Free-Floating Hostility

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Why I hate the Summer Part 1: Little League

Summer is the slow season in the newspaper business, which means that today I'll be covering the city Little League championships. This is bad news. I mean really bad news. I don't hate Little League because I think it's good for kids to play sports and learn about teamwork. But I hate putting Little League stuff in the paper.

First of all I can't win, because I know that I'll get into the office Monday and some snide fucking mom will have left a phone message on my voice mail because I didn't mention Little Taylor's hit in the third inning. Second, I hate interviewing kids. I mean interviewing college students is bad enough, but fuck. Little kids don't understand the postgame transaction, the essence of which is "Give me twenty words. Any twenty, I don't give a shit." I ask stupid question, they give cliched answer, I write story. But kids just want to fucking giggle with their friends. And why shouldn't they? Little League is a great place for kids to make friends. The adults are the only ones who care about winning. And seriously, winning's not so complex here; all you have to do is look at the teams lined up during the national anthem. It's a question of which team has the most glandular freaks. Got an 11-year-old already past puberty? He can throw 60 mph from 45 feet away, and he takes the trophy. If the pitcher has peach fuzz on his upper lip, he's throwing a no-hitter. That's just the way it is.

Anyway I hereby make this pledge:

When I'm a parent, I will sit on my hands during little league games, removing them from beneath my ass only to clap when something positive and life affirming happens. I will never yell at the umpire. In fact, I'll bring a sharp stick to every game to prevent other parents from harassing the poor schlemiel.

Ump: Stee-rike 1
Parent A: Ump, you suck!
Mike: Thwack!

Anna suggested that I bring a flask so that the parents can just get lightly toasted during the game. But what if one of the parents is a loud, abusive drunk? We discussed bringing a joint and then discarded that plan in favor of a syringe full of haldol.

Ump: Stee-rike 2
Parent B: Ump, you suck!
Mike: Whomp! (pressing down plunger)

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