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Soup of This Day #334: I Wouldn’t Talk Down To You

September 15, 2013

Balloon race
The early stages of a balloon race. It’s ok to take a moment and watch your helium-filled craft after launch – Photo: Helen Warren, 2006. Helen Warren is not affiliated with Longworth72. Image cropped by Longworth72.

Here at I’ve traditionally held to the view that pimping is not ok. It’s an unwritten kind of thing to be sure but if you know me, either in person or through this blog, you’ll hopefully see that as fairly intuitive – Pimping is just not for me.

For sure there are arguments for the practice – Prostitution seems like a risky kind of gig and pimps (and madams) can offer some measure of security and comfort for their employees. On the flipside, they can also use abuse and coercion to entice women, girls and boys into a destructive game. Sadly, the latter seems to be all too common and so I’d sort of naturally formed a policy that says that I’m not on board with pimping.

And then I discovered that there was another definition for pimping – 1 that, according to Wikipedia, was made popular by the MTV show, Pimp My Ride. This series was a hit with the kids and featured people bringing in their car wrecks so that they could be pimped. Which means that they were fixed up and customised – Tricked out to be phat, wicked, cool or all of the above.

That’s da shiznit.

1 episode they actually put an electric fireplace into a car. Because man needs to behold the awesome power of electricity sizzling in his trunk.

That’s some serious shiznit right there. And it’s the kind of shiznit that has made its way into sport, particularly baseball.

For as man must admire the swinging of charge that is alternating current and the heat that it generates, so too must man look with pride upon the swinging of a bat that is slugging and the home run that it generates.

Yep, when you pause to admire that long blast out of the park you just made, well, that’s a-pimpin’. If you happen to flip your bat after watching the ball sail off into the distance, that’s a-pimpin’. And if you happen to jog slowly around the bases with a smile on your face? Oh, you better believe that’s a-pimpin’.

This offends some people. Man, does it offend some people.

It’s unnecessary showboating they argue, and by doing that you’re being disrespectful to the pitcher. Which is confusing because I’d have thought that taking a 1 and 0 pitch and sending it high and long to left-field for your 1st home run in the Majors was being just a bit disrespectful to the pitcher.

José Fernández of the Miami Marlins did that last Wednesday against the Atlanta Braves. José is a young guy, just 21, and he’s a pitcher himself – A seriously promising righty in an outfit that’s been short on highlights for 2013.

And José is a heck of a highlight – The Cuban ex-pat has gone 12 and 6 in his debut year, with an astonishing ERA of 2.19. No other Marlin starter has got more wins than losses in 2013 and no other Marlin starter has an ERA of below 3.50. This kid is hotter than an electric fireplace.

Not so much with the bat. With that in hand he’s returned just the 11 hits from 58 appearances at the plate. He had brought in 4 runs prior to that Braves game, but for the most part it’s been his work off the mound that has got folk excited.

Lots of folk got excited by José Fernández taking Mike Minor’s 84mph toss over the fence though and not all of that energy was positive. You see, José took a moment to watch that blast go. He didn’t smile, didn’t celebrate, didn’t seem to me to be looking smug – He just took a beat or 2 to watch the ball go and then set off around the bases. He didn’t sprint around, just maintained a reasonable pace – There were no visible signs of celebration – He kinda looked like he was watching the ground, and as he rounded 3rd he casually spat at that ground, not at anyone.

Apparently though that all adds up to pimping and so young José got some advice at home plate from Braves catcher, Brian McCann. This was not enough for Braves 3rd baseman, Chris Johnson. Chris saw the talk and suddenly decided to run in to add his opinion to the mix. He did it in a round-about-way, accelerating to a sprint, but curving his approach so that he ended up with the umpire between himself and Fernández. From that protected position he let off some steam, before being dragged away by team-mates who’d cleared the benches in support.

It was a pretty dramatic response that leaves me wondering what would happen if the Atlanta Braves saw an actual pimp spruiking for his prostitutes. That kind of thing would surely see them do something crazy.

Like attach a bunch of helium balloons to a rowboat so that they could float across the Atlantic.

Say hello to Jonathan Trappe. Jonathan is a balloon pilot and an IT manager. I don’t know if the later job is relevant to his ballooning because I’m an IT manager and I’ve never felt compelled to attach 370 colourful helium balloons to a tiny rowboat in order to cross any of the world’s oceans.

Jonathan has though. The 39 year old took off from Caribou in Maine on Thursday, just a day after José Fernández’ batting heroics, and aiming for Europe. Or Africa. 13 hours later though and he’d not got near either of those continents when he came down/ran aground, shortly after proclaiming:

‘Hmm, this doesn’t look like France.’

It did look like Newfoundland. Mostly because it was Newfoundland, the large Canadian island just off the North American coast and not anywhere near France. Posted Trappe after landing:

‘Landed safe, at an alternate location. Remote. I will put the exposure canopy up on the boat. Will stay here for the night.’

If I was ever going to describe something as pimping, other than actual pimping, then I’d have said that this was pimping in grand style – Jonathan Trappe pimped a rowboat up with pimping balloons and then pimped a landing in Newfoundland, which admittedly looks like the anti-pimping capital of the world based on the photos I’ve seen.

That’s a compliment Newfoundlanders – You just look like the kind of place where fireplaces are properly sited.

But I’m not going to describe any of Trappe’s colourful doings as pimping. I’m not going to label watching your 1st home run pimping either. Instead I’m going to give the same advice to the Joanthan Trappe as I am to the Atlanta Braves, because I believe it will be of great help to both in moving forward.

Lighten up dudes.

I Wouldn’t Talk Down To You

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