March 7th, 2006

Boss Coffee

Okay, this is cute.

There's a Canadian cartoonist I've become rather fond of, and today he just nailed it.
I avoided the Archie comics when I was a kid, preferring the Marvel superheroes, but the idea of Betty India and Veronica Pakistan fighting over Archie America is just too funny.

Of course, it's a one-panel comic so there's no space for Veronica's homicidal relatives, but you can't have everything. For that, we'll have to wait for his remake of The Punisher Meets Archie, starring Donald Rumsfeld as the Punisher.
Boss Coffee

34

You could probably fill a book (and for all I know someone has) with the horrible things baseball players have done in their off hours. Much like artists whose brilliance seems to walk hand in hand with madness or just plain asshattery, the Hall of Fame contains quite a few people who were pretty vile people outside the lines. There are plenty of nice guys, too, but the complete biographies of Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and others have some chapters that are just hard to get through.

Which I suppose is as it should be; these are people, after all, with all the faults and problems that flesh is heir to. Sports announcers to the contrary, the ability to hit .400 over the course of a season or deliver a clutch hit in the World Series says nothing about the quality of one's character. Still, one might wish that today's sportswriters -and I am thinking specifically of Frank DeFord here- were not quite so quick or gleeful to seize on the misdeeds of the men we revere as heroes for their accomplishments on the ball field.

Thus we arrive at Kirby Puckett, who probably deserved a better death than he got, dying alone in an Arizona hospital far from the Metrodome where he achieved so much. It would be much more pleasant to recall him only in the days of his glory, leaping like Michael Jordan to snatch a double away from Ron Gant and then smashing a homer to win Game Six of the '91 World Series. I can still remember seeing him charging down the path from second to third, screaming and hollering with joy, his round, muscular body pumping away.
Unfortunately, the sportswriters are only too happy to point out the feet of clay, the accusations of infidelity and groping, the divorce...matters that perhaps would have been best left for the historians instead of the sports sections and the radio talk shows.

His numbers speak for themselves; those and his Happy Warrior personality got him into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot. If he didn't quite know what to do with himself after being forced to retire early, well, that's not too unusual for baseball players or CEOs. It reminds you, just a little, of Wile E. Coyote going full-tilt after the Roadrunner and suddenly discovering that he's run off the cliff as the ground drops away, but people are not cartoons and the hard smash of impact can often be lethal as your whole world falls off its axis. It's happened to enough baseball players that we should all recognize the script by now. Still, when it happens to one of your favorite players, it still hurts. Me, I'm going to do my best to remember his moments in the sun and forget the parts that maybe weren't so great. I'll leave those parts to the DeFords and Barreiros who make their living sorting through the sewage for the particularly repulsive turds of life, and throwing muck at those rare men whose accomplishments they could never hope to equal. It makes me think better of Sid Hartman. For all that I slam him as a slavish acolyte of the owners, it must be noted that he rarely if ever says anything negative about the players as individuals, and for that he deserves his propers.

Rest in peace, Kirby. You made a lot of people very happy in your time, did a lot of good in other ways not so public, and if you did wrong now and again, well, you were only human. Just like the other heroes.

UPDATE: Crossposted to the Armchair GM wiki, which is hosting a blogosphere tribute to Puck.
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wombat

No way. I haven't played tennis for almost 20 years!

So, the beloved Doctor S, she says the arm pain of the Chief Wombat is the much-feared tennis elbow. Therefore the CW must wear the goofy Gel Band thingy, eat hugely of the restorative ibuprofen, and make less use of the right arm. This of course makes the Chief Wombat very sad, for it is of course the right arm on which he relies for the clicking of the trackball, the tapping of the touchpad, and the smiting of the uppity Zulus in the Civicrack. In fact, as the CW has remarked to his friend the chebutykin at her LJ, it is no doubt the Civicrack and the Detour of the Anime that has made the elbow tendon so sore and unhappy.

How can the Anime Detour cause its Chief Burrowing Marsupial such pain? you ask. Is it not the occasion of happiness and celebration of the otaku? Is it not the massive gathering of the otaku, whose company the Chief Wombat enjoys so much? Yes, it is all those things and more, and yet organizing such a thing requires much handwaving and flaming though the e-mails, and on the average day the CW must shovel dozens of e-mails (sent by those otaku to his department heads) into the folders of the inbox or the trash bin. Worse yet, he must supply the answers to the department heads who have the questions, and all of this requires much pounding of the keyboard and the tapping of the touchpad, both of which aggravate the elbow tendon.

So it is that the CW will leave his department heads to their own devices for a week or so until the tendon heals, perhaps occasionally offering the advice through the cell phone, the staff meeting, and the other occasional meeting. Perhaps the Chief Wombat will also rediscover the joys of using the Cowzilla for something besides playing games, perhaps the viewing of Angelic Layer or Cardcaptor Sakura but under no circumstances the Eiken. Eeeeuuuwww.
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