An American Pastime

30 October 2008

As those with even a passing interest in professional sports are aware, the 2008 baseball season ended this week with a whimper, as the Phillies eliminated the Devil Rays for the title causing but a blip on the national sports scene. The television ratings for this particular World Series were historically low, prompting speculation from sports pundits over why people didn’t seem to want to watch baseball. Leaving aside the fact that there was a war, an election, a financial crisis, and a much better sport (football) to distract from “America’s Game”, I have a unique theory to explain the low ratings: baseball has become a fundamentally unattractive game.

This not to say that baseball players are not highly trained athletes with superlative hand-eye coordination who can throw, hit, and field exceptionally well. Nor is the claim that baseball is inherently unwatchable. But let’s be honest – there can be no good reason why I would willingly subject myself to over three hours of television looking at nothing but paunchy men in unreasonably tight uniforms play catch with one another as they are “managed” (one of the worst titles and easiest jobs in all of sports) by older former athletes also (inexplicably) in form-fitting regalia.

And my god, the spitting. There must be some kind of medical condition prevalent only among those who spend an inordinate amount of time around ash and leather, where the sputum levels become more than the body can possibly contain. What other feasible explanation can there be for spitting six times in ten seconds during one break between pitches? I could understand this level of slobber if players still chewed tobacco (which a few still do). But though the lion’s share of players gave up that foul tradition some time ago, they clung to the equally foul habits that go along with it.

Let me guide you through the process that is one pitch during a baseball game:

Pitcher: (spits)

Batter: (spits, pauses, spits again, undoes and redoes batting gloves, spits onto his gloves and rubs his hands together, adjusts his helmet, spits again, and steps into batters box)

Pitcher: (spits)

Catcher: (puts his hand on his crotch and wiggles his index finger)

Pitcher: (shakes his head)

Catcher: (wiggles different fingers)

Manager: (spits)

Pitcher: (nods, sets and delivers pitch)

In the event that the batter then gets a hit, this is celebrated with much clapping and subsequently spitting in the dugout (which is an absolutely filthy place, littered with trash and saliva) and in the event that he gets out, this is met with some disgruntled expectoration.

When I was much younger I used to listed to John Sterling and Michael Kay deliver the Yankees radio broadcasts for years. I consider myself a casual baseball fan, but I find the broadcasts of games to be one the only times I regret having a large HD television. Some games were made to be enjoyed from a few hundred feet away.


Three Spelling Rules Every Fourth Grader Should Know

30 October 2008

People who know me are aware that I’m a hardcore grammar Nazi.  Be that as it may, I acknowledge that English is a complicated language with rules that are often anything but straightforward.  Nonetheless, it does have some rules so simple that even a goldfish with Down Syndrome could understand them, yet I see college educated humans fuck them up on an almost daily basis:

1) “It’s” vs. “its.”   What is so complicated about this, people?  If you want to say, “it is,” use an apostrophe; otherwise, don’t.  Or do, but brace yourself for the swift kick to the genitals I’ll subsequently deliver.

2) “You’re” vs. “your.”  Mixing these up is even more egregioius than it’s/its; at least in that case one could argue that other possessives use apostrophes, so it’s easy to forget that “its” is different.  I suppose “you’re” could be subject to the same argument, but hello, dumbass, what’s that ‘e’ doing at the end of the word?  Moreover, the far more common version of this mistake is writing “your” when intending a contraction, something anyone with even the most basic understanding of the apostrophe should never do.

3) “Their” vs. “there” vs. “they’re.”  Applying the simple contraction rule mentioned above takes care of “they’re.”  There’s no convenient heuristic for distinguishing between “their” and “there,” so these two have to be memorized.  Can you manage that, you idiots?  Considering how many of you keep track of the performances of hundreds of ballplayers at once, I think with a little effort you can keep track of two very common words with utterly different meanings.

Seriously, how can people make it through elementary school, much less high school and college, without a grasp of their native tongue’s most basic principles?  If I were in charge, people caught making these mistakes would be sent to re-education centers and forced to write the offending words over and over, like they did with naughty schoolchildren back when this country wasn’t full of spoiled pussies.

Recidivists would simply be shot.

What’s the excuse?

30 October 2008

Cliff’s Notes version: In a small town in Japan, they took a cat that hung out at the station too much and put a hat on her.  They named her the “super station mananger,” and now she’s such a strong tourism pull from within the country that they net $10 million.

Now I understand that this is the country that invented tentacle rape cartoon porn, sells dirty panties in vending machines, and also managed to be big enough douchebags to be the only country nuked ever, but is there a possible explanation for this shit?  People actually travel from across the country to look at a cat with a hat on it.  

I’m trying to think of something funny to say about this but I’m at a complete fucking loss.

Doesnt make a damn bit of sense.

Doesn't make a damn bit of sense.

Japan, I’m looking at you.  You need fewer company workers and more psychiatrists if this is the sort of shit that passes for normal behavior.

Pittsburgh Weather Report

29 October 2008

It’s been snowing.  All day.  In October.

Fuck this place in the ass with a tree trunk.


29 October 2008

Came across this picture that illustrates Christianity’s “Doctrine of the Trinity” recently:


Oh hey, thanks for clearing that up.

Oh hey, thanks for clearing that up.

Father = God

Son = God

Father =/= Son

A subject very close to my heart.

29 October 2008

While it’s hard to believe for those who know me, I spent twenty-four years of my life in the American South.  For those who don’t know me — it’s surprising because:

  1. I don’t have a southern accent.
  2. I don’t like sweet tea.
  3. I’m not an idiot.

For those of you who don’t have the pleasure of having spent time in the South, allow me to give you the Cliff’s Notes version:

Yes, this is really happening.

Yes, this is really happening.

What you’re looking at is a pair of “Truck Nutz.” They capture nearly every quality of your typical southerner all in a convenient, easy-to-see scrote-sack.  While it’s hard to tell if these things are more or less of an eye-sore than the Confederate battle flag, they both serve to send the same unmistakable message: the driver is a hillbilly chucklefuck who is best left ignored and marginalized.

It’s about time I wrote this entry because those who know me when I get started on this topic know that I just can’t shut the fuck up about Truck Nutz.

Things about the South that Truck Nutz capture:

  1. A sense of masculinity that hasn’t matured beyond the 4th grade.
  2. Childish vulgarity.
  3. Complete and utter ignorance of reasonable social norms.

Although I have to hand it to the man who invented Truck Nutz — it is the logical next-step for those who already require an F-350 to compensate.  What says “I’m using my truck as a dick-replacement” more than actually attaching a pair of nuts to the base of the vehicle?

To those of you who want to color-coordinate with your vehicle, or perhaps for those who wish to coordinate with the liturgical colors of the season: fret not.  Truck Nutz come in a variety of colors.

Taste the rainbow.

Taste the rainbow.

I’d like to catch the motherfucker riding around town with blue balls, but that’s another story.  If this shit hasn’t already blown your mind, consider the following pair:

Covert ops.

Covert ops.

Camouflage Truck Nutz!?  It doesn’t even make any sense!  First you want me to see the balls, now you want to hide them from me?  You need to make up your mind already.

Perhaps the worst thing of all is that, while ubiquitous, Truck Nutz are impossible to get used to if you’re a reasonable, rational human being.  F-350’s are jacked up so high that at a traffic light the homeboy in front of you is practically tea-bagging your Civic.  

I think I see where this trend is going, so I’m going to make a prediction about the future pick-up market.  Let’s observe the limit of the pick-up truck as it approaches infinity:

On Beards

28 October 2008

I’ve worn a beard for most of the past 2 years.  I often get asked why; my response is, why do you shave?  Shouldn’t beardedness be the default?  Beards have many virtues, such as:

1) keeping the face warm in winter

2) absorbing sweat in summer

3) concealing blemishes

4) making their wearers appear wise and pensive

5) storing morsels of food for later consumption

Some great beards.

The main drawback of beards is that most women claim to find them unattractive.  I’m not sure I buy it.  As a uniquely male characteristic, beards ought to be considered sexy; you never hear men say they don’t like women with breasts.  Why is the current standard of male beauty boyish and effeminate?  Ladies, any comments?

That was a joke.  No girls are reading this bullshit.