Monday, July 20, 2009
America's favorite past time is baseball. Well maybe the sport is slightly behind "American Idol" and NASCAR in the nation's collective psyche, but we are a nation of dumb asses so let's stick to those few nationals with functioning brain waves and neurons that fire in the right direction on occasion. Regardless of how you feel about my editorializing via the nation's IQ, one fact remains unchallengeable - baseball season has just passed the unofficial halfway point, its annual All-Star game. After yet another AL beatdown of the the NL we are ready for the stretch run and I am here to make some predictions for those last measly eighty or so contests. Let's break it down, division by division.
Note: The writer is a professional journalist and his dedication to the Cubbies in no way affects his opinions concerning other ML franchises or the beauty of the man love pictured above.
New York Yankees - I hate the fucking Yankees. In fact I wrote a chant called Fuck the Yankees. Ask me if you would like to hear it sometime or just surmise on your own how it goes as you already know all the lyrics if you just refer back to the last three words of the last sentence.
Boston Red Sox - I used to like them/feel sorry for them when they always lost to the Yankees, but they won a couple World Series and now their fans are now just as insufferable as the those bastards in NY.
Toronto Blue Jays - Canada is not allowed to win an American sport, even if none of their players are even Canadian.
Tampa Rays - No one goes to their games except for that braying mule Vitale, so who cares? My buddy Mark once went to a game there and ended up bringing home like 12 fly balls since there was no one else sitting in his section. I have gone to well over twenty games in my lifetime and have never gotten one if that tells you anything.
Baltimore Orioles - They have a team?
Prediction: no one wins this division, which after all five teams are swallowed up by five craters spontaneously opening up under their team planes as they sit on the tarmac.
Detroit Tigers - Tough town, lots of death and destruction and they have a pretty good squad.
Minnesota Twins - Always bring a solid fundamental team, led by the M&M brothers, Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. Fried twinkies are considered a delicacy in the state, where personal trainers are shot on site and no relevant funny info on this team was available.
Chicago White Sox - There is only one team in Chicago, just ignore these impostors and they will go away.
Cleveland Indians - They will burn in hell for all eternity for trading De Rosa back into the Cubs division. Kerry Wood will earn his third team MVP for the Cubs despite not playing for them.
KC Royals - In European soccer the worst teams are sent down to a lower league, whose best teams are promoted to replace them. Such should be the fate of the Royals, who have well-earned their demotion during the last twenty years.
Prediction: Detroit wins the division as Robocop comes along and cleans up the villainry and scum that have plagued the city for too long. Minnesota is given the AL East title since their teams no longer exist.
Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles California United States Planet Earth Milky Way Galaxy- Saying their name has tired me out and I no longer have the strength to comment on their prospects aside from the fact that their pitching is good.
Texas Rangers - they will hit 7000 homers and win 80 games. Fans will wonder when the Cowboys' season starts.
Seattle Mariners - they will hit 10 homers and win 80 games. Fans will wonder when Starbucks opens.
Oakland A's - "Moneyball" starring Brad Pitt will open in 2014, telling the story of the brilliant Oakland GM Billy Beane. Nothing interesting will happen to this borderline triple A franchise until then.
The AAofLACUSPEMWG will win the division easily due to not being utterly terrible.
The Wild Card will be donated to charity.
The Tigers will go to the World Series thanks to the heroic actions of Sergeant Murphy in Robocop II.
The National League
Philadelphia Phillies - Strong squad, but lacking the tobacco-chewing prowess of the 1993 pennant winners. Former star/complete retard Lenny Dykstra will be proclaimed a financial genius and then succumb to bankruptcy. Oops that already happened.
Florida Marlins - Madonna concerts between innings promotion will lead to a doubling of the team's attendance in the second half as the town's large gay community discovers baseball.
NY Mets - Will call it a season after 120 games when all their players have finished committing 100 errors and spending 100 days on the DL apiece.
Atlanta Braves - The Cubs are done playing there for the year so they won't be having any more attendance til next year. If a baseball game is played and no one hears it, does it affect the standings? Seriously, let me know because they are hot the last few weeks and it may make a difference with Nostradumbass here.
Washington Nationals - They just hired Jim Riggleman to manage the team back from the precipice of doom. They have since won an amazing 0 games. We miss you in Chitown Riggleman, like a whore misses the crabs. Seriously though, Ditka would have trouble making this squad of bums respectable.
The Phillies will win the division and the two things left unburnt after last year's World Series title will pretty much be fucked.
Chicago Cubs - They are good, then they are bad. They are healthy and then they are injured. The team has been sold and then the sale is on hold. Milton Bradley is crazy and then he is batshit straightjacket crazy. Which team will we have in the second half? One thing momma told me - never make predictions about the Cubs, except that they won't make the World Series, so we will stick to that limb for now.
Houston Astros - the hottest team in the division over the last few weeks and star pitcher Roy Oswalt has always been a second half sort of guy.
Milwaukee Brewers - Prince Fielder will finally give birth to the alien baby which has been percolating inside him for the last few years. He will become the starting centerfielder and steal 40 bases in the last 50 games. Despite this exciting news, the Brew Crew will collapse in the second half as always.
Cincinnati Reds - Dusty Baker will keep his starters in games until their arms drop off and are collected in a pile in the outfield bullpen that would make Tamerlane squeamish. Dusty will then be given a five year extension because he is a genius. Later on, Mark Prior will jump out of the stands and assasinate the bastard in the name of pitchers everywhere.
Pittsburgh Pirates - Running out of players to trade in August, the front office decides to trade the franchise's two remaining fans to the Phillies in exchange for a roll of toilet paper.
Seems like there was another team in this division. Oh well, that's not important since this division will clearly go to the Astros.
LA Dodgers - Manny will be proved innocent when it is discovered he has breast cancer and in fact needed to be taking those fertility drugs since he is in fact a woman. Explains why he can't abide by Joe Torre's short hair rule - he doesn't want to be taken for a dike.
SF Giants - Their playoff chances will take a big hit when Tim Lincecum steps on his mullet and breaks his neck while pitching.
Colorado Rockies - The entire team bonded by putting their collective balls in the humidor. They are now unbeatable.
San Diego Padres - Rumors that the team has disbanded and gone to play golf for the rest of the summer remain unsubstantiated. Until then, stay classy San Diego.
Arizona Diamondbacks - Sadly, Dan Haren cannot pitch all of their games so they are pretty well fucked.
The Dodgers will walk away with the division and the Ballboys of Colorado will take the Wild Card.
Colorado will continue their testicular bonding on a run that takes them all the way to the World Series.
They will then lose to Detroit in a series so boring it will result in the suicide of several Fox executives. So the season wasn't a total loss. This amazing story will be retold in the movie Robocop III.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Charleston, the first successful settlement in what was to be the state of South Carolina, is the home of many things, including secession (legislators there voted unanimously in 1860 to leave the union), the first battle of the Civil War, shrimp and grits, snobs (according to a successful group of restaurateurs this stands for slightly North of Broad), and yours truly. To be honest, I made my home for years 1 to 17 in the suburb of Mount Pleasant but let's not quibble over little details such as accuracy. As with Fox News, a substantial suspension of disbelief is usually required to accompany this column.
I returned to the homestead recently to pay a visit to my mother and to hang out a bit with my younger brother Colin and some of his graduate school pals. We rendezvoused with Colin's buds downtown at the old slave Market on Meeting Street where Mom suggested a historical tour for those who had not previously had their Charleston cherry popped. Our group assented and we meandered down East Bay towards the Battery.
If you have ever seen a house that was so large that you thought to yourself, man I want that, but I just can't afford it, then you have beheld a building that could fit inside the garage of most of the mansions that line the Battery. Check out the attached picture to get an idea of what the servants quarters looked like. The words behemoth and ginormous were invented by a Charlestonian to give a proper sense of the dimension of these structures. Line your bathroom from floor to ceiling with one hundred dollar bills and you might be able to meet the down payment for one of these homes, were they even available for purchase. One of these homes coming on the market is a rare occurrence in reality, a state you probably haven't visited for a while if you think you can actually afford to live in this luxurious hood.
You may be wondering what the word Battery stands for, which is cool because I was one of the 10% who failed to fall asleep in my history class. I must have had too much caffeine in my system. The Battery is not named after a Walkman powering device (if you are under 20 years of age please take some time to look up what a Walkman is), the pitching and catching duo, or even the best friend of assault, you know, the violent guys that can lead to your arrest and imprisonment. Rather, the area is named for the cannons that lined the nearby sea walls and were used to defend against the evil assaults of the damned Yankees (not the baseball team although they suck too) during the Civil War (which amazingly enough was not even that civil according to the eminent historian Axl Rose).
Afterward, we trudged through the dense humidity down Meeting Street in search of the cold beer that had been screeching my name like a banshee for a good while. Back at the Market, I reminisced about the days when you could get the number one meal, consisting of a steak, a pint of ale, and a slave all for the low, low price of $200. Fortunately (or not depending on your point of view), the damn Yankees won (God they always win - I fucking hate them) and that terrible practice came to an end. You can still purchase just about anything else at the Market, where the endless stalls chock full of beads, trinkets, and hot sauces lead you to the sweet Gullah (an African-American culture confined to the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia) ladies patiently sewing together their sweet-grass baskets and speaking a mostly incomprehensible gibberish to one another (the lovely Gullah tongue).
Whatever you decide to purchase, make sure to stop off at one of the local watering holes to wet your whistle when you are done. If you go to Charleston between the months of April and October you will be dehydrated within approximately one minute of leaving the proximity of an AC unit. As a result, a drink is mandatory and there are a host of places to attain one within short walking distance. I recommend Tommy Condon's, Wild Wing, South End Brewery, and Henry's, but these are just a drop in the bucket. FYI, if you think you have been to a Wild Wing because you went to the one in Greenville you are wrong. Although a delightful place that has generated a great deal of business our WW is not worthy of cleaning out the Market Wild Wing's toe jam. Just a fact, apologies to those sure to be offended.
Our crew visited all of the bars listed above, with the exception of Henry's (hey our guests might have needed a reason to come back to town) as well as the most pretentious bar I have ever had the displeasure of entering. I will not justify this place by calling it by name and fortunately that will be easy since I have forgotten the moniker. This buzzing hive of metrosexuality was inhabited by a breed of people that had very obviously spent over two hours preparing for their night out on the town - and I speak now only of the guys. I am surprised the women were able to even make the place at all before the week ended considering all the intense preparation needed to enter. The only saving grace was a man , obviously a pimp walking around in an all red outfit (down to the shoes and hat) whose appearance gave me a hearty chuckle that I kept to myself for fear of being pimp-slapped.
After ducking into the much more civilized Moe's Tavern to have a drink with Al Coholick and to cleanse the stench of cologne, we made for the house and called it a night.
We woke on the anniversary of our country's birth and headed out to the Isle of Palms, a beach within just a few minutes drive of the momster's crib. Well, it would be that close if every other motherfucker on the planet had not also decided to head to the shore for some fun and sun that day. I was nice enough not to mention what a bad idea it was to go to the beach on July 4th. Except to my long-suffering brother who had to hear it twenty-five times (he would probably tell you it was more). Once we arrived I had to head straight to the restroom, where I took a shit that was more intense than the last twenty minutes of "The Exorcist." You're welcome for sharing.
We joined the crowd and then commenced participating in the normal beach activities, such as figuring out what people look like naked. Since these happenings probably interest you as much as the previous bowel movement play-by-play, I will instead describe the state of Charleston beaches as a whole. Besides the Isle of Palms, there is Sullivan's Island and Folly Beach - the local surfers' Mecca, if you consider someplace with three foot waves as worthy of praying to five times a day. Edisto Beach, Kiawah Island, Pawley's Island, and Seabrook Island are all within relatively easy driving distance as well.
After surviving the late morning and early afternoon with only mild pre-cancerous lesions, we made our way back to the house and prepared for the night's festivities. For others, this time consisted of showering, primping, purchasing food and beverages. For me, this time was better utilized with a three-hour nap. If anything exciting happened during these hours someone else is going to have to write their own fucking article about it because I was occupied in the endeavor of becoming one with my pillow.
That evening, thanks to the intercession of a friend of a friend, we were actually going to be attending a cookout at one of those mansions I previously described. How appropriate that on July 4th a peasant such as myself would be raised up and allowed to trod the sacred halls of the Charlestonian elite. Like Yakov Smirnoff (for those of you not familiar with Yakov he was a 1980s version of Borat who acted like a fool, although in truth he wasn't actually acting) said in his delightful Russian patois, "What a country!"
The fulfillment of my American dream took me to a palace just off of Tradd Street in downtown Charleston. Jaws dropped soon after our admittance to the inner sanctum beyond the iron gates that faced the street. My own mouth remained agape for the entirety of our visit and I do admit there may have been some drooling involved. Food was soon brought off the grill and allowed me to look a little less awkward with my oral orifice constantly open like the main entrances on a five-dollar whore.
The house boasted a yard capable of being used as a practice field by the New York Jets, in the center of which was a tree fort so huge that the wood used to build it is no doubt responsible for the deforestation of Brazil. I was incredibly jealous of the kids who called the place home until I found out they didn't have a television. Maybe the parents didn't want Sponge Bob and the Teletubbies teaching them about homosexuality.
I could go on and on about the colossal mansion, but thankfully this isn't Better Homes and Gardens.
Just after dinner we took the short jaunt over to Waterfront Park to watch the fireworks. Having seen the fancy lights and explosions associated with such an event a time or two, I chose to drift into my own twisted thoughts and reflect upon the place that was once my home. Sitting in the humid darkness, mosquitoes drank my blood like mini-Draculas and a foot-long palmetto bug crawled over my foot. Suddenly, the massive flying roach took off into the night sky, its wingspan blocking out the moon momentarily. Ten simultaneous painful bites on my hand reminded me that I was leaning on a fire ant hill. Don't get me wrong, I do love to visit, but in that instance I remembered the reasons why I live in Greenville instead.