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Soup of This Day #81: Part 3, So If I Can Shoot Rabbits Then I Can Shoot Facists

October 5, 2011

The Askleipion on Kos, an ancient Greek healing temple. A forerunner to hospitals, patients slept overnight and reported their dreams to a physician in the morning. If only Jonathan Papelbon could have reported his dream of Dan Johnson before it was too late – Photo: Briantist, 2009. Briantist is not affiliated with Longworth72. Image cropped by Longworth72.

On Thursday morning just past, after 161 completed regular season games, the Boston Red Sox were 2 outs from an American League Division Series against the Texas Rangers. The 2 outs were across 2 separate games – In 1 the Red Sox were up 3-2 over the Orioles, bottom of the 9th, 2 out. In the other, The New York Yankees had blown a 7 run lead into the 8th but still headed the Rays 7-6 with 2 out, bottom of the 9th. Those 2 remaining outs get done and the Sox, at the expense of the Rays get to play October ball.

Only that didn’t happen.

The Sox lost as closer Jonathan Papelbon gave up 2 runs while the Rays won as .108 Dan Johnson smacked a 2 strike pitch over the wall to tie it and then Evan Longoria sent another 1 long to seal it. If you need more detail about the dramatic last moments then search around the web and without too much difficulty you’ll find a ton of postmortem analysis and angst. There will be blame aplenty, terse, tense accusations and more than a little schadenfreude. I can save you some reading time though:

The Red Sox lost against the Orioles and the Yankees against the Rays on that final day because of me, Longworth72.

There, I’ve copped for it. To explain how this makes sense I’d like to take you 18,627km away from the scene of the Red Sox demise, the Orioles’ Camden Yards home.

I’m writing this post, sitting in the Emergency Room (ER) waiting area of Princess Margaret Hospital for Children (More commonly known as PMH to Western Australians). PMH is in the Perth suburb of Subiaco, a scant few hundreds of metres down the road from where the Fremantle Dockers play their home games. We’re here because The Noah tripped while dismounting off an empty pallet at a hardware store and in the subsequent tumble caught his ear on a wooden bench. There was blood, the ear has split and there is a real possibility that the dude will need stitches.

Trips to the ER are a standard parental thing, although this is my 1st to PMH. It’s not The Noah’s – He dropped by in the leadup to Christmas 2009 when he had a severe bout of gastro. I missed out on the excursion on the basis that I had the same gastro bug and no one wanted me in a car with them. Which was fair enough.

I reckon this trip is a less stressful 1 than that effort – The Noah is by-and-large ok. As I write this he’s happily off in the corner with his Mum and some toys. He’ll come out of this ok, with maybe just a small scar and a fear of pallets. I hear that women love scars so his parents have no great reason to be worried.

Even if we were anxious there is no greater leveler than a hospital waiting room. You can look around and see people worse off than you. Just now I can see (and hear) 2 distressed babies – both seemingly with high temps. The parents look sick too but I guess in an age of bird and swine flus that’s mostly worry that I can see on furrowed faces.

One time I was in a hospital ER ward overnight. An internal organ had decided to pack it in on me and while it was a relatively unimportant 1 it did try to trash the joint for everyone else before the eviction. Inconveniently this showdown between my gall bladder and me occurred on a night I was scheduled to keep for my brother’s football team. Instead of playing a game guarding the net I spent the night dosed on morphine, lying in a bed, at 1st in a curtained area but then in a throughway/corridor.

I might have felt sorry for myself except that the guy next to me, well, his heart just stopped. An alarm sounded and a nurse moved in with impressive speed. By the time she had got there though the heart had kicked back into gear and the guy was drowsily asking what the fuss was about.

‘Your heart stopped dear’, explained the angelic nurse in a matter-of-fact tone.

This contrasted pretty starkly with my circumstances. Not only was my heart ok but we’d found out just 2 days before that we were expecting our 1st child, who some months later would become The Noah.

All in all I felt extremely lucky and as it turns out the lads went and lost 14-0. That last bit is insignificant I know but you make bargains in ERs and I’d trade countless 14-0 losses for health, mine, The Noah’s and his Mum’s.

Bargains are the theme of this post. People make them all the time. ‘If my child is ok then I will go be good every day’, might be 1 that is being floated around this very room right now. Bargains are also made when the stakes are not so high. ‘If the Red Sox get this final out then I’ll clean out the home office.’ It’s part desire and part superstition. We leave nothing to chance.

And this is why it’s my fault the Sox lost this Thursday past.

I didn’t bargain anything.

Oh, I wore my 1975 replica cap in to work and I kept an eye on the games as I piled through the paperwork. I sure hoped they’d win but somehow I knew I was betting on a horse that just wasn’t right.

Earlier in June, when the Sox were on it, I predicted a 92 win season, the same call I had made pre-season. The Globe, by contrast called it a 96 win season around the same time but I figured there was a fragility of spirit apparent at Fenway. A fragility that crystallised in a calamitous September of bad Boston baseball (and accidental alliteration apparently). So on Thursday morning, at around 10:00pm EDT in Baltimore, with the Sox up 3-2 and the Yankees up by 7 over the Rays I exchanged text messages with my brother, the Blue Jays man:

Brother of Longworth72: Looks like Yankees will do their bit at least.

Longworth72: Maybe. They’re using every pitching option they have so could still get tense.

See, I knew. I really did.

That doesn’t make me possessed of any great prescience – I reckon more than a few Sox fans had made note of the Yankees pitch-anyone-who-doesn’t-matter policy and saw a train wreck coming in super slow mo.

Maybe this is the point at which I should have bargained with the fates. I didn’t though – These Sox could have fixed this themselves weeks earlier. They couldn’t find a way to though and in a sense I’m glad it ended at that point. Bargains are compacts made at 2 ends. I’ve lived up to mine as a fan – The Red Sox didn’t live up to theirs. It might have been my fault they stuffed up on Thursday but it was their fault they got to where they were dependent on those 2 results out of many.

Epilogue: We were only at the ER for an hour or so, ushered through by the very efficient and really quite wonderful staff in quick time. The Noah did not require stitches, proving that I am surely not a doctor. Instead the brave little dude had the wound irrigated and bandaged. We were home 40 minutes later and perhaps helped by a dose of paracetamol and a cuddle with Mum The Noah drifted off to sleep.

I’ll end by noting that even though the trip to the ER was at night I still took a Red Sox cap, mostly for luck. They’re my team and for The Noah I leave nothing to chance.

So If I Can Shoot Rabbits Then I Can Shoot Fascists

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