Better Butter for Bitter Batter!

(a silly story about inherent dangers of buttering yourself up)

Scruffy was a talented boy, whose main goal was to further an organic gardening business of his father. But his hoe-wielding skills, acquired through hours of toil, made his hand-eye coordination so precise that soon after high school he was drafted to play the second base for a minor league baseball team.

The balls that were pitched to him were dispatched in fine fettle and laden with the unquenchable desire to explore distant lands, particularly those lying directly behind the stadium. Some of his homers seemed debarred from the pleasures of free falling altogether and were widely surmised to have taken residence in Earth's orbit. But we all have an Achillesí heel and his was undoubtedly sliding. He'd always come to a grinding halt a few inches short.

One day Scruffy came up with a solution. He greased his uniform with plenty of inexpensive butter to ease friction. He hit the ball well, ran past first base and on towards the second. Ignorant of the position of the ball, he increased his speed and dove for it. But the cheap butter was way too slick and he kept sliding and sliding and sliding. It was the wall that stopped his slithery motion. He realized he had gone too far. His head hurt. He felt dizzy as if he was instantaneously transported into the center of a spinning diamond and hit on the head with a bag of frozen foam. Scruffy left the ballpark never to play baseball again.

The rest of his story is rather disconcerting. Aware of shortcomings of inferior dairy products, he rekindled his passion for organic gardening and planted a church organ amidst rows of carrots and turnips. Having endured an eclectic medley of composers, the enlightened vegetables were parleyed into the kitchen of his own restaurant, where they were processed to adorn menu items sophisticated enough to have their own grammatical structure. After six months of relatively smooth operation, the enterprise went suddenly bankrupt, when he tried to showcase its cleanliness by displaying a haggard carcass of a mouse that purportedly starved to death in its squeaky clean kitchen. Well, one organic taco short of a combination plate.

Unshaken, he turned to more theoretical aspects of life and after a year of intense research submitted a paper to the Journal of Rodent Disinfestation, in which he compellingly argued that instead of building smarter mousetraps, the humankind should pour their precious intellectual resources into breeding stupider mice. Sadly, this revolutionary concept of his fell on deaf ears and, sadlier still, so did many others: using giant aerosol hairspray as a leaf blower, transporting energy from one place to another in the form of monkeys, stuffing beer bags that you could dunk in hot water, exporting arm-pit wigs to Inner Mongolia etc.

Only the idea of applying Idaho Muffin Mix to oneís skull in order to induce hair growth caught an attention of the director of the San Diego Zoo, who offered him a position of the Hair Restoration Engineer in the pavilion of bald eagles. It could have hardly been a worse decision. Within one year the eagles grew much balder, some developed a second chin and many went on a hunger strike. Trying to make the best of the situation, the ZOO Board decided to transfer Scruffy to the hairy tarantulas department as the Chief Depilatory Officer. Unfortunately, utilizing a sand paper for the delicate operation proved to be the last straw that broke the camel's back. After a brief period of unemployment, Scruffy finished his known career at home, selling used Health Insurance policies on eBay.

It is unscrupulously believed that at this point the last remnants of sanity evacuated his mind. Few months later, he was caught at the gate of Andrews Air Force Base with a collapsible chair and two bags of stolen cats. During the course of an initial investigation, he was silently hunkering on the stationís floor and did not care to display any signs of mental coherency. This was the last base he didn't quite reach.

© 2004† Jan Rehacek

The Book of Cardinals 2004

Part II.

Inning: 3

This text started as a simple pun and then it kind of kept growing and growing to the point of "Yikes!". Sorry about that.

Prologue

Part I. Namesakes
1. Cardinal Stritch University
2. Cardinal, Virginia
3. Cardinal Systems
4. Vatican Cardinals
5. Tantoo Cardinal
6. Arizona Cardinals
7. Cardinal Numbers
8. Cardinal Bar
9. Cardinal Fish

Part II. 7th Inning Stretch of Imagination
1. What's In A Name?
2. Nine Amendments For Extreme Motorists
3. Better Butter For Bitter Batter
4. Infield Fly Rule For Dummies
5. How To Wash Red Socks Properly
6. My Kingdom For A Pitcher!
7. East St Louis Vacations Inc
8. Are You A Cardinals Fan?
9. Banbury Cross

Part III. Three Dreams
1. Dodgers: The Robbery
2. Dodgers: The Handshake
3. Dodgers: The Shower
4. Astros: The Flight
5. Astros: The Homer
6. Astros: The Ritual
7. Red Sox: The Comedy
8. Red Sox: The Drama
9. Red Sox: The Heartbreak

Epilogue