Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Hey! That's No Fair, Giving a Guy a Shot Down There

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?
A nation turns its lonely eyes to you.
Woo woo woo.
What's that you say, Mrs. Robinson?
Joltin' Joe has left and gone away.
Hey hey hey.
Hey hey hey.
--Simon and Garfunkel, "Mrs. Robinson"

The Graduate has always been one of my favorite films. The first time I saw it, as a high school senior-aged kiddo, I guess I was just entering that age period where the world was before me and I had no idea what to do with it, or in it. Much like Ben Braddock. Beside the personal connection I seemed to have with the main character of the film, I especially liked the tone that Mike Nichols gives to the film. It has a sort of semi-experimental, psycho-emotional cadence that feels (even now, many years later) a bit painful to watch, in some scenes, but fits the film perfectly.

But that's not what I came here to talk to you about.

Yesterday, one of my Blog-mates listed a set of new rules (the origins of which I am still uncertain). They were hilarious. One that struck me was a new rule about grown men who collect baseball cards, the gist of which is that it equals creepy. The tag line was (a paraphrase), "a ten year old collects souveneirs of his heros, a thirty year old collects pictures of men."

Then, today, in another in a growing list of examples of coincidence (I think not), has a column on baseball cards. Several sports writers wax semi-poetic on a particular card they have stored in their memory banks (or even stored in a plastic sheet in a notebook in a safe deposit box in a local bank). Some of them were sweetly nostalgic rememberances of an old card for a player who had been traded from the hometown heroes the season before, the destiny of the card itself lost to the fading memories of forty-five year old brain cells. But, a few others involved discussions of cards that dudes had procured in their twenties or later. One involved a pair of post-boyhood-hero-collecting age dudes laying out cards on the floor of their apartment while watching a ball game between their rival squads. The emotional kicker of the story made one particular card a reminder of a friend who died tragically, which makes criticism of the story a tad on the harsh side, but come on...if anybody sees me a)buying a pack of baseball cards at my age, or (even worse) b) laying them out in position on the floor of my house in front of the TV--well, whatever method of dispatch you choose would be just alright with me.

It's like the forty year old going over the seat backs and pushing a twelve year old and his mother out of the way to catch a foul ball at a ball game. I've seen it happen, and it is wrong. I have offten said, fully keeping in mind that I am an A-level sports fan, for sure, that sports makes grown men act like children, it makes people stupid. But what can be done? Does anything need to be done? Is it wrong that a thirty-five year old husband and father of two spends hours combing the Internet and Card Shows looking for Topps No. 120, so he can complete his 1990 set of Rookie Cards. No. And, as long as the twelve year old gets up off the cement, brushes the peanut shells out of his hair and continues watching the game while Magoo rejoices with his official Major League baseball, sloshing beer all over the people in his row and looking for someone to high-five, I guess eveything is okay. But the next time a foul ball comes the kid's way, I'll bet Mom gives the old guy sitting behind them a shot to the 'nads. You go, Moms!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting theme involving mature women and less mature men woven throughout your entry. As is the more obvious theme of awkward adolesence - or adolescent behavior, as it were. Many layers to your blogs, Reda. I love reading them!

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