Astros: the Flight

The trickiest part of the ancient art of flying is the art of landing. Take porcelain plates: ever since the early days of Chang dynasty, their flying skills have been impeccable. But when it comes to landing their success rate hasn't even reached that of an average ungulate, despite the fact that they spent whole millenia practicing. Most baseball players have but a few years to master the skill.

Several times during the NLCS series Jimmy Edmonds showed off his undisputable flair for flying, convincing the whole world that he is indeed a Cardinal in more than one sense. To cash in on his legendary skills, Edmonds has recently applied with the Front Office for a Frequent Flyer account. The moment he accrues 100 yards of diving catches, he will win a free trip anywhere within the contiguous outfield.

Houston fans, however, were much less impressed with his bravura. Houston mayor, Bill White, even went so far as to declare the whole metropolitan area a no-flight zone for all cardinals, feathered or not. Any birds even vaguely resembling cardinals will be readily intercepted, escorted to the nearest air-force base and prompted to make a forced landing. After that they will be interrogated about the purpose of their incursion and should they not be able to present a plausible reason for their infraction, their feathers will be ruffled.

Catching flak, Cardinalsí Director of Media Relations, Brian Bartow, retorted that such lowly gesture violates the venerable principles of Equal Flying Opportunity. Houston area should not only be accessible to all birds alike, but also to less traditional flying objects, such as saucers, pigs, carpets, Dutchmen and the complete ensemble of Monty Pythonís Flying Circus.

Meanwhile, in a completely unrelated part of autumn sky, a flock of jackhammers was passing by. Flying in a perfect V-formation, they were headed for Caribbean beaches. Soon after they arrived, they were seen sipping their dry asphalt porridge and flipping through glossy road maintenance magazines. A school of contact lenses, taking the daily bath in a ladle of eye drops high above their heads, would watch them inquisitively. Every now and then, they'd be giving them the eye, swaying wildly from side to side like penniless trapeze artists.

But jackhammers are better suited for digging the Panama Canal than for digging the flirtatious pieces of corrective eyewear. They barely noticed the efforts and kept daydreaming of drilling the landing runway at JFK. After a while the lenses got tired of swinging and decided to hop down onto the floor and catch a ride off into the sunset. Sure enough, sooner than you could say "popsickle" they were picked up by an approaching vacuum cleaner. The jackhammers turned their heads. The vacuum's tube rattled perplexedly. For this one moment, it must have felt, like a humble purveyor of a conveyor belt. Destination: Juggler's Ferry.

© 2004  Jan Rehacek



The Book of Cardinals 2004

Part III.

Inning: 4

Jimmy Edmonds landing successfully on the swarming Cardinals (Game 6).

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki


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