Thursday, September 06, 2012

The Least You Should Know (9/6)

Fiat is releasing a new line of cars that has a built-in espresso machine. It’s so the driver will have a nice drink to offer the mechanic.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

The Least You Should Know (9/5)

The U.S. is in its worst drought in 50 years. It’s been so dry the Justice Department is being accused of illegally giving water guns to Mexican drug cartels.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

The Reprieve of Bob Horner

I’ve been away from the blog for a month. Not a lot of funny rolling off my fingertips since Dad died August 1st. That’s okay, other than the fact that people pay me to write funny things. So, September is here, and ready or not I’m back staring at the blank screen. While I should be constructing sentences about Clint Eastwood’s empty chair hiding back stage when Chris Christie was speaking at the RNC, a story came to mind that captures the humor, patience, and compassion of my father.

As a kid I loved to take my baseball mitt and bounce a tennis ball off our carport wall. Baseball fans in Moab, Utah, in the 80s had only one option when it came to watching the pros on TV – the Atlanta Braves on TBS (although the rich kids also got WGN and the Cubs). The Braves had a third baseman named Bob Horner that I would mimic. I would throw the ball off the wall at an angle, so I had to make a diving stop on the grass, spring to my feet, and throw the ball back to the wall as if I were throwing across the diamond to first (caught of course, by Braves first baseman Chris Chambliss). That was the routine for a few years, sometimes for hours after school.

One day when I was 10 years old Bob and I went to the carport to make our dazzling plays for the day. After one dive, I jumped to my feet and the ball slipped just as I threw. Instead of a belt-high toss to Chambliss, the errant throw hit the umpire, which in this case was being played by a storm door. Glass. Everywhere.

I called dad at his office in the middle school where he was principal, and our conversation started in a manner familiar to us both. “Dad, if I tell you something will you promise not to get mad?” The reply was always the same. “Yes, I promise.”

He knew nothing about the game I played after school. So I had to set up the scenario, and retold the story of the dive and the throw that broke the glass out of the door. He didn’t immediately comment. I heard him take a deep breath as if to speak, but then he paused for another 15 minutes. Or maybe it was about 10 seconds. Regardless, a response finally came.


“Well what?” I asked.

“Well did you get him out?”