scrambled eggs. Never heard of that before, so I tried that this morning, and I concur — they were delicious. I guess that makes you an influencer. Sorry.

    And I second that emotion about the L.A. Times sports page. I thought I had subscribed to a newspaper, not a magazine. I’m not sure what will save journalism, but shrinking the print edition while raising its first price wouldn’t be my first choice.

    Thank the gods you’re still writing for us!

    1. I don’t understand starting the sports section on the last page and having to read it backwards. As if the paper were written in Hebrew.

  11. … These writings of yours, they’re songs you know.
    Pitch-perfect, pointed, philosophical, pleasant, but always with a walk-away whammy that blows though almost unnoticed until a good half-sentence later when the heart hears what the eyes just read. Good on you sir.

  12. I stopped my subscription and I said I’d buy it back if they brought back the box scores or changed the owner!

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