pike speak

When I was in the service, I used my first stateside leave to take a train to see the Bayside City Tigers, a baseball team whose games I had grown up listening to on the radio. They had just taken the first two of a late-September three-game set with the Pickleburg Golden Wings, which earned some of the team’s stars of the time a night off. That meant I had traveled all that way and not even gotten the chance to see the players that would lead them to yet another pennant that year: Silas McGillicuddy, Rock Teeth Lambert, Ace Friedrich, Skunk Baxter and DJ Quik Moskevitz. But those players, great as they were, were not who I had come to see. That distinction went to the great Snakefinger Amos, a left-handed slugger that had been my childhood idol before drinking his way out of the game for a few years. He had really hit the skids for a while there, but the old ball club signed him at midseason, a cynical ploy to sell tickets that was advertised in the local papers as a shot at redemption for the hometown hero.

Ol’ Snakefinger got into the game when the starting rightfielder, Cletus Baker, had to leave the game after being hit by a bourbon bottle thrown from the stands. Sadly, it was not Snakefinger’s finest hour. The game was stopped for five minutes in the seventh for his pants to be repaired after he split them while striking out, and while standing in right field he missed a pop fly hit his way because when the ball was it, he had been looking wistfully at the bottle, which had still not been disposed of and was rolling around on the crushed brick by the dugout with about two sips left in it. After the game, I used my uniform to gain access to the stadium’s restricted areas, where I had hoped to get Snakefinger’s signature on a baseball, then possibly sell him some leftover pain medication I had been prescribed at the infirmary during my convalescence from injuries sustained during a misunderstanding at a poker game.

It was outside the locker room after all but one of the players had long since showered and left that I first met your grandmother. Resplendent in a lovely cotton dress, she held a bouquet of flowers in front of her in an attempt to obscure the fact that she was with child. While talking with her, I learned that Snakefinger had promised to marry her at the conclusion of the season, but my offer of congratulations was interrupted by a crash of glass on the other side of the door. I rushed in to see what had caused the commotion, and walked in on Snakefinger trying to sneak out the bathroom window. He assumed a fighting stance upon seeing me, pulling a knife from his shoe. A struggle ensued, which ended in tragedy when I turned the knife on him, opening a gash in his belly from which poured forth a mighty stream of Mexican penny candy, each piece not only undigested, but still in its wrapper from his years in exile, with such horrible force that I feared it might never end. But it did, as the brawny lefty breathed his last. I agreed to marry your grandmother and raise her child- your father- in exchange for her silence as to my role in Snakefinger’s demise.

So, long story short, kids, not only am I not your biological grandfather, but I actually killed him. Additionally, seeing as how we are not bound by blood, I have elected to exhaust my fortune on myself before you have a chance to get your grubby mitts all over it. Now if you’ll kindly excuse me, I’ve got some catching up to do. You know, this infomercial for a series of workout videos isn’t gonna masturbate to itself.


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July 2011
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