It’s a blustery, snow-swept day at Fenway… here’s the pitch, Jeter hits a scorcher to second… Dustin “Ditto” Pedroia glides into position… scoops… wheels… throws to first…
Our stickball team played for the championship last year, said Ditto. Really? said Virginia. Yes, said Ditto, I was the starting rightfielder. Did Dustin Pedroia ever play rightfield? said Virginia. He must have when he was young, said Ditto, everyone begins in rightfield. Really? said Virginia. I thought the rightfielder was the worst player on the team. No, no, no, said Ditto, I led the league in on-base percent. Really? said Virginia. What was your batting average? I didn’t get any hits, said Ditto, but I had 86 walks and one out. Like Eddie Gaedel, said Virginia. Eddie Gaedel? said Ditto. Yes, said Virginia, the shortest man to ever play in the majors. He was three feet seven inches tall, came to bat once in 1951, and walked on four pitches. His lifetime on-base percentage is 1.000. Really? said Ditto. Three feet seven is the shortest ever? I think so, said Virginia. Hmm, said Ditto, I wonder if Dustin Pedroia lies about his height?
I guess there’s not much snow in Borneo, said Blurtso. No, said Harlan, but there are many palm trees. I like palm trees, said Blurtso. So do I, said Harlan, there’s nothing like napping in a palm grove… listening to the wind in the leaves, and feeling the shadows on your skin. Yes, said Blurtso, a palm grove is a great place to nap, and so is a recliner, under a palapa next to the sea. Yes, said Harlan, there’s nothing like napping to the sound of waves, with a cap pulled down on your eyes. A Red Sox cap? said Blurtso. Of course, said Harlan. The snow is nice too, said Blurtso. Yes, said Harlan, there’s nothing like napping in a loft, with a cup of hot cocoa, listening to the slosh of cars in the street. Yes, said Blurtso, or napping under an oak, on a summer day, in an empty field in Maine. I still can’t believe, said Harlan, the Red Sox didn’t win the World Series.
Who’s your favorite Red Sox player? said Harlan. I don’t know, said Blurtso. How about you? said Harlan. I’m a Yankee fan, said Alex. Jeter? said Harlan. Of course, said Alex. We should go to a game, said Harlan. I can get three tickets for this afternoon, said Alex, but we’ll be in the sun in rightfield, so make sure to wear a cap.
Wow! said Blurtso. Look at that grass!
It’s the seventh-inning stretch, said Alex, where’s Blurtso?
You’re from Borneo? said Alex. Yes, said Harlan. What happened to your tusks? I had to sell them to pay for my flight. Wasn’t that painful? said Alex. Not as painful as keeping them. What do you mean? said Blurtso. My brothers were killed for their tusks. Oh, said Blurtso. Why did you come to Boston? said Alex. I’m a Redsox fan, said Harlan. Really? said Alex. Who’s your favorite player? My favorite player, said Harlan, is Big Papi. What’s it like in Borneo? said Blurtso. It’s beautiful, said Harlan, there’s more grass than you could ever eat. Do they speak English? said Blurtso. Yes, said Harlan, in the north. Are you a Hindu? said Alex. Yes, said Harlan. What’s a Hindu? said Blurtso. Hinduism, said Alex, is a religion that believes elephants are sacred. Really? said Blurtso. What religion are you? said Harlan. I don’t know, said Blurtso. What religion thinks donkeys are sacred?
I forgot to water my pumpkins this morning, thought Pablo, I wonder what the temperature is today?
The zoo is open until dusk, thought Harlan, and the elephant cage is right by the entrance.
I wonder, thought Ditto, if Dustin Pedroia ever played rightfield?
Ditto’s birthday is tomorrow, thought Bonny, I hope the Dustin Pedroia jersey isn’t too small.
The team is really focused today, thought Alex, the championship is as good as won.
Wow, thought Blurtso, today’s game decides the championship. I’ve never been a champion. I set a record in the ski jump, but was disqualified for being a donkey. That was a relief, because the paparazzi went away. There aren’t any paparazzi here. Or any fans. I guess they’re all at home, listening on the radio. I wonder who’s doing the broadcast? I’ll bet it’s Jerry Remy. I wonder if Jerry Remy played stickball? He grew up in Somerset, so he probably played baseball, on real grass. That would be distracting, playing on grass. As distracting as playing in a pumpkin pie factory. You don’t see many sporting events in pie factories, for just that reason. I wonder if the winners get a trophy? I’d love to have a trophy, tall and shiny, with an action figure on top. Maybe a donkey taking a Ruthian sing, or a donkey making an over-the-shoulder catch, or a donkey gunning down a runner from third. A trophy would look great in the barn, with a little straw around the base. I wonder if being a champion would go to my head? I wonder if I’d begin to stay out late, and go to nightclubs, and get in trouble with the law? The paparazzi would revel in my fall, encouraging the cracks in my character. And I have many cracks. I’m not a role model. I have too many vices… pumpkin pie, hot cocoa, whipped cream. I wouldn’t want anyone to imitate me. I would be a terrible champion. But I sure would like a trophy, tall and shiny, in the middle of the barn.