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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Baseball and Sushi and Nipples, Oh My!

Hey, kids and kidlets. I don’t have a lot of time to write just at the moment — I just got back from tonight’s Red Sox game and a late dinner — but I do have a couple of thoughts about said game, for those who are interested.

(And if you’re not… hey, come back tomorrow. I’m sure I’ll have something completely different on my mind by then. I’ll even take requests, if you’ve got ’em. I’m not proud, you know.)

Anyway, it was quite a game, and for those of you looking to me for your up-to-the-minute sports news, I won’t keep you in suspense — the Sox won, 4-1. And you really should invest in a TV or a radio or something; hell, at least check out That’s where I get my sports fix during those hundred and sixty or so games a year that I can’t afford to watch in person. Seriously, give it a shot.

To avoid losing those of you who aren’t baseball nuts like me, though, I won’t go into lots of intricate, complicated details about the game. No highlights, no stat lines, no pitch count analysis. All I’ll tell you about the game itself is this:

I’ve heard it said — and firmly believe — that one of the (many) joys of baseball is that if you attend a game and you pay close enough attention, you’ll see something you’ve never seen before. Tonight, it was a ladder on the warning track during the game, in between innings.

See, Fenway Park is one of two baseball stadia left (Wrigley Field in Chicago being the other) with manually-operated, non-digital scoreboards. Usually, the scorekeepers slip the numbers for inning and game totals and out of town scores onto the board from the back, inside the ‘Green Monster’ wall in left field. Tonight, apparently, there was some issue with the score slots furthest to the right of the board, where the National League game scores are shown. So, in between each inning, a guy would step out of a door at the base of the Green Monster, drag a stepladder along the wall, and plop cards with oversized numbers into the appropriate slots on the board. Pretty funky, eh?

(Hey, look, I said you’d see something you’ve never seen before. I never said it had to have anything to do with the game, or that it would always be something riveting, all right? I can only play the cards I’m dealt over here. Deal.)

Okay, I’ve got to get to bed soon, so I’ll just run out these other thoughts from our trip to the ballpark, and you can make of them what you will:

  • I’d forgotten how small everything is in Fenway Park, to accomodate cramming as many people as possible into it. The seats are small, the walkways are small… even the spaces between the urinals in the men’s room are smaller than you’d expect, leading to all sorts of uncomfortable moments and shameful elbow brushing during urination. Blech.
  • A word of advice — if you’re going to ask your wife (or other lady friend) whether she wants ‘a nipple for that beer’, it’s probably best to make sure beforehand that she’s familiar with the phrase, and realizes that it means that she’s ‘nursing’ her drink, and should put a ‘nipple’ on it, like a baby’s bottle, to finish it off. Without that background, your comment is likely to start a very strange conversation.
  • All right, maybe I’m just too old. Or perhaps too young; I don’t know. Either way, can somebody tell me why the hell the entire stadium stood and sang along with ‘Sweet Caroline’ at the game tonight (including some extra but apparently rather well-rehearsed lyrics) during the eighth inning? And more importantly, can anybody tell me how to prevent this ridiculous nonsense from ever happening again?
  • If you’re one of those turdslurpers who decides, in the middle of a throng of moving people (as in, for example, the crowd after a baseball game), to suddenly stop in your tracks, turn around, and look for someone in the crowd, without bothering to move to one side or avoid oncoming travellers… well, frankly, you need your underpants yanked over your goddamned head. Bad person! Stupid! Bad! Bad!
  • Finally, learn from this mistake, people — it’s okay to stop for a sushi dinner on the way back to your car after a game. It’s okay — even preferable — to not overorder your fishy treats, thereby leaving room for an ice cream dessert at home later on. However — and I can’t stress this enough, believe me — if you should happen to belch, thus vividly recalling the taste of sushi to your mouth just before digging into your first bite of frosty ice cream, then you simply must change your plans. Step away from the frozen dairy product, people. Just step away, and don’t look back. Trust me, you don’t want any part of that. Excuse me while I scrape off my taste buds with a rusty paper clip.

Okay, I think that’s probably enough for now. I hope you folks are having a great weekend. I’ll see you on Sunday. Peace.

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