Monday, August 3, 2009

Talking to Inanimate Objects...

Oh, why hello, Pair O' Wristbands. How are we doing today? You guys might feel like you always fly under the radar, but not with me. You allow me to stand out in the Sunday morning softball league where otherwise I would just be one of 100. You provide my wrist area with a sense of security, but do much more for my overall well being. When I gently slip on your stretchy cotton to my forearm area, I get that same feeling everyone gets when they get their blood pressure taken and that device keeps blowing up larger and larger, making you feel like The Incredible Hulk. You bring that feeling back to me, Wristbands. I know my pipes don't resemble those of Albert Pujols or Magnus ver Magnusson, but by wearin' you fellas, it makes me feel like I aint that far off, either. I know some of the haters out there try giving you a bad wrap.

"They hinder my throwing motion." "Why would I accessorize my wrists during a baseball game?" "It's just a much bigger watch that can't tell me the time."

These are all things you hear on a daily basis out there on the street, but none of 'em hold any water. Look at Dusty Baker, the epitome of fashion among major league managers. He's been rockin' the sweatband look his whole career, and after close to two decades of managing, it's probably still his most redeeming quality. I know it's not glamorous work you guys do, adorning sweaty wrists during ferocious physical activity. But that's what makes you who you are. You just show up, do your job, and get tossed back in the equipment bag. No complaining, no crying, just consistent performance from two of the most reliable guys I know. Enjoy the break you will have over the next couple days. Sunday morning brings the playoffs, and that means you boys take center stage...right where you belong.

Well, what do we have here? It looks like our good friend Drug Store Bouncy Ball. So nice to see you again. I'm amazed you guys are still around after all you've been through. We all remember those trips to the drug store as kids. Mom and Dad would be strolling the aisles looking for various important household items while we were left to search out our own means of entertainment. The shampoo/toothpaste/razor aisle wasn't exactly a barrel of laughs. The cosmetics area was scary and unknown. The candy aisle was fun for a minute, but it wasn't like you could eat the stuff while you waited. But then, out of the bright white light, came our savior...Drug Store Bouncy Ball. Generally, you guys came in dozens of dizzying colors and were stuffed elbow-to-elbow in giant cages with a big opening at the top. We would reach our hands in and wrestle you out of the crate, at which point all hell would break loose. The options were endless. One-on-one...first guy to three buckets. Volleyball...first one to knock over a shelf of cereal boxes. Baseball...use your arms as a bat, swing for the fences, and prepare to be scolded by the nearest Arbor employee. While many of the historic athletic achievements in our country's rich history have been achieved on courts, fields, and diamonds, just as many have occurred at your local drug store. A tie-dye colored bouncy ball and a dream was all it took.

My greatest hope is that you guys don't harbor any resentment for the events that always followed our raucous aisle-way games. Our parents would inevitably arrive on the scene, inform us it was time to leave, and that "No, we were not buying the ball." There would be a few brief moments of protest, but we knew this was the way it had to be. You were tossed back in to your cage, quickly ending your perpetual dream of one day seeing the outside world and finding permanent shelter in the toy room of a caring boy. I know you guys aren't all about glitz and fame, but a little recognition never hurt anybody, and that's why I'm here. To tell you, "Thanks." For every bounce and every dribble. For every gloomy stop at the drug store that was brightened by your incomparable work ethic and never-ending smile. Sleep well, Drug Store Bouncy Ball. You might be circular in shape, but you're a star in my heart...I love you.

Where have you gone, Corn on the Cob Holders? You were a dear friend early in my life, and now you seem to have vanished. When a tiny lad just three years of age is presented with a monstrous ear of corn, you gentlemen come to the rescue. You plant yourselves neatly on each end of the corn, and allow infants and the like to grab tightly and hold on for dear life. You turned a potentially disastrous dining situation into a pleasant and non-threatening one. Heck, you even went the extra mile and made yourself into cute, little, imitation corns to complete the charming effect. But why the extended hiatus? Am I to believe that your services are only available to the '5 and Under' crowd? If so, color me disappointed...and let down. Since your unexplained absence, I've been forced to consume my cobs of corn like a pre-historic savage. Whereas before I could look to you fellas for guidance and protection, I now go into battle empty-handed and nervous for what's ahead. Corn on the Cob has never been a food with a real place to set up shop and go to work. There are itsy-bitsy ends that you might be able to get a decent grip on while eating, but it's only a matter of time before you lose control, sending the corn into a tragic, butter-and-salt filled free fall towards your once spotless lap. You might opt to clutch the corn right on its actual body, but that never really feels right, either. You can't help but wonder if what you're doing is "appropriate," and there is also the distinct possibility that you might nibble off one of your fingers during the suddenly violent proceedings.

There are certain foods that require a location for you to place your hands before eating can commence. Pizza...the crust is there to show you the way. Hot dogs and hamburgers...the bun is your lifelong spotter. Corn dogs and Dove bars...the stick is your lifeline. Corn on the Cob Holders used to provide us this same assurance. In a world of chaotic family barbecues and stressful outdoor picnics, you little guys were always there to bring a sense of normalcy and comfort in a time we needed it most. But you managed to slip out the backdoor of my life as quickly as you entered it. I'm not gonna mince words...the last 15-20 years have not been easy. Without you, I have felt alone...desperate...and abandoned by someone who I thought was a true friend. If you can hear me, precious Corn Holders, just know that I'm still here. Waiting for that unmistakable knock on the front door, telling me you are back, and here to stay. My corn needs protection, and for that matter, so do I. Let's hit the reset button on life, Corn Holders, and start over...together.

The High Socks Legend can be reached at

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