Slapstick • May 2nd, 2021
ROSE CITY – Season opener at the Slabyard. It was the kind of day that makes you want to call your mom and apologize, motes of magic twirled beyond divinity and self. Screw the Cracker Jacks and peanuts, I’ll take the moment infinity struck forever: about 11:55 a.m. PST. That was when the siren call of, “Can we get this fuckin’ game started already?” rang across the black top. It was shouted by a person, but they were merely a vessel, the conduit for stickball reality. Closer to Michelangelo when he said, “I do not play stickball, it was always being played. I merely released it from the public field behind an elementary school.”
In a lot of ways, we’re still out there playing because, that’s all there ever was.
Look, what I’m trying to say it was a nice fuckin’ day. Perfect in scope. Full tank of gas in a ‘78
Camaro and ‘Hold on Loosely’ just came on the radio. Bitchen. Destiny fulfilled.
A bright blue skyed sunny day. The kind seen watching a newborn takes its first breath, and it’s 416,349,025,331th breath. Those are the only two notable breaths. The rest of ‘em are filler.
And glory was had, sparkling in the sun with flowers in our hair. Eternity took the afternoon off, we were the only things that were real.
Big Trip divvied out the cards. He always does this. De facto hombre numero uno. Take note of this guy. Trip hits home runs because he facilitates the passage of time towards that moment. Ask not what hitting a dinger can do for you, ask what you can do to hit a dinger.
Cards passed out, now it’s our turn. We all, born from man and woman, raised to carry lineage, to learn from before and pass on to after. You became your own person with your own desires to chase. You had your heart broken, you saved a friend. A single tear runs down grandpa’s cheek on his deathbed. A butterfly’s last flight. All that culminating to a single point of flipping a card over and seeing you are a Diamond. Now your real life begins. All that horse shit before this moment is the excess engine shed by your spacecraft after hitting maximum velocity, heading towards truth.
So anyway, there were 3 teams. One had 7 people, the others had 6 people.
Diamonds: Pickle, Slapstick, The Wizard, Wendy’s, Robrotussin, R. Alexia, Cricket
Hearts: Joose, Big Trip, Trees, R. Brett, Business Casual, A.O.
Clubs: R. Madeline, Professor, Serial Killer, Disco, R. Lindsay, R. Rachel
Banners drawn. Time to live or die.
Well, first, Serial Killer began the national anthem procession. We all stood, took off our hats, bowed our heads and, as our fathers did before us, listened to the first chorus of Tubthumping by Chumbawamba.
Game 1: All Away on Gilded Wings
Diamonds v Hearts
This game was all defense. It was like watching a couple of beta pond turtles shoulder wrestle.
They both seem to be having a hard time.
Speaking of beta pond turtles, Slapstick’s and Wizard’s fielding consisted of taking mushrooms and trying too hard to shout something clever at the batter. One particularly flaccid jab by Slapstick about Trees’s well-trimmed jawline was silenced when Trees motherfucking blasted the yellow off the ball for a two run homer, the only score of the game.
And it’s not like either team wasn’t hitting. There were plenty of hits! The diamonds were swatting meaty fat backs all game, they just couldn’t bring the boys home. This highlights the only facet of stickball that I do not agree with: when the other team catches my ball. If you look at the stats, most games are lost because the opposing team catches hit balls, causing the hitting team to receive an out, and THEN after three of those, you don’t get to hit anymore! This horseshit technicality is the only reason the Diamonds lost.
Game 2: The House Cries Mother Moon
Hearts v Clubs
This was a classic example of a good ol’ one sided match. As mighty a team the Clubs are, the
Hearts were stacked, and they probably cheated a little, too. There’s no proof the Hearts cheated, but there is not proof they didn’t. Hey Hearts, jet fuel can’t melt steel beams. We’re on to you.
Let’s face it, the Clubs had too much new blood in it and the Hearts are old and probably illiterate. The Clubs have potential, the Hearts have poo-tential. While rookie Madeline was in the outfield practicing her triangles, working on technique and fundamentals, Big Trip took advantage of the moment, like the coward he is, and sent a Penn to the big stickball game in the sky.
The Hearts wielded their experience like a stick in some sort of ball hitting based game. Trees hit a dinger so hard I saw the ball regret getting it’s Masters in Being a Tennis Ball. These are moves the Clubs couldn’t envision, limiting their reality. The Clubs would have hit more home runs, but that thought just didn’t come to them, it’s a perception thing.
After the second match Pickle Rick, Trees, and Big Trip abandoned their teams, their sport, and their pregnant wives to go play disc golf, perpetuating a vicious cycle of hurt.
So yeah, teams were redrawn.
Diamonds: Cricket, Business Casual, Serial Killer, Slapstick, A.O., R. Rachel
Clubs: R. Brett, Wizard, R. Rachel, Jenny, Alexia, Wendy’s
Game 3: The Court of The Queen of Finches
Clubs v Diamonds
Easily the best game of the day. Glory was had. Brilliance abundant, truth and beauty danced, a wind blew across Babylon.
Ya ever see those moments in life where everything happened as it was supposed to? Like, existence took a deep breath and stopped trying. I saw one of those moments. It was the second hit of the game. Rookie Brett pitching to Wizard. A perfect arc, right over the plate, the ball seemed to suspend there, like a tear from the Moon Goddess hanging from the end of a strand of spider’s silk. Wizard’s swing was prophesied, tales of it handed down through the ages, cryptic Galeic runes foretold its imminence, clouds parted, a life began, a life ended, a tennis ball became a two run homer. The Clubs still lost and stuff, but fuckin’ ay, good swing.
The Clubs kept the lead til the bottom of the 6th. That’s when the pressure of the Diamonds became too much, they’re just too damn consistent, a double from Slapstick and a single from A.O. put them up. The next inning Business casual hit a screamer for a triple. The last score came from a bomb by Slapstick, and there was nothing funny about it.
Season opener at the Slabyard. A family tradition that no one misses. You were there and you were perfect. No one was alone. We swing as one.
There’s an old southern saying that goes:
Civilization falls twice. Once when the liberals get their way, and the last time opening day happens at the Slabyard.
Bomb Report: Trees: 2 (2), Big Trip: 1 (1), Wizard: 1(1), Slapstick: 1(1)