Whatís in a name?(a variation upon an old theme)
Excerpts from an imaginary dictionary of baseball terms:
affton - an embarrassing field error resulting from dizzying psychological pressure, an obstreperous ball refusing to move in the direction of a fielder's glove or an attention guzzling blonde combing her hair down in the front row.
ascalon - a lofty detachment which Cardsí fans bestow upon any creature associated with the Chicago Cubs; similar to the air with which Japanese princesses regard their retired deputy shoelace attendants
ballwin - the act of winning a ball that flew into the stands; mostly effected by diving for it with the insouciance of an inebriated crocodile and often followed by fending off other ballwin hopefuls; among many fans, a ballwin is considered a major life achievement
bel-nor - an undying allegiance to a baseball team which can only be acquired through years of suffering, through painful recovery from close losses and through hours of practicing roller skating on a beach
charlack - a popular central Missourian religion, whose doctrine involves belief in a supreme being responsible for rain and an annual renewal of the Baseball Weekly; the supreme being itself, the chief of the Baseball Gods
creve coeur - the faintly tragic feeling that the World Series is slipping away; usually punches in in the fifth inning of the last game, when the chances of turning the score around are going on Jenny Craig fast
des peres - a period of acute mourning; somber days immediately following a loss in the World Series
dupo - a wild swing at the oncoming pitch which misses and results in a strike
fenton - a pungent spell of exuberance engulfing the mind after a long-awaited homerun, unexpected news of promotion or a well-aimed shot of whiskey;
florissant - a memory of a special play, one which each baseball fan keeps indelibly etched onto her permanent retina memory; it is to be colorfully narrated every Thanksgiving dinner till all the grandchildren know it by heart
hine - a truculent stare with which a pitcher tries to intimidate the man at bat; often requited for a bout of mental jousting
kin loch - a seriously botched first inning which casts a psychological umbrage on the rest of the game
ladue - a firm hope that the 9th inning will usher in an era in which the laws of physics will be conveniently suspended so as to reverse the direction in which the unflattering score is pig-headedly growing
sappington - a dewy look with which female fans grace Scott Rolenís prowess
wilkie - a pitch that aims deliberately at the area just outside of the plate, quite popular among pitchers on 0:2 count; a "wilkie" is often followed by a "dupo"
© 2005† Jan Rehacek
The Book of Cardinals 2004
This text is a variation on "The Meaning of Liff",
a book by Douglas Adams in which geographical names
are paired up with concepts we don't have words for.
If you haven't read the book, I strongly recommend it.
Part I. Namesakes
Part II. 7th Inning Stretch of Imagination
Part III. Three Dreams