Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Game On

Oh, Doctor. Our first game -- shown at left, quite literally sitting on 22s -- is still almost six weeks away, but this season has already had its share of drama, at least on my end. As much drama as The Game's 12-minute remix of "One Blood?" I don't know, honestly. I can't listen to that remix all the way through to its conclusion, and the message board action underneath that link kind of makes me feel sad. But yes, some drama.

Even beyond the part where I thought we weren't going to have a league anymore. People are getting married, getting important-seeming jobs that require them to be out of town on weekends, moving out of the 'hood, losing interest in injuring themselves running out grounders...and as The Game says, "it's okay." I'm still keeping it real in the just-this-side-of-food-stamps tax bracket with my freelancy antics, but I understand why people want to grow up, do things, etc. But after finally deciding that there was a critical mass of people who wanted to play softball, things got rolling.

It was during this period that things got complicated. It was raining, I wasn't sure the league was going forward, and so I passed on going to a meeting at the Park Ranger Haus in Prospect Park for potential permit-holders. I called Lynda Hernandez, the Boss Lady of This Prospect Park Shit, and told her I wasn't sure we'd have a league this year. I called her back a couple of weeks later to tell her that we were going to, and asked that they call me back and let me know what I could do to move things forward. I was, of course, not called back, naturally -- as it turned out, that first phone call was obviously a memorable experience for Ms. Hernandez. Finally I went in and filled out an application, gave it to some nice lady, and left. And that, too, somehow turned out to be a mistake.

I heard nothing for a long time. I called and left a voicemail on Lynda Hernandez's phone again -- Lynda Hernandez, if you were curious, is a generously apportioned lass who was wearing sweatpants and a large polo shirt whilst screaming at some guy over the phone when I was filling out my application -- and was called back, in what seems like an unrelated incident, by a park volunteer named Eric Johnson. He said that someone in the office -- hint: sweats, rage, does not return phone calls -- believed that I was not interested in holding a permit this year, but that he'd TAKEN THE LIBERTY OF DRAWING ONE UP ANYWAY. I told him I'd filled out an application back in April. He mentioned that it had been, ah, misplaced. But the important part is that this unpaid dude totally saved our bacon. He even suggested that we dump our final date of the season to save money (it'd save $16 of Buttermilk's money, so I thought we should keep it), because no one's usually around on Labor Day anyway.

Anyway, I thanked him so many times that I think he became uncomfortable, before finally allowing, "well, we try our hardest to get people onto the fields." He certainly did. Eric Johnson, you are a true hero of Buttermilk Softball. If I ever find out what you look like (I assume it's not this person), I'm going to commission a plaque of you for the Buttermilk Softball Monument Garden in centerfield, alongside D. Original Buttermilk Squad and Zombie Jeff Tweedy and Francisco Dinosaurio.