Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Houston - Land of Chivalry (An American Fairy Tale)
Current mood: amused
I saw on the news that a brave young man chose to take his girlfriend to a baseball game and happened to finagle tickets that had them sitting in “Tornado Alley”, or one of the areas down the first base or third base lines where an inordinate amount of foul balls are sent screaming to die. Given the arc of a batter’s swing and the velocity of a pitch, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that there is a defined area through which a solidly struck ball is to going fly. There are pop-fouls and foul tips, but these are poorly struck efforts that are generally hit off the hands, or the top or bottom of the barrel of the bat. The ones that are well hit and moving briskly will generally be base hits or end up in Tornado Alley.
There, now that the science lesson is over, let us get back to our lucky couple…
When we left off, the handsome twosome were taking their seats in Tornado Alley, where only the quick of hand and fleet of foot dare to roost. These are mostly the wily veteran fans, usually armed with gloves or mitts and a shortstop’s instinct for the sharply-struck ball. Our intrepid couple had no such equipment. Especially short on the instinct. Reading the article (well, more like skimming, really), it turns out the young lady had the good sense and fine nose for baseball to realize as she looked around, that danger could be imminent. “I am going to get hit,” she told her beau, with one of the more concise observations I have ever read in a news piece. And as it turns out, right on the money. “Don’t worry,” her Knight in Shining Armor assured her. “I’ll catch it…” Famous last words.
Watching the video, nothing could have been further from the truth. As fate would have it, a ball did come barreling down the third base line, straight through the heart of Tornado Alley. And our story would not be our story if the ball did not bear down with bad intentions on our lovebirds. Unarmed, as we have learned, without benefit of glove nor instinct, Captain Handsome did what any fan of the hapless Astros would do – he raised his hands in defense and darted out of the path of the leather-bound missile. He might have squealed in fear – the footage was too distant to tell. His girlfriend, who had earlier so unerringly predicted her own demise, much like President Lincoln before attending the show at Ford’s Theater, sat helpless as the ball caromed off her arm like a perfect bunt, into the waiting hands of her date, who proceeded to show off his trophy.
I am currently taking bets on the over/under for this relationship. I say one week. Her bruise will stiffen up and he will beg and plead and cry and this will put off the inevitable for maybe a few days. She will see the footage again and again, in super-slow motion on Sports Center and see the hits slide into the millions on You Tube – she will be shamed and humiliated and she will break it off, despite his disingenuous protests. But, if the nitwit doesn’t have the good sense to back off, she just may well end up in prison on a second-degree murder rap after murdering him, hopefully using the fateful baseball, a hall of fame grip and a heaping helping of hard-nosed irony. After again being forced to witness the video of her injury and his cowardice repeatedly at her nationally-covered murder trial, she will spend a minimum of time in prison and then be offered seven-figures to pose naked for Playboy – even more for Hustler. She will marry one of the junkies from Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab and be a fixture on the cover of the tabloids for five or so years, then drink herself into her own reality show, on which she will accidentally kill her husband, probably either Leif Garrett or Todd Bridges, with a scale model steel replica of the Andrea Dorea. More time in the hoosegow will follow and then a television movie based on her life. Her children will write tell-all books detailing her cruelty and she will take a fatal fall down the flight of stairs en route to her wine cellar for more claret and will lie dead for three days before she is discovered, her face and soft bits chewed off by her trio of Chihuahuas, one of which is ironically named “Chuy”.
Or they could get married and live happily ever after. I’m not sure.