Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Knowing How to Play Ball

(Our scene opens in the wood-paneled board room (plywood, but still) of Fraters Libertas world headquarters. The Elder--bearing a striking resemblance to Don Draper--sits at the head of an enormous table sipping a glass of Scotch as he calls the meeting to order.)

The Elder: Okay, okay everybody settle down. Let's do a quick roll count. Saint Paul?

Saint Paul: Here.

The Elder: JB?

JB: Here.

The Elder: Atomizer? (pause) Atomizer?

(Saint Paul nudges Atomizer who slowly lifts his head off the table)

Atomizer: Yeah, I'm here. Why do we have to start these meetings so early?

The Elder: It’s a quarter past two son. Nihilist in Golf Pants?

NIGP: Here. Did you guys know that they pay you for plasma? And childrens' too? This weekend, I told my wife I was taking the kids out for ice cream...

The Elder: Save it for later. Sisyphus?

Sisyphus: Here.

The Elder: What did I tell you about wearing Hawaiian shirts on Wednesdays? Have a little respect for the position. And no more banging office receptionists two at a time, okay?

Sisyphus: Sure boss.

The Elder: Crazy Uke? Has anybody seen that bum? Guys signs on, does two posts, and disappears into the ether. I haven’t seen such little bang for the buck since Moss returned to the Vikings. Guess we should have known not to bring one of those people in. Moving on.

(The Elder takes a deep draw from his glass)

The Elder: James from Folsom? Oh yeah, he’s in Folsom. How’s the “Golden” State working out for you James?

(The room reverberates with laughter)

The Elder: All right, all right. Let’s get down to business gentlemen. The first item on the agenda is Lent. Today, is Ash Wednesday so I want to know what all of you are giving up as your Lenten sacrifice. Let’s go around the room.

JB: Blogging.

Sisyphus: Blogging.

NIGP: Blogging.

Atomizer: (glances nervously around the room before taking a swig from his flask) Umm...blogging?

The Elder: Hmmm...I’m starting to sense a trend here. What about you, Saint Paul?

Saint Paul: I’m going to give up watching C-SPAN3 in my boxers while eating a block of cheese.

The Elder: Ohhhhkay...I guess that’s nice and specific…

Saint Paul: Oh, and blogging too.

(The Elder throws back the rest of his glass of Scotch)

The Elder: It appears that we have arrived at an impasse.

(The Elder picks up a baseball bat from underneath the table and begins walking around the room)

The Elder: A man becomes preeminent, he's expected to have enthusiasms. Enthusiasms, enthusiasms... What are mine? What draws my admiration? What is that which gives me joy? Baseball! A man stands alone at the plate. This is the time for what? For individual achievement. There he stands alone. But in the field, what? Part of a team. Teamwork... Looks, throws, catches, hustles. Part of one big team. Bats himself the live-long day, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and so on. If his team don't field... what is he? You follow me? No one. Sunny day, the stands are full of fans. What does he have to say? I'm goin' out there for myself. But... I get nowhere unless the team wins.