The Cynics Workshop

Where I can try to influence the world, one word at a time.

Month: September, 2014

Breaking News: There are idiots on Long Island

As many of you loyal and faithful readers know, I live on Long Island (and hate it). Part of living on Long Island means that during the summer and fall, you are required to go to the same festivals year after year, so you can run into the same people over and over again, so that you can comment on how much they’ve changed (i.e. how fat they’ve gotten since you saw them last year). So this past weekend we were at the Old Bethpage Village Restoration (O.B.V.R)which is actually a pretty cool place. Much as the name implies, it is basically a sprawling campus with replica homes how they used to be, fellas playing baseball like it was 1864, and women walking around looking like Laura Ingalls.

This post is not actually about my loathing of Long Island, but rather about a conversation that I overheard, then participated in while at the O.B.V.R. While we were watching the Rough Riders demonstration, I overheard a family discussing politics, that is trying to figure out who was President. No, it’s not that bad…they did know who the President was today, but when it came to figuring out who was President before him they ran into a bit of trouble. Here is their conversation (I starting listening after the conversation began):

Mom: Well then who was President before Clinton?
Dad: Wasn’t it Bush?
Mom: No, he was just President.
Dad: Oh
Son: Was it Jimmy Carter.
Mom: Who?
Son: Jimmy Carter.
Mom: No, he was in the 60’s.
Dad: Where’s my beer?
Mom: I was alive in the 90’s so I remember Clinton.
Son: Right, well who was President before him?
Mom: I think it was Ford.
Son: Henry?
Mom: No, Gerald.

After hearing the ‘Henry’ comment, and trying as hard as I could to contain my laughter, I decided to step in.

Me: No, Ford was in the mid-1970’s
Mom: Well who was President before Clinton?
Me: Bush, H.W.
Mom: No, he was just in office.
Son: Yeah.
Me: No, that was W. There were two Bush’s. W was just in office, H.W. was before Clinton.
Mom: Really? Well who was before him?
Me: Reagan, Bush was his VP
Mom: Oh. (With a look of amazement)

What sent me over the top was actually the Son’s comment thinking that Henry Ford was actually a President. Henry has done a lot for us, but not that much. So the take-away for today is this…be thankful that you don’t live on Long Island, but more than that be thankful that you have (or had) access to get an education. The irony in all this is that one day that kid will lose his job and much like I bailed him out on that conversation, my tax dollars will help fund his lengthy unemployment.

America…Hell Yeah!

The Captain

I have to admit I’ve never really been a huge Derek Jeter fan. I thought he was nothing more than just a good shortstop who was on the right team at the right time. A system guy…kind of like Tom Brady. I felt that he was a bit over-rated, a man who because of his looks and personality was often treated a little better by the fans and media than he should.

Last night (25.September.2014) I was one of the many who were fortunate enough to be inside Yankee Stadium to see him play his last home game ever…and because of that experience I will say that I have a little more respect for him now. The Stadium was absolutely electric, it had the feel of a World Series game 7. His teammates let him take the field first to a raucous standing ovation from the crowd, along with the first of perhaps 25 times we would chant his name over and over. That carried into his first plate appearance in the bottom of the first. With one man on base Jeter hit a rocket into left field that just barely missed leaving the park. After a passed ball would move him over to third base, the next man up hit a single and just like that, Jeter was 1 for 1, with a double, an RBI, and a run scored. Not bad for any night…much less your last night.

The rest of his night would be rather lackluster, resembling any other night any other player could have had. Fast forward to the top of the ninth, with the Yankees up 5-2. Jeter had his last at bat of the game in the bottom of the 7th, a meaningless ground out to put him at 1 for 4 for the night. With the home team up comfortably, the closer comes in to do his job…only he doesn’t. Two home runs from the Orioles means not only are we tied, but that Jeter gets to come up 1 more time. After a single to open the inning, the lead off man comes up and I can hear someone in the crowd behind me yell, “sacrifice him over so Jeter can knock him in.” Next thing I know a bunt is laid down and the runner moves over to second base. Up comes Jeter. The crowd has now been on its feet for a good 15 minutes straight now and this is only just the beginning. People are going absolutely crazy with the thought of what might happen next, (dramatic pause) and then it actually happens. Jeter takes the first pitch he sees and drives it between the first and second baseman into right field, the right fielder comes up throwing to try to nail the man sliding into home, but he’s safe! 6-5 Yanks, Jeter hits a walk off single to win the game in the bottom of the ninth…his last ever home game. Are you kidding me?!?! You could not have scripted it any better than that.

I still maintain he was never better than an above average shortstop, but I will also say that I am beyond jealous of him. Not only has he gotten paid millions to play a kids game, he was blessed to be on a great team and the perfect time. He’s won, he’s enjoyed success, fame, and he’s managed to stay humble and well liked…who wouldn’t be jealous of that. I’ll state the obvious fact that yes, that jealousy has been part of my view of him for years now…big deal. He had a fairy tale ending, find me any kid in middle America who hasn’t dreamed that he was the one with that ending, or that he was the one hitting the shot as time expired. Find me that kid and I’ll show you Derek Jeter.

He will no doubt get a front office job with the Yankees now, they’d be fools to let him go somewhere else. He’ll more than likely be a part of this franchise for the rest of his life, I mean, can you imagine him anywhere else?

I Get Righteous

“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.”

Ezekiel 25:17

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