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Category Archives: Personal

The Wayback Playback Machine 1.0

A lone bead of sweat, slowly drips from the tip of my nose as I step towards the home plate box. I scan the field and see my teammate stranded at second base. He looks to me and our eyes catch. The moment is understood. He needs to come home and I’m holding his ticket. This is the situation that separates the men from the boys. Clutch time.

Kickball in the second grade is serious business and this isn’t just a kickball diamond, it’s an operating table.

… and I’m the surgeon.

As I approach the plate, the left fielder starts to walk in a few feet. Rookie. I now know where this ball’s going. Over his head, rolling unchecked, whilst I round the bases, probably with my right arm in the air, proclaiming I’m number one, and he should’ve known better.

“Baby bouncies!”, I call out to pitcher. (roller? Not sure the call on that.) Baby bouncies was my meat. It’s what sends the ball high and deep.

A ruckus starts to escalate behind me. “It’s my turn, not yours! My turn!”, is being wailed from the line of kickers awaiting their “ups”. As I turn to scope out the situation, a blur of blue sweater and orange tinged blonde hair come at me in a rage. “It’s my turn, cheater!”.

This is the moment where all things go slow motion. Forcing my arms to fend off the incoming attack of flailing arms, I notice his head dipping toward my forearm, and the unsheathing of piranha type teeth. I shift to maneuver out of harms way, but it was too late. I could almost hear his teeth sink into the meat of my arm, which was quickly stifled by my bellow of horror. Instinct took over. I hit him. Hard. I could feel his midsection wrap around my clinched fist.

Let me pause the “Wayback Playback Machine” for a sec. I’ve always been told that when in doubt in a fight, hit the biggest guy. Win, lose or draw, you earn respect, which in some cases, could help down the line, ie; prison.  At any rate, I was about to put some of that advice, to the test.

 

Unpause.

 

When my blow landed, I could hear the rest of his air left in his diaphragm, exit in a hurry. Problem solved, or so I thought. The group of kids gasp in unison, and piranha boy’s crutches falling to the ground right before he did, changed my opinion real fast.

You see, Chompers was that kid. The kid who had to use crutches all the time. I think it was Polio, but back in the second grade, he was just that kid. Now, he was a heap of limbs and unused walking sticks, and I was the direct cause. I mean, everything stopped. Action at the monkey bars, swings and foursquare spot fell hushed as all witnessed my crushing blow of victory over the handicapped boy who couldn’t walk without crutches.

Now Biter Boy wasn’t the biggest or the baddest, but respect was given to me from then on. I was the kid who beat up Crutches, and reveled in my new found place in kid lore.

As all things do, people forget, as did the second grade class of Washington Colony Elementary School. My tale of pure heinousness slipped into memory. That is until a third grade girl, took me behind the trees and began to pelt me with a barrage of unwanted kisses. She soon tasted fist as the recess bell sounded and I ran back to class.

Thank you for enjoying my new segment here, called simply …

“The Wayback Playback Machine”

 

Until next week campers, I remain your obedient servant, The CongaScribe.

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Posted by on May 27, 2011 in Personal

 

Toot Sweet?

Our littlest of hang-ups is sometimes the stuff of genius or legends.

This is neither.

I’m going to take you to the “Oh no he didn’t” category. Over the years, anyone who has known me has noticed certain idiosyncratic ticks regarding … bodily functions. More exactly, the expelling of gas in public.

I am anal about that subject. (Couldn’t resist) I do not believe in sharing my inner order with anyone, and will always excuse myself to the nearest restroom to relieve pressure.

Before I continue, I’m assuming we’re all adults here. If not, please wait till the end of my sharing before indulging in armpit noises and ‘Blazing Saddles’ references.

This is where I’ll pick up our vaporous tale. A few nights ago, I was enjoying some cinematic goodness with my girlfriend (she absolutely loathes being called that.) After the movie credits, I could feel my bladder about to burst, ( the large movie beverage will usually do that to a person , weighing in at a hefty nine gallons and all …) and I do a pee pee shuffle double time to the movieplex restroom. Understand this, I’m not trying to gross anyone out, just reporting on a curious situation I found myself in the tiled sanctuary of pee and other things.
As I expel a huge flagon of once carbonated and now used soda, I feel alone enough to also relieve some more pressure. At this point, I know I’m alone, there is no other participating pee pee dancers at any of the wall mountable toilet bowls.
Until…
From the adjacent stall, I heard the deliberate and very frightening cough, accompanied with a rustling of paper. At that moment, if Murphy’s Law was a real person, it punched me in my midsection and caused the remaining air to exit swiftly in a high pitched squeal. Here I sit, an almost forty year old, father of three, dying a fast social death, in a place where, until that moment I thought was safe for that exact purpose.

The quickening pace of more paper crumpling, trousers being pulled up hastily with an almost deafening zip of a zipper, only added to my mortification. But this is not the end of it. A figure, ( I say this because of the speed this individual was moving, figure was all I could make out), darted out from within the stall, and made a direct path to the exit. That’s right, straight to the door. No washing of the hands, to prevent whatever the crumpling paper was touching, from going forth and spreading Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye).
There I was. Alone in a three stalled, five urinal equipped movie restroom, still trying to attend to remnant dribbles of my own urine, wafting in my own musk and swimming in shame.
After a long pause, I double tapped and gathered what was left of my dignity and headed to the sinks. Depressing the soap dispenser, recreated a similar gaseous sound. I couldn’t help but laugh.
I exited the bathroom in a contemplative state, but reassured myself that I had the protocol right.

Until …

A young couple, hunched over in that “I’m telling secrets”, huddled together pose, looks my way, giggles and make for the exit.
Double time.

I don’t know it happened, but in a place made for the bottom half of your body and all its functions, I’d become an outcast. A rule breaker.
A tooter.

Until next time my friends, I remain your obedient servant.

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Posted by on May 20, 2011 in Personal

 

Me, a fan? … Maybe

Almost twenty three years ago, I started my love for a sport and a sports team. I was a passenger along for a Saturday of baseball with my high school girlfriend’s parents. They had invited me to go to San Francisco to watch the family’s favorite team. This was going to be a mix of emotions for me, because at heart, I really didn’t enjoy baseball.


I knew for the most part, it was a game between two players, a pitcher and a batter. That was it. The rest, as far as I was concerned, was left for over paid athletes who scratched, chewed, and spit all the while waiting to make a play

The day was a great one. If I can remember correctly, hot dogs, sunflower seeds and Pepsi were the menu if the day. And a long day it was. I was to learn the meaning of a what they call in the Major Leagues, as a double header. The Giants were playing against the Ted Turner owned, Atlanta Braves.
It was a windy day at Candlestick Park, but the sun found it’s way to the field. The green grass is still a vibrant memory in my head as are the names Clark, Mitchell, Uribe, Maldonado and Aldrete.
I left that park that day still not convinced that baseball was “all that”, but I did leave with my team.
Over the next few years I entered the underworld of fandom, fighting my best friend Mark, and his accursed Dodgers. After high school, Mark made his way to Russia. Even in the land of vodka and perestroika, Mark found a way to send a Western Union telegram, which read, “Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Giants suck! Dodgers Rule!”, or something to that effect. Even after the cross continental bashing from Mark, I never really learned the game of baseball.
Enter Steve and Larry.
Steve entered my life as a transferred workmate who came down from San Jose. His brother Larry, followed shortly after

.
I could write volumes about Steve, Larry and mines adventures, but for right now, I just want to focus on baseball.
Steve and Larry gave me the love of baseball. The little nuances of how the coaches work. The excitement of every pitch. This is a gift I can never repay.
We lost Steve during the Giant’s playoff run to their first World Series Championship title ever in the city by the bay. We watched “The Freak”, Timmy Lincecum, go nuts on the Atlanta Braves, and the next day he left us.
Move ahead to last weekend. Easter Sunday. Tia and I pack up the Sante Fe, coffee up and head to The City. A vendor from work got the sales force tickets to Sunday’s battle against Chipper Jones and the boys from Atlanta. I’m sensing a reoccurring theme here.
Despite losing in extra innings, I had a glorious time in AT&T Park. It was my first time there, and it was everything it’s cracked up to be. Buster Posey hit a two run homer that electrified the stadium and garlic fries and Coke seemed to land a grand slam with our stomachs.
Twenty three years ago, the Giants of San Francisco took on the Braves of Atlanta. Last weekend, the same teams took up the battle once again. The time in between?
I spent it learning to be a fan.
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Posted by on May 2, 2011 in Personal, Uncategorized