Many students at the University of Minnesota are resigned to take a course called Introduction to Anthropology. This 500-plus person lecture course kills two curricular birds with one stone, as it satisfies a science credit (thanks to a laboratory component) and a "cultural understanding" requirement.
The latter is justified because students must read a pornographic prehistoric potboiler called Clan of the Cave Bear.
In this Jean M. Auel novel, a prehistoric tribe of Neanderthals discover a young blonde Cro-Magnon girl named Ayla. Though they stubbornly cling to tradition and cultural suspicion, the Neandertals raise Ayla as one of their own.
It soon becomes obvious that the men of the tribe like Ayla for more than her Nordic good looks. In fact, she represents the future of their corrupted, inbred gene pool.
Of course, sometimes this Darwinian take on genetics works in reverse when ten Buttermilkers show up for softball and will play with someone, anyone, to get a game going.
The Bodegas Unidas de Brooklyn defeated the Blue Jeans on Fire 9-7 in six innings of play on Sunday. Thanks to the participation of several players from the Field Four game, a work stoppage was averted and a real game of softball was played.
The game was close for the first three innings, but the the Bodegas blew the contest wide open with a seven-run fourth inning. In the bottom of the sixth, the Jeans pulled within two runs, but their rally could not catch fire.
Much of the scorekeeping, sketchy as it is in the first place, went out the window for this game. Few records of this Sunday's outstanding achievement exist, partly because it was just one more thing to do in the 90-plus degree heat. Jeff homered and so did someone else.
This reporter would like to acknowledge that he has talked a lot of shit about these players in general, including in the pages of this blog ("Place Your Bets," 8/17/05). But Jack, Ingrid, Sean and about three others that played for the Bodegas were pretty cool and also had about 37 sleek softball bats among the six of them. Many of the Buttermilk regulars were like kids in a candy store.
Ingrid also let Jeff use her first aid kit when he skinned a knee. (Note to self: We need a first aid kit.)
Jack did take issue with Joel's decision to put him last in the order.
"I haven't batted last in the order in, what, 20 years," Jack complained, obviously insulted that Joel had not bothered to read the Field Four prospectus. "You can't bat me last."
"It's a pretty casual game," Joel responded. "And you got to the bench last. By the way, we pitch underhand slow-arc."
Respect to another newbie: Patrick, a friend of Dan and Dave who plays in a Saturday bar league in Williamsburg.