I take medication. Pretty, palish pink capsules full of peace and harmony. Combined with the tan pills that keep the headaches away, I am the picture of dullness. A real boy filled with artificial joy. Not that these things are bad. Taking medications that defend my body and mind against the puking from blinding migraines and the behavior caused by torrid emotional states is beneficial. There are limits, however, to the miracles of pharmaceutical science. For instance, these same magic beans of sanity cause me to be remarkably slow. Remarkably slow is demonstratively slower than plain, old slow. I find myself staring at random objects and people in a dull-witted, ponderous way. I’m happy, though. Happy and slow. Slow and happy.
Each new morning is a race against slowness. I awake and find myself not really bounding out of bed and over the laundry pile anymore. I wander the house in search of something. Maybe it’s the brown no-mo-headache pill, maybe it’s coffee. I feel like I’m living in the David Byrne school of dissonant reality.
You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?
At work, the whole dullness aspect of my personality is paying off. The more I stare at my computer blankly, the more it looks like I’m controlling it with my mind. Co-workers wonder how I got the IT department to give me one of Dell’s new hands-free, mind controlled p.c.’s. This arrangement works out until I topple over onto the keyboard or just get out of my chair and wander off. At church, the slowness is equally mystifying, because it looks like I’m deep in trance-like prayer. Every once in a while, I’ll come to my senses and yell “Abawootchie”* or a hearty “Be healed!” and everybody will just nod. That’s what mid-western church folks do. They behave politely and nod at everything they don’t understand. So, if you ever meet me, just nod. That way, I’ll realize that I’m acting slow, or dull, and try to speed up my body and mind.
*I saw this in a TV movie once. Apparently, Elvis was cheating on Priscilla Presley with this groupie and he’d shout “Abawootchie!” every once in a while, because that’s what they did in his church growing up. Now if your messing around on your wife and still talking about church, you must either be Elvis, or just taking a combination of pink and brown medications.*
The only thing wrong with dying is that the deceased has no control over choice of obituary photograph used. I can say without any trace of guilt that the sadness I feel when reading about the passing of some stranger is usually related to the picture accompanying that person’s death notice. I was struck by this yesterday while reading about a locally famous soul who’d parted ways with his breathing related obligations. While the column dedicated to the done-living was of interest, it was the terrifically bad picture that was upsetting. Had this individual made a miraculous recovery and then decided to purchase a newspaper (because defeating death naturally leads to the question “Well? What now? I guess I could see what’s in today’s paper…”) he would have been upset himself. The poor guy would have had to recall when in life he dressed like a rodeo clown and then posed for photos while smiling like a lobotomy recipient.
I’m opposed to the “In happier times” photo. There will be instructions for my family not to send the paper any pictures of what I looked like when happy. Not that I’ve spent life unhappy. Most of my existence has been quite amusing, but that could have just been indigestion. In my happier times, though, I never possessed the look of someone surprised by a giant-sized Publisher’s Clearinghouse check shortly after eating pizza from a restaurant on the health department’s watch list. There’s happy, and then there’s unbearably diarrhea stricken. I believe in happiness, but only to a point. When I go to McDonald’s, for instance, I always ask for a Pleasantly Subdued meal, because a Happy Meal is just overkill. Obit photos tend to look like the dearly dead has just eaten the happiest meal of all. Ah, well. Be wary of relatives with cameras and continue living as though you were alive.
There are strange turns in the English language that mark our native tongue. Twists of idiomatic language that are unique to the American experience. One such phrase that always makes me laugh is
I know just enough to be dangerous.
Maybe this is just a Michigan way of being offhanded, but when asked about unfamiliar portions of their jobs, I often hear people answer with this weird throwaway phrase. Knowing just enough about any task to cause ruin and destruction is somewhat disturbing. Yes, I laugh at the phrase, but it’s the nervous laughter of a slang observer. In a perfect world, we’d all know tons about every facet of our life’s work and walk confidently through the decades unscathed. The world is not perfect, unfortunately, and there are lots of deluded wanderers tripping dangerously among us.
“I know just enough to be dangerous” would be much funnier if it weren’t always applied to people who know just enough to be dangerous. Just once it would be fun to hear someone ask a complete boob how much he knew about driving a truckload of dynamite down a jagged mountainside. “Well…first I open the truck door and then I slam it like thi…” Boom. I’ve never heard a neurosurgeon admit that he or she knows just enough to be dangerous. You know how it is with brain surgery. A liver, or a brain, or some haggis. They’re all relative. I’ll admit that it is sort of reassuring to hear the knife sharpening expert who mans the table outside our local supermarket say that he knows just enough to be dangerous. Oh, that makes everything better. In case a bayonet fight breaks out in the grocery store parking lot, I’ll know just whom to call on. “Hey! Crazy knife guy! There’s an angry mob stealing mini vans out here!” That, or if a production of West Side Story flash mobs into existence and knife sharpening is put on hold in favor of spontaneous musical theater.
I know (possibly) just enough to dangerous about most things in life. My grasp on the basics of the nature of God, the universe, women and volleyball is so finite as to make me a minor threat. Usually, I just walk into walls, so there is the ever-present danger to drywall and door frames. The thing to do, I suppose, is to be prepared for anything rather than a danger to life and wall coverings. To develop a degree of learning in the ways of God, the workings of time and space, and the thinking of women is the best defense against danger. Volleyball, I’m afraid, will always elude me.
The other day (I just auto-post “the other day” into every blog entry. Fill it in any way you want. For example, “The other day I gave up self-loathing for Lent”)…eh hem…The other day I was filling out the personal information on a website and one of the questions was whether I appreciated “Geek Culture.” I didn’t even know we had a culture. Apparently owning the collected works of J.J. Abrams and wearing a Doctor Who scarf to one’s wedding are now considered acceptable behaviors and people who do these things represent a culture. It’s okay to rock an Enterprise ensign’s uniform ( circa 1966, naturally) at work now, because it’s part of the geek societal fabric. Star Wars is the lingua franca of our geeky times. Right. I’ll believe it when it happens. Even a minor geek like me is embarrassed by some of the behavior that rules geekdom. I do however get all geeked up when I manage to save up enough Republic Credits in order to buy cool technology*.
The other day I broke down and upgraded to an iPhone 4S. I had the original Droid, which had taken to moaning “rooiid” at odd moments. The 4S has Siri, the voice command gimmick which has caused me to rename the phone “Karen, My Computer Wife” after a character on Spongebob Squarepants (geek). I find myself constantly asking computer wife to do irrelevant tasks a phone can’t possibly do. The phone, to it’s credit, has stopped honoring my commands after just a few days. It seems you can’t just tell a phone to make you some Ramen Noodles (“Here are three faux Asian restaurants in your neighborhood. Get bent”). The phone does give me a personalized wake-up call on command (“Geek boy? Are you talking to me in your sleep. Stop dreaming about Inception and get up for work. Oh, and get bent”). The wedding is in June, so save the date. I’ll have the iPhone send out invitations.
*Yes, I waved my hand in front of the clerk and said “Republic Credits will do.”
On the way to becoming a thirty something (something something) year old hypochondriac and curmudgeon, I also became a father. Well not became. Babies don’t just get handed out like cheese samples. There’s a whole back story about my lovely wife seeing fatherhood potential despite the constant babbling coming from me. Now, years later, the child and I babble away at the poor woman steadily. Our daughter Anna is 9 years old we couldn’t be prouder of her. She’s been having a great time performing with a local children’s theater group in The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley this past week. Mom and dad are in tow, volunteering to run concessions while she’s performing. Anna’s got no idea what goes on at the candy table in the lobby on show day and I’m not telling her. As long as the kid has fun and learns life lessons from the theater, I’m pleased.
Several times during Flat Stanley performances, I’ve had to make a mad drive to the local wholesale outlet for candy and drinks, hustling back by intermission. While not breaking any laws with my driving, I’ve bent the laws of physics. The immutable rule that says a Honda launched into the air off of a curb will eventually plummet earthward is always in effect. I pray that a Mary Poppins effect takes hold of my car and it just Chitty Chitty Bang Bangs over solid objects, consoling myself while waiting for traffic to part that Anna is doing great at the show. That’s really what it’s all about. Skeptics might say that we have children to care for of us in old age, but I look at it as a challenge given in order to make us think about someone else. Anna greets us at the concession stand after shows and I just smile, ever the proud daddy.
I’ve been watching The Bible on The History Channel over the past few weekends. I enjoy the program on its own level. The writers have taken some creative liberties with God’s word, but overall the series is very entertaining. The folks in the basic cable version of the Bible are a handsome nation of clean-shaven people. Good Englishmen and well spoken, one and all. The point is made, however, that God used all kinds of people to build His kingdom.
There is one small issue I take, but not with the show itself. No, my issue is with the moronic advertisements for one of the principle sponsors of The Bible, ChristianMingle.com. The ads feature a snippet of an old Jars of Clay song called “Love Song For A Savior.” The song refers to wanting to fall in love with “you.” The “you” was written as God. The love song was always about falling completely in love with God. ChristianMingle has thrown the images of doves and hand-holding together with the very temporary, infatuated feeling of falling in love. Falling in love makes the heart sing and the eyes well up with tears. Compared to the act of falling in love with eternal God Almighty, though, infatuation is just desire floating up and down with the breeze for a moment. Like many people, I’m easily duped by anything with Christian attached to it. A Christian dating service sounds wonderful because it’s got the Christ seal of approval attached to it. A Christian song, or bookstore holds the same place of honor. A Christian coffee-house is seemingly better, because the owners have deemed it Christian. The truth is that patronizing a business, watching a show or using a product doesn’t make a person a Christian. Pasting “Christian” onto a dating service doesn’t mean that two people can forge love a lasts for a lifetime and honors God any more the relationship formed by meeting each other in some less structured way. I want to fall in love with God, too. Over and over again. He takes me back. He alone lifts me up. The companionship I’ve found with my wife is amazing, but doesn’t have the same eternal ramifications.
If I’m a dupe for the Christian cottage industry, then so be it. I’ll get the shirt and the Bible with the inspirational bookmark. What means the most and gets me away from dupe-dom is the knowledge that I’ll be able to go share the words in that Bible with others and meet people where they’re at. For all the ideas the sales arm of Christianity has put forward, I still managed to meet my wife in a sinful world without the help of the name-of-Jesus dating service. God made it possible for me to find a Christian in this weird world, just as he’s done throughout history. Now, there’s a History Channel mini-series if I’ve ever heard of one.
A few months ago I was lamely explaining my reasons for abandoning the daily running program that had become a cornerstone of my life. The whole argument came down to barfing. Professionals turn their noses up at the term barf, seeming to prefer the more tasteful notes in the word puke, or that classic of the ancient world vomit. I, however, was spending all my free time (and many of my scheduled moments) barfing. The doctor was trying to establish how much I was “really” running. The answer was not at all, real, or otherwise. Barfing had me on a fitness program of its own, and that was about as real as things got.
I got off the barfy train a month ago thanks to medications that may kill me (but will keep my stomach contents in place) and began the task of rebuilding the runner’s body. This is not an easy gig. The inverse of living as Andrew and His Technicolor Dinner Re-runs, was that I had to eat to make up the lost energy. My body began to take on the look of Jabba jr. The way back to the solid, strong (and mercifully silent when outdoors) runner I used to be meant becoming a walker. Jabba the Shuffler is slowly being replaced by something better than the old upchuck marathoner of a year ago. To coin the cliché, whatever doesn’t make a person sick any longer, should make them mad enough to go and fight. My once full race schedule is down to one event, the aptly named Old Farts Marathon, in Lowell, Michigan at the end of summer. I have no notions of suddenly getting back into good form. The truth is that this will be a season of dirt, scrapes, hills, too-early mornings, and way-too hot afternoons. A very good trade for barfing, if I do say so myself.
Everybody goes through my present experience, so this is probably not much of a blog-worthy subject. I’m sure nearly every thinking, feeling person has at one time (or another) had a song stuck in their head. After having the same tune lodged in my noggin for the last week, however, I’m beginning to feel as if my mind is on a deserted island all it’s own and the item it brought along is one darn song to keep it company. That song would be Jolene, Dolly Parton’s hit single from way back “in-the-day.” Back in-the-day is a ruse used to cover up my age, but it would be more honest to say the song is so old that they recorded it using soup cans. Jolene, for those who haven’t been introduced to the Dolly oeuvre, is the tale of a woman who worries herself into a frenzy over the arrival of a husband stealing hussy named…Ralph. No, wait. This is country music, after all, and the temptress went by Jolene. I happened to listen to Jolene (the song) for no particular reason one day a week ago (curse you itunes d.j.! Play some Skynard). It’s been embedded in my gray matter ever since. Jolene, Jolene, Joe-leeen.
I’ve tried everything to erase this song from my memory bank. Some of the measures have been drastic. They Might Be Giants songs have been broken out of my collection in a vain attempt to annoy Jolene right out of my head. My daughter is appearing in a production of Bugsy Malone Jr. this week, so I’ve tried to replace Jolene with catchy Paul Williams numbers. Nothing has worked. The reality is that I’ll have to channel and purge Jolene in a drastic manner. Sometime, maybe late tonight under a Twilight-y moon, I’ll go out to the back yard and howl out Jolene. My next post will be when I return from the pokey. Best wishes ’till then!
Tomorrow night marks another Super Bowl. I’m a lousy sports fan, because I can’t remember what number bowl this one is. What do I know? My sport is baseball, which is the equivalent of watching grown men in the act of slow motion grounds keeping. Professional football, as exciting as it is, is often rivaled by the advertisements for products during the games. Products most people may (or may not) buy after the game. I can’t imagine anybody running out, after all, to buy a luxury car during the Super Bowl. I was reading a retrospective of products that flopped after being introduced during the Super Bowl. No surprise that at the top of the list was a product called “Crystal Pepsi.” Clear Pepsi was a brilliant idea, but a not very good drink. A clear cola with no cola flavor. Sort of like drinking lemony Karo syrup. The revival of the legend regarding Crystal Pepsi, reminded me of a lot of the great (and not so great) unsung products that have come and gone over the years. Here are some of my favorite orphaned and abandoned crazy ideas that have appeared over my lifetime:
Bacon Cheddar Cheetos. One of the most awesomely great flavor combinations ever to appear on store shelves. A Google search won’t turn up information on them, so this is food that only lives on in sense memory. Good memories, though.
Mexican Manwich. Not really a taco, not so much a sloppy joe. The best of both worlds, really.
Banquet’s Cowboy Meal. Not a lot of working cowboys would settle for this mess, but it had an odd appeal. Skunky Salisbury steaks and tasty charro beans. Food to eat when you aren’t really eating.
Kona Pepsi. In the push to fill everything with coffee flavor, Pepsi came out in the 90’s with this strangely bitter, molasses tasting beverage. By the end of it’s run, however, Kona was available for .39¢ per 2 liter bottle. Cheap, easy caffeine fix.
The McDonald’s Country Fried Steak Breakfast biscuit. I weep for the children, because they’ll never know the joy of rolling out the rack and going to Micky D’s for a deep-fried steak patty on a biscuit. Almost as awesome as…
The fried McDonald’s pie. I haven’t really appreciated McDonald’s since they stopped frying cherry pies, and introduced the lame, microwaved version. The original was covered in corn starch that would create a bubbling, crackling crust on the outside of the pie. The pies were always too hot to eat and burning one’s gullet was part of the joy of eating them.
Ben and Jerry’s Rainforest Crunch ice cream. So good it was sick. Nut brittle clusters the size of the carton. Ben and Jerry’s still makes Heath Crunch, but it just ain’t the same.
Pruitt’s Peanuts. Potato chip covered peanuts. The best of all worlds.
Fast Food drinkware. Food chains gave away glassware just for patronizing their restaurants. Most families had a wealth of Star Wars and Superman tumblers. Even the later plastic tumblers were great, especially in college when it was nice to have 50 or 60 so that you never had to wash anything.
There isn’t a ten. Recently I showed my daughter a webpage dedicated to product packaging from back in the day and she winced. “Man. You guys were creepy.” Yeah, but I’ll be creepy with a fried pie and a steak biscuit any day.
There are days when my mind is made up of nothing more than collections of jumbled, random thoughts. Today is one of those days. What follows is a half-coherent post made from mental scrapple.
It’s okay for Manti Te’o to have made up an imaginary girlfriend. I have an imaginary Manti Te’o.
President Obama’s upcoming swearing-in ceremony looks exciting to me. I’ve been waiting years for the President to swear at something.
There are many things I want to confess to Oprah Winfrey, but I’m afraid I’d never be able to ride a bike again. That would be a shame for paper route customers.
I never used performance enhancing drugs. Once, in a fit of hunger, I ate my Live Strong bracelet and then tried to tell Oprah everything I’d ever done wrong.
The new American Idol judging panel is not quite what I’d hoped for. The producers need to bring back Paula Abdul, because she made crazy look so classy.
The previews for the new film Jack The Giant Slayer make the movie look pretty entertaining, but I’m holding out until Humpty Dumpty 3-D hits theaters.
64% of Republicans recently polled believe that President Obama may not have been born in the United States. This percentage is made up mostly of individuals who ask where the horses are kept every time they visit the Golden Corral. This number also doesn’t account for the number of conservatives who are too busy for polls, because they’re busy looking at the sides of their TV sets trying to see where the Fox news crawl comes from and where the words go off to.
A new line of adult undergarments has hit stores and the advertisements encourage the bladder stricken to take up dancing. I often think about dancing when I’m peeing. Or vice versa. Either way, I’m the life of any party.
I’m rooting for Anne Hathaway to win the Oscar this year. As a child I dreamed of shaving my head and portraying a French prostitute. Ah, this is why we go to the movies. Dreams do come true in Hollywood.
I’ve never been a drug user. The strongest thing I imbibed regularly was Pepsi. Last year my neurologist (what a weird thing to be able to refer to a neurologist as one’s own. “Oh, yeah. That’s my brain guy. We’re tight”) prescribed a migraine preventative drug that took me on a wicked trip. The medication really didn’t impact the frequency or severity of headaches I experienced, but I was too tripped out to notice. I started to have dreams. The dreams started out in a good place. Walmart, actually. For two months I spent each night in a series of dreams I named “Celebrity Walmart Trip.” Each night, I’d stroll the isles of our local super-store with a famous person. Night one was Walmart with Kenny Rogers (the former Tiger’s pitcher, not The Gambler). I asked about what was on his hand during the ’06 World Series. The next night featured quality shopping with William Shatner. He didn’t appreciate being called “Shat” or the fact that I giggled every time I said the word “Shat.” After a month or so, the dreams became markedly weirder. The former Captain Kirk’s head burst into flames on a subsequent somnambulist Walmart visit and the fire consumed me. Fire became a recurring theme in these medication side effect night terrors. I’d be lulled into a conversation with some woman in a bar that could only exist in my dreams (because I like Pepsi) only to be consumed by her hell fire. At least I wouldn’t have to call those women back. Dragons, murderous chickens and devil women gave way after a few months to a sort of garbled terror montage. I stopped the medication eventually and went back to the safety of just living with headaches until another doctor prescribed me some well-behaved, sleep-flame retardant drugs.
A year later, I am having calm dreams of great beauty. I’ve tried to look up their meaning on popular internet dream databases only to find that every dream somehow means that I have a fear of sexual relationships with clowns. The thing that I like about my calm, reassuring dreams is that everyone I’ve ever known comes by for a visit at some point. A nightly talk show of the mind. Sometimes pianos mysteriously fall on friends, but I’d hate to look up the meaning of that on the internet for fear that it goes back to clowns. My dreams have evolved since I was a teenager when all they ever contained was Phoebe Cates or a Camaro. If those dreams ever return, I’ll invite her to the nightly talk show and keep an eye on the sky for pianos.
The arrival of Fall makes me weepy and emotionally irresponsible. I muddle through the Michigan weather and wait out the Seasonal Affective Disorder, all the while coming up with creative solutions. On days when the clouds are heavy and the world seems to recede into darkness that won’t fade until the January thaw, I go and stare at the gas station hot dog machine. The glowing light seems to afford my soul peace and tranquility. This doesn’t help with the seasonal weight gain, though. Part of the S.A.D. dilemma is that it causes increased appetite, sleepiness and the need to be on a constant sugar bender. We-ird. I eat and tear up like Sissy the Blogger. Every time someone mentions that the World Series starts tonight and that my beloved Tigers (sniff) are sending Justin Verlander to the mound against Barry Zito, the waterworks start (“Ahhh…get me some marshmallows! This is too much pressure!”).*
Lately I’ve started to take notice of advertisements for supplemental testosterone. For the most part, these seem to be just commercials sponsored by the inadequacy industry. I don’t need no stoopid testosterone! Give me some Turtle Wax and I’ll be fine. I’m a man, and that puts me in a fraternity of men. The fraternity of understanding the onside kick, the infield fly rule and Top Gear. The brotherhood of “If it ain’t broke, let’s break it on purpose.” The boost of testosterone might help with the obnoxious, seasonal emotional jags, though. Not that I can afford it. It’s more than likely that my insurance doesn’t cover hormones, even if my doctor’s chart states “necessitated because dumbbell can’t keep his big boy pants up.” What to do? I guess that I’ll turn to other, more homeopathic maleness supplements. Since we haven’t been to the grocery store in a while, the only items in the house that might do the trick are Vitamin D pills and Ramen noodles. Get my mortar and pestle. It’s time to mix up some mojo.
*After writing this, Justin gave me reason to tear up. I’m going to need a bigger bag of marshmallows.
Ichiro was traded to the Yankees earlier today and I don't feel so good myself. Watching Ichiro over the last ten years has been a reminder that workmanlike routine and consistency are rare and wonderful qualities in modern life.
Ichiro Suzuki was traded from the Seattle Mariners to the Yankees this afternoon. To you, this may seem the routine business of modern professional baseball. There has never been anything routine about the very routine-ness that is Ichiro. He’s been a career .322 hitter with the Mariners since 2001, a workhorse of steadfast on base percentage. The very businesslike way he’s fielded his position and gotten on base doesn’t make the Sports Center highlights any more, because we’re used to his excellence. The fact that he finally played a major league season in 2011 not hitting .300 was only worrisome, because he’s Ichiro. I may be a Detroit Tiger homer for life, but Ichiro has been my one baseball infidelity over the years. When the Mariners and Tigers have squared off over the years, I’ve been in the habit of calling my daughter in to watch the TV. “C’mere, because you’re not going to see anyone like this again.”
I bleed Tigers blue and orange. A Summer’s Eve swilling mo-ron told me last season that I must have just jumped on the band wagon. Sure, except the bandwagon arrived around the time I was a toddler and could just pronounce Wockenfuss. My dad used to prop me next to the old Realistic stereo speakers and I’d sit and listen to Ernie. “Swiiing and a miss” is still rattles around my brain pan. All this having been said, I was an Ichiro fan. Even if he’d played for the White Sox, this would have been so. Tonight he’s batting eighth for the Yankees, which tests even my respect for the great, working man’s all-star. He played for some woefully crummy Seattle teams over the years and I don’t blame Ichiro for wanting to finish with a contender. In all the years Ichiro’s played for bad teams, this is the first I remember him publicly complaining. Hopefully, he finishes on a high note. Ichiro inspires what should be the best qualities in all of us: hard work, consistency, and presence at the plate.
A few weeks before the end of the school year I woke my daughter up one morning and told her we were going to see the Detroit Tigers. Who knew that this was such an effective way to get kids up for school? Sitting bolt upright, she asked without a trace of sleepiness
“No,” I answered “At Wrigley.’
“What’s a Wrigley?”
Taking my nine-year old to a ball game was part of my bucket list fatherhood plan. I figured that we’d do fun stuff that every kid should experience before adulthood. Never mind the logistics of taking a little girl into Chicago without the guiding hand of mom. We checked off quite a few bucket items on this trip. The first thing was learning to ride with drunks on the South Shore line for two hours. We had plenty of conversations the rest of the day about why people shouldn’t drink at 9:00 in the morning (let alone 3 beers before the train departs). Riding the Red Line from State Street to Addison was another lesson. Learn to embrace other people. More importantly, embrace being squashed into some stranger’s boobs (not me. I’m too tall and obvious). A lady asked me on the way down to the subway if I had a back up plan. “Yeah. I’m not going to let go of the child. Same as the original plan.” Learn to enjoy exotic restrooms. Wrigley’s best kept secret is the section 126 First Aid station and it’s locking bathroom.
The experience of going to good old Wrigley Field is lost on my daughter. As it should be. She’ll get the particulars later. I know that she’s was as awed as me by the sight of the field beyond home plate when you first walk through the gate. I don’t believe in baseball cathedrals, but Wrigley’s pretty close. Someday, the Cubs will have won numerous championships under the stellar management of Darwin Barney and the billionaire owners (the Olsen twins) will have the place leveled. She’ll look back and tell the kids how dad dragged her up to see Justin Verlander throw a five hit, two earned run game back in the good old days. A bucket list check-off for any kid, even at my age.