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Delta Green Fiction #4: “Aaannd, I’m out.” AKA “The Cellar”
Aaannd, I’m out. I rarely get the chance to actually follow through with my desire to just fucking walk away from a pile of corpses and Weird Alien Shit. Let me tell you about one of the first times I got the chance to walk fucking away. I was having dinner with the Martell’s when my cell phone buzzed the pattern of buzzes and pauses that meant “Delta Green, Emergency”. I explained it was my cell phone and the special ring that I gave to my sister-in-law for whenever one of her retard sons, excuse me, developmentally disabled spawn, I mean children had run astray of the law again, and might need my help. Mrs. nodded her head and told me to answer it, family is important. Mr. just nodded. I’m now 100% sure they know I am lying. More to the point they accept the lies and seem to assume I am some sort of Law Enforcement Officer, and that’s fine for me. There is simply no way in hell I am telling them the truth. So I fled to the bathroom and answered the call. It was Ike. His team of DEA agents had hit apron something Bad. Specifically he was pretty sure it was Weird Alien Crap™. One agent down. He was calling me for back up because I had more experience with the Very Fucking Weird than most, and that if I got eaten there would be less paperwork than if another DEA agent got eaten. And I had grenades. I nearly dropped the phone. HE WANTED ME TO BRING A FEW GRENADES! Hi-Ex, Frag and W.P… Thank Patton! I was gonna get a chance to test out some of my home brew chemistry for real! It seemed in appropriate to start hootin’ and hollerin’ when it was already clear that at least 1 DEA agent was probably dead. There is a line, that’s more or less the line. Everything is fun and games until one of ours dies. He gave me an address a few towns over that I made not of so I could GPS it later. He told me to take my car, my Big Bag and my fake DEA ID and costume. (This means a blazer with DEA on the back, and a bullet resistant vest, level 3, with DEA on the front.) One of the other agents on scene was calling to local PD to cordon off the area, and maybe get an ambulance in there. He explained using our clever code words that this was already a clusterfuck, and that the Media was on the way. Just in case you missed it on the way by, we REALLY HATE cluster fucks AND when the Media gets wind of things going pear shaped. I explained I would be there in about 45 minutes to an hour, sorry, that’s the best I can do. He said to do my best and when I got to the police cordon to call him for a SitRep. When I came out the Martell’s were loudly discussing their lack of sex life and how it’s his fault for having a pecker that gave up twenty years ago, apparently in his words because she gave up looking like something his pecker would give a damn about twenty one years ago… It was a joke between them. Whenever something stressful was going on in their lives they would segway from “the taxes are overdue” into “Well, if your pecker was worth its weight in beans…” until they were both laughing too hard to continue. I gotta admit, I was jealous. BUT! Blowing shit up, awaited! I made my excuses and ran across the yards to my house. Spook was excited because I was excited and very sad when I explained she didn’t get to come this time. I made a mental not to go to the dog park with her ASAP so she could have some fun. Less than 10 minutes later I was in my Japanese, maybe Korean, Suburban-box mobile with a suitcase full of death in the trunk. I had my Delta Green gifted blue light on the dashboard, my DG ‘police ban radio’ squawking away and I was off! The car looked like an undercover police car. Now, you might expect undercover police cars to be Queen Vics, but not all of them. For a while the local PD was actually using Taurus’s, god help us. Word from on high, or at least Ike, was that because the DEA often went deep undercover, they had a wide variety of vehicles. Mine was on the approved list. So as long as I didn’t try pulling over a state trooper, and tried to pretend to drive sane most of the time I should have minimal problems. GPS, Highway, Driving. You get it. Onto surface streets, navigate between identical rows of split level ranch with 2.5 children and a 30 year mortgage. And to a cop with his car blocking most of the street and rollers. I stopped a block away and called Ike. “Sit Rep?” “FUBAR. SWAT showed up. We have what we suspect is a lab behind a fake wall in the basement. Tossed in a Flash Bang, went in. Screamed. Didn’t come out. Hasn’t reported.” That boys and girls is what you call FUBAR. “So, what exactly would you like me to do?” “Burn the building down.” … … … I actually looked at my phone like I expected it to turn into a butterfly. When cops ask unlicensed vigilantes to commit arson in front of dozens of other cops, and maybe some TV cameras; things haven’t just gone off the rails, they’ve left the rails, blown up the tracks, hitched hiked to Vegas and started turning tricks to support their heroin habit. “What? Say again, we have a bad connection.” “I’m thinking an accidental fire caused by a flash bang knocked over some chemicals in the lab. Building burns. 2 cop’s wives get flowers, but I am not letting anyone else into the cellar for now.” Now I was looking at the roof of the car. I was actually, honestly slapping myself in the forehead. “Can’t you… don’t you…? I mean… Really?” Ok, it was not the most coherent thing I have ever said NOR was it within our clever collection of special code words for things. We had to make up a special code word for “Dude, have you become unglued? What the FUCK?” Honestly it is possible that in the server of files that DG has encrypted somewhere, where we have all our files and code words and all that jazz they DO have official code words, maybe “Echo echo Charlie Mike” or maybe “The fish need deep frying, And Auntie has eaten the dog” or some such as code for “Dude, have you become unglued? What the FUCK?” We don’t leave people behind. Ok, that’s a Marine thing to say, and I’m not one of Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children. I’m a fucking ground pounding dirt hugging Soldier. Army Strong. Army strong like ox! Army smart like Ox!” Fuck. “Ok, what do I tell the parameter guys to convince them to let me in other than; 'I’m here to burn houses down and chew bubble gum?'” Flash forward a few minutes of nothing very important and I am standing in the back of a very nicely appointed SWAT Truck. They don’t call it SWAT in this town, it’s ERU. Emergency response team. Whatever that is supposed to mean. Apparently they handle cats in tees, drug busts, and of course; inter-dimensional aliens eating DEA agents. And handle it really poorly if I am to judge. But, I digress. Ike has cleverly kicked everyone else out of the truck and closed the doors. We moved from “split level” to “McMansion” at some point in the previous block. This house is only slightly larger in foot print than the split levels 60 feet away, but has pillars out front. It’s actually really ugly. And that’s not why I’m here. Unless it IS. Maybe the ugly house is because the ownedesigner is insane! Maybe I am actually here as an Emergency Suburban Beautifcation Team; here to reduce this monstrosity to a pile of cooling ashes in the name of good taste and higher home values. “So things got more complex” starts Ike. I’m not sure what comes after FUBAR. But ‘at least One dead DEA agent, and one dead local cop/swat/ERU-team missing, and Faux News outside pretty much qualifies as FUBAR to me. And apparently we aren’t done yet. Nope. Not paid enough. I’m going home to play with my dog. “They aren’t dead.” See…. Normally that’s good news. We want to hear our brave first responders are alive and stuff. I have a nasty suspicion that the definition of “aren’t dead” really should include the word “Yet” in it, but I am letting Ike talk. “One of them has keyed his mike and started talking. Err. Rambling. And… I had to get everyone to change radio channels because some other officers started rambling and one started puking. When they heard whatever he said." Slow blink. I stare over his shoulder at some empty click/rack thing that looks like it should have a gun in it. I quickly think about Spook chasing a ball. I think about punching Ike and driving away. I think about lobbing a thermite charge in the front door, and then pouring several 5 gallon jugs of gasoline in the windows. I sigh. None of these things, all of which are clearly the right thing to do, are going to happen. I swear on Patton’s 4 stars that one fucking day I am going to get the chance and do the right thing and just blow something to pieces. The Church doesn’t count: I didn’t do it. I didn’t even fucking SEE it. I' m not jealous. I'm bitter. “So do you have a plan?” “Yes, you go in with earplugs, so the babbling shit doesn’t get to you, you drag out what’s left of the SWAT or ERT or what the fuckever TLA guy out, and my agent if he is still identifiable, and then…. “ I’m not impressed with this plan. “And what are YOU going to be doing, pray tell?” Sarcasm, I can haz it. “I’m going to be keeping the local chief of police from calling in the National Guard, the rest of my agents from calling the FBI HRT, and otherwise minimizing the blast zone.” Fuck. “Hey, wait, you said that when one of the vics started babbling on the radio, one cop started puking?” “Yup, one other also started babbling. The rest of us shut off the radios because it either gave you an immediate headache or just made you uncomfortable.” An idea blossomed in my head. I had… A Plan. “Right, Ike, Tell everyone that the initial assault resulted in a spill of noxious, hallucinogenic chemicals from the guys lab. Puking, babbling, headaches, hallucinations are all results. Need a quarantine zone of like 4 blocks. Report any symptoms and go to the ER.” This, I assumed, would get me a large area without camera, cops, civilians etc. And allow me to; for example, blow the building to slivers at my leisure without witnesses. Or at the very least, not result in pictures of me, pouring gasoline into the basement windows making it onto the evening news. People get REALLY intense about that sort of visual. Ike liked it. He ran off and started shouting. I sat and held my head in my hands, knowing that somehow I would manage to make things stupider. On the good side, better part of an hour later, the civilians for blocks around were evacuated; the media was pushed back, including helicopters! This left me and Ike not too far away, and me going in. … So I’m now in a bright yellow level 4 hazmat suit, with a scuba tank on my back, ear plugs in, a flak jacket on, a radio muttering in my ear because I’m wearing fucking ear protection, and a shotgun filled with explosive hollow point slugs in my hands. I have rope around my waist so I can hypothetically be pulled out. Up the stairs, around a few corners. With a fucking scuba tank on my back. Yeah, that’s gonna work. The lights are on all over as I make my way through the house. Ike was part of the initial team, and briefed me on what I should see. Missing-in-action homeowner is a dot-com millionaire who was known to be 'eccentric'. Started flying all over the world collecting oddities. Apparently this was one of his houses where he stored his collections of 'weird shit'. I was pretty much expecting Weird Alien Shit at some point, because, let’s be honest… I’m going to run into Weird Alien Shit. Ike and I have agreed the radio call and weird babbling fall into the category of “Alien Mind Control crap”. No, that’s not what the After Action report will say, but its short hand. On the plus side, almost everyone has cleared out and gotten the fuck away. On the minus side the local SWAT/Three Letter Acronym for ‘Bigger Guns’ actually had Biological Gear and so here I am. Ok, so. Enter the house, huge dramatic wooden pillars outside, like a 40 foot ceiling with a chandelier and an actually kinda nicely done staircase. Open doors lead to a dining room, Living room, and kitchen. Cellar door is in kitchen. Cellar door is open smoke is billowing out, into the kitchen and dissipating though out the house and out windows and doors. The light down stairs is out. That, is what we call in the bizz; “A bad sign”. See, when Ike went in, they had flashlights and turned on all the lights anyway as they went. And now the light was out. I only stood there looking down the unlit stairs for one breath. Then I started swearing. Then, I had a clever. I opened drawers until I found a yellow EVERREADY flashlight. Thinking for another second I had another Clever. And found some tape. And taped the flashlight to my arm. NOT mind you, to my shotgun. See, if my gun gets taken away, then I have a convenient view of whatever the gun is pointed at. The wall maybe. IF on the other hand my light is attached to my Right Arm; I can still SEE. Hopefully. Hopefully this actually was a Clever, and not a well disguised Really Dumb. Time would tell. So with luck, I would be able to see, even if I can’t HEAR. Which reminds me to tell the murmuring radio that: 1) I am in the kitchen, 2) the cellar lights are off, 3) I am equipping myself with a flashlight, 4) no I don’t want to come back out again and 5) no I don’t want back up. Sigh. RIGHT! Down the stairs. Pluses: light streaming in from just barely above ground windows. Minuses: shelves full of food and other crap blocking lines of site. I have no peripheral vision. All I can hear is my own breathing and the crackle of this stupid plastic suit I am wearing. I have a full length, police issue, 12 gauge magnum 8 shout semi-automatic shot gun in my arms that does not have a folding stock nor a pistol grip. And mist. Smoke? Who cares; grey clouds from 'Ceiling' to 'like 18 inches down' from the ceiling. And the light bulbs are out. There is NO WAY the fact that there is this smoke, and the lights are out are going to become a problem in my life anytime soon. So I am trying to swing nearly 3 feet of black cop-penus extension in my hands, balanced nicely with around 60 pound of breathing equipment, another few pounds of plastic bio-shield and the happy making level IIIa bullet resistant vest I am wearing. Ike sketched out an approximate map of the basement and the door to the secret room. I have to walk down the stairs, turn left move 3 feet. Turn left, move 18 feet, turn left (loving it yet?) and move forward 10 feet. There SHOULD be a door in the wall with… who knows. A swat team guy muttering the secrets of the universe sitting on the floor, just inside a doorway cut into concrete, while… let’s see, what would be nice. I know! Several Victoria’s Secret Catalogue babes are waving cold beer and diamonds at me. That’d be nice. Of course; if that’s what I saw; I would open fire toss a high-explosive grenade and stumble backwards towards the stair while swearing my head off. No, I don’t have a problem with queers, nor do I have a problem with scantily clad women. In fact, I am kinda in favor of them. BUT. If I saw scantily clad women down here; I would be pretty damned certain that … well. I am just going to say, again, “that things went off the rails” mostly because I have lost the ability to come up with new metaphors for “Got weirder” at this point. I get to the point that, in a slightly less ridiculous world I would be taking out the dentist’s mirror I have gotten in the habit of carrying and using it to look around the corner. Since to get to my mirror would either involve 19 minutes of struggling with plastic and straps and the like, OR much fewer minutes with a knife that I have… on my belt.. Inside this fucking haz-mat suit. Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck fuck. Ok. SO! Onward and upward! I swing around the corner! Now, for a flash back. A few hours ago Ike and crew busted in the front and back doors and searched the place. Imagine all the yelling of “FEDERAL AGENTS! GET DOWN!” and “CLEAR!” and all that dramatic cop stuff. The find the upper floors have the more or less expected tasteless expensive furniture et al. No signs of Mr. ‘Twit-Space” or what the funk ever game this guy came up with. The THEORY was that he was producing MDMA for himself and friends at this location. They had overflown his property a few nights earlier, and what do you know? They saw on infra-red a large glowing rectangle in this back yard. The sort of thing you get when someone has without proper permitting dug out an extra cellar to grow weed, manufacture LSD, etc. in. It’s more common than you might think. So, Ike and his friends had been watching the place, seemed that the only person home was the scrawny, unshaven late twenty-something year old who owned the place. So it was time to strike! Moving forward a small bit in time; they go down stairs. And find the washer and dryer, food, other misc. life supplies. Andy, the guy who was in front at this stage saw the open doorway, seems a bookshelf filled with paperbacks swung into the room. It was supposed to be sort of a geeks – Man Cave. Table with books and dice and little plastic dolls. A kegerator, flat screen TV all that. And to one side, a wall of book shelves. And one of them swung out, into the room that was an entry to the hidden room. The Shelf was open, and Andy, in front, yelled “DEA! Get Down!” Everyone behind him squatted down, Ike was third in line and saw very little as he was more or less back between the toilet paper and the extra taco sauce when things blew up. “Flash Out” came the cry and Ike blocked his ears and closed his eyes. !BANG! (Flash!) And Hank, in front of Ike moved forward. Ike said all he saw there were shit loads of white smoke pouring out of the doorway when Hank entered. Andy was invisible in the smoke. Hank was stepping on broken glass. A Loud inhuman SCREECH followed by a shot gun blast. Shouts in nasty acrid smoke. And then voices apparently SCREAMING incoherently. SO in coherently that Ike nearly fell over. WAT? Right. Hands over his ears, squatting down, holding a pistol in one hand and blocking his right ear with the ball of his thumb, sneezing and chocking on gas, Ike backed up. Can you feel the WTF look I was shooting him while he was telling me this in the back of the Cop truck, excuse me Eee-Roo; E.R.U. truck. So, it seems Hank too had the bright idea of backing up while hacking up a lung and trying to block his ears. Hank and Ike and Tony got the fuck out of the cellar, and fled the building. Tony called the local PD for backup Ike called me. THEN: The Local E-ROO team. The local SWAT fucking team wearing gas masks went in. The fire marshal had decided that since the place hadn’t exploded in flames in the intervening minutes from initial smoke until their arrival, it wasn’t going to. SWATERU team goes down stairs. Reports lights on. Bare Bulbs every 10 feet or so. Smoke at the ceiling, some mist at their feet. A quick aside. (inside an Aside, bet ya didn't think I had the balls to do this!) “Looking at the mist pooling at their pants, the E.R.U. team chose this moment to exercise un police like wisdom, withdrew, poured gasoline into the cellar windows, tossed in a road flair and wrote it all off as a bad job. The End.” Sigh. Nope. Being cops they continued in. You know what? I don’t even care what this guy’s names were. First Cop, in the lead, cleverly enough, gets to the corner. Reports seeing by flash light: 1) An unlit room, maybe 30 feet deep, 10 feet wide, 9 feet tall. Work bench with shelves above on one wall. 2) Fish tanks on shelves above work bench, one broken. 3) Two men down. Blood on neck and scalp of victim one. Second Vic is sitting in chair at far end of room, head at a bad angle; probable broken neck. 4) Lots of smoke in room, maybe a small fire as it is still pouring out. And then… reporting gets garbled. The second officer reports at that point that something came flying at them. Out of the smoke filled room came. A soccer ball. At head height. And SWAT Cops 2-4 ran like hell out. … Can you hear my eyebrow rising as I am getting told this by an experienced officer of the law who is looking at the ground explaining that while he WAS playing basketball indoors, the very expansive vase got broken somehow? Yeah, it was that voice and body language. “I’m guilty as hell of something, I’m not really clear on WHAT crime I committed, but things are broken, and I am pretty sure it’s my fault , I’m trying to minimize the weeks of being grounded in front of me, without actually –lying- to Mommy.” I could swear he said “Got Broked somehow” during the telling of his tale, but not really. Ok. One more time. What happened? “So we were in line per tactical training…. (I am not going to make any sarcastic remarks about the combat simulation training Bozo here probably received. I am not. Really! Look at me not rolling my eyes so hard they fall out on the floor and roll away!) “And Steven’s was in front of me. He was scanning the room with the light on his M4, (Ok, it was a fucking Armalite M15VSR you lying sack of shit.) And reporting what he saw. I was behind him looking over his shoulder (in all likelihood, doing so in a Tactical Way. I swear these Swat jokers SHIT tactically.) When down out of the smoke… a…a thing swooped out at us. I thought at first it was a soccer ball. About that big. And white and black. So, soccer ball. See? And uh… (At this point he actually looked left and right, all shifty eyed. It took every ounce of self-control I have to not start laughing so hard I burst something.) But this was Serious Shit. We had a fucking Cop Down, maybe Dead. No laughing. Maybe heavy sighing. “I raised my gun with the intent of tracking the distraction, to see if it was a danger or not, right?” (Ah, I see! We are making up the story to tell our boss, later already! Good cop!) And that’s when it… it became clear that it wasn’t a soccer ball.” I nodded. “It was a human head. And it was looking at Steven’s. And I could see what looked like, uh, organs hanging down from the stump. Of the Neck. And it had… Bat Wings where the ears should be.” I didn’t even nod. I didn’t sigh or giggle, or make other signs. This was clearly Class A 1 “Weird Alien Shit”. Gadamnit. Ok, it COULD have been some fucked up prank set up by Doofus the Boy Millionaire for whatever reasons that people prank each other. I’ve pulled on or two. We all have. But then:** “It attacked Stevens.”** This makes it less likely to be a prank. “It bit his face mask, you know, the gas mask? And then flapped its wings and flew up and looked right at me.” Yup. Weird Alien Shit. “And I wasn’t sure I had a clear shot, I didn’t want to cap Steven’s in the back of his head. “ Ok, Mr. “Sorry I fucked up” has just redeemed himself a little bit. “Not shooting your partner” is in my book a good reason for not shooting at all. Ok, Fine. Moving forward. “And it started… this weird babbling. Shouting almost. ‘Ah-Beh-Lo-Te’ and shit. And like. I don’t know what happened. (Weird alien mind control shit happened, is what happened. But I wasn’t going to say that to HIM.) “The next thing that’s clear to me is Ryan was in front of me and we were booking up the stairs.” And that was more or less my briefing. That led to me, making my clumsy, noisy as hell well way through a now darkened cellar, with a flying screaming severed head thing that could make you puke by shouting over a radio at you, somewhere in here. Wanting to eat my face. Presumably hovering in the mist above my head. I have had better Thursday afternoons. Back to the 'sort of Here/Now So. The ceiling of the cellar is obscured down to like 2 feet in thick white smoke. The ground is shrouded in mist up to about 2 feet. Thankfully none of the previously fleeing cops have knocked shit off shelves, so I don’t have to worry about going ass over teakettle on to my back, (remember the 45 lbs. steel tank back there?) and being stuck like a turtle on its back down here. Which would really complete my day. I am now looking into the room. And I was… well… nowhere near right. First Cop. Stevens, the ERU guy is alive. Sitting up, leaning his back against the door jamb with his mask off. He is babbling and drooling and crying while holding the mike. His eyes are fixed and focused on something a million miles away. Yup, he’s ‘alive’. I don’t think he is “and well.” I am no expert, but he looks like he is not going to be coming home to his loving wife and 2.5 children again anytime soon. I really think he is section 8 and a loon. Gonna need a new one of those. That sucks. I keep my shotgun pointed at him, while I try to swing my light around to see other stuff. Ok, so scotch taping a flashlight to my arm was dumb. Maybe I should have gotten a few more lights. Ok, so…. I heard a voice coming from the room beyond. In the darkness and smoke. Happily, I could fucking understand it. In a stroke of genius, I had a clever idea. I opened fire. Since I was pretty deaf ANYWAY, I wasn’t worried about that aspect. I also figured I might light up what the fuck ever was going on. See? And Surprise! IT WAS a clever idea! My flashes lit up a 10 x 30 foot room. The floor of the room was obscured by mist as was the ceiling. To the right side I could see the previously described work bench and shelves with the glass terrarium – fish tank things. The one closest to the door was smashed open and sitting on the workbench, with what looked like maybe cloth, maybe flesh hooked on the shards of glass. The flashes were too short in duration for me to see further into the room. I was aiming at an upward angle as I figured there was a not bad chance there was a possibly still alive DEA agent face down in the mist. Gasping, sneezing and coughing, silently while bleeding from the head/neck per previous reports. I'm sure he is fine. Ok, maybe he was dead, but I still didn’t like the idea of blowing a hole in him. I fired three shots and then reloaded. Something slapped into the side of my head as I reloaded. I was knocked to the right side but couldn’t see what did it, as I conveniently had a yellow plastic helmet/hat blocking my view. I went down on one knee and spun, waving my light in hopes of seeing something that needed shooting. A swirl of white fog. Crap. This was not good. Heh. And then apparently the smoke affected Flying Head in the same way is affected everyone else. It dropped downward from the smoke, coughing and fumbling with its wings. It really, no shit, looked like a fucking human head, Caucasian, light brown hair, fucking bat wings where its ears belonged. (No, I did not see all this at first, this was after I picked… Anyway) I had my shotgun in my hands, more or less pointed in the right direction. !boom! It was … effective. See, I was loaded with ammo that consisted of a 12 gauge magnum round, hollow point, with a small amount of high explosive and a contact detonator in it. It’s called “a door breaching round”. If the bad guys have a steel door, and cement frame, you fire a round at where the hinges should be and you get nice hole in the wall. Another hinge and one for the door lock and the door falls downward! If used on a human being, it is a war crime! So I had that going for me. Used on a human head? Um. REALLY effective. Used on a human head sized and shaped Weird Alien baddie; it results in a loud BOOM/BANG/SPAT. Wings and hair bits on the floor and ceiling. Problem solved! Let’s go home! … Damn. Babbling cop, maybe injured cop, maybe scrawny millionaire devotee of Weird Alien shit, maybe more Weird Alien Shit. Right. Report/explain gun fire. “Stevens is alive. Wounded. No Agent Marks (Ike’s partner), Not sure if clear yet. Stay Back.” Cleverly Stevens DID have another flashlight, so I grabbed that and looked around. Large glass terrariums, one smashed. One with …. Weird Alien Shit #2 in it. It was a rock. A crystal. And it glowed. And looked at me. And about the same time that I started to feel cold fingers reaching into my brain I shot it. Twice. Small bits of rock got embedded in the wall and ceiling. Thankfully, as I am not a cop, I have minimal paperwork to write, and I can be dead fucking honest about what I saw. My guess is Weird Alien Flying Head lived in the broken open terrarium. I moved further into the room and saw a brass maybe bronze bowl thing with white mist pouring out of it, pooling on the floor. Weird Alien symbols on the outside. Chemicals I did recognize and small bottles with random collections of numbers and letters on the labels surrounded the bowl. There were piled around this bowl, several, call it 7 books bound in leather, or bark; and were NOT shit you got on AMAZON. crap That’s another mystery (mist) more or less nailed down. I kinda wanted to do something about it, but knowing what happens when you mix the wrong things together (say, water and magnesium) I decided to leave that for the fire department/EPA/someone who gets paid more than me. Further into the room, books on shelves above work bench, with jars of powers and the like lining the back of the workbench. I glanced at the book titles quickly and recognized most of them as mass market crap, not to worry about. At the far end of the room, there was a body sitting in a chair. Human. Male. Scrawny. Long hair. Hair coming out in chunks. I moved closer and confirmed his head was at an odd angle. You know those moments when you know beyond a shadow of a doubt what you are about to do, and you know it’s the right thing to do, and you know it’s going to put some nightmare fuel into your head, and you do it anyway? Yeah. One of those. I really didn’t want to touch the body. I DID see, in front of it; on the work bench, was another bowl. IT had smoke rising out of it to the ceiling. Mystery number… what, 6? Solved. I also determined that this bowl fell into the “someone else’s’ job” department. It did explain why the ceiling fog had not cleared in the past few hours of an open Cellar door. It was being refilled. Fine. I touched the corpse and spun it. He had … white… goop, pouring out of its mouth. It wasn’t like drool or saliva. It was a trail of white goop down his chest, across his pants, a trail about 3 inches wide, down across his lap, and down into the mist. Crap. Crap x 2. So… Mystery number, what, eight? Appears. The ceiling lights are out still. I am standing over this corpse with a light in my left hand, another strapped to my right forearm, and a shotgun in the right hand. I fucking hate this Weird Alien Crap. Weird Alien Things. Slimy Weird Alien things. You know, the sort that crawl out of a humans mouth, breaking his jaw on the way out, and then crawl, leaving a 3 inch wide trail of white slime behind itself, as it crawls into the mist around the floor AT MY FEET. I could just start shooting explosive slug rounds into the concrete floor at random. There is no way THAT could go poorly. I fumbled around and found the down DEA agent. He was cold and not bleeding, just seeping. Right. Also someone else’s problem. I grabbed the EEROO guy, Stevens, and dragged him by the unresistant arm out of the cellar. He pretty much was technically alive and thus probably my problem. We made our way out of the house. Gave him to an EMT who was waiting outside (I mentioned that I was bringing out a survivor). Got out. Got to Ike. Sadly I still had the gear on that took 2 people and several minutes to get out of it. I was not going to broadcast my debriefing to all the rest of the cops around here and every teen with a fucking scanner. On the way out I repeatedly ordered that no one enter until I debriefed the site chief. I told Ike about the crystal, the goop trail, and the 2 bowls. In theory the fire department should and could be able to go down and deal with the smoke (now pouring out the front door) producing bowls and the bodies and all. But that slime trail, along with the books, not the paperback books you could order from Amazon I could see, but rather the few “bound in dark leather with crumbling covers” books were NOT the Fire Departments Problem; they were OUR fucking problem. I explained that I was in favor of the gasoline and road flare trick. He explained that in the meantime more cops and the CDC and the state police SWAT people and some FBI agents had shown up. And that he wanted me to go back in, grab the Happy Fun Books of The Doom, and then maybe put glass carboys over the 2 bowls to capture the smoke, to make it easier to clean up. And then we would hand this operation to other people and go home. “Are you fucking kidding me?” “You want some fireman or some Fed walk into that basement, maybe have Creepy Alien Slime thing crawl up his leg and take over his mind?” Technically, no. Technically I wanted to make a break for the space ship, nuke the site from orbit, because it was the only way to be sure. This colossal fuck up was NOT my fuck up. But “I didn’t make this mess” has not been an excuse since probably the Romans marching into Gaul. I spent 12 years as an Infantry man in the U.S. Army.... You see where this is going, right? Fuck. At this point, I am half way out of the fucking yellow gear, sweating and drinking water while Ike and I had our pow-wow. And there was a knock on the door of the ERU truck. Significant glances were exchanged and Ike opened the door to face a DIA badge and a severely groomed gentleman with a wire leading to his ear and eyes concealed by some nifty shades. “We are taking over this operation. We have been monitoring your radio communications and are aware of the dangers we are facing. Evacuate the area. This is non-negotiable.” And the man stepped back at that point. Behind him, we could see a black Queen Vic and a Black SUV with several men; also in very sever suits and haircuts. Ever see the movie “Men in Black”? Yeah, these were the real thing. Majestic. Majestic 12. Very very Bad. See, the US government knows about The Aliens. More to the point, the US Government had made a deal with the Aliens. This is why Ike and I were secret and illegal as hell. These assholes were legit. Thankfully they seemed to think we were two bumbling DEA agents who had wandered to close to something above our pay grade. Ike was more frozen than I was for the moment. “Oh, thank god. Experts. I don’t know what’s in that cellar! I think there is still a dead body. I found that one SWAT guy and got him out. I was down there for as little time as possible.” Aaannd, I’m out.
Dad, It has been over 10 years since we last spoke. I am 40 now, and can only assume from my own experience the older you get, the more you reflect. If that is indeed the case, I imagine you have reflected quite a bit as well. Anthony told me when you get drunk enough, you lament how much you miss me. He said you told him "I would let your brother walk in here and beat my ass if he would at least talk to me." That is a tempting offer, believe me. But for one, I would not need you to let me. And two, I doubt I would be able to stop until I beat every ounce of life out of you. One problem with communicating verbally is so many things get forgotten or fall through the cracks of the conversation. In addition, emotions and the natural tendency not to actually listen to what the other person is saying often renders the whole process pointless. Written or typed words are precise, specific and easily organized in a digestible manner. If I were a betting man, I would put a nice chunk down on the fact you have minimized everything you have done in the past. And as you are an old man now, you reflect nostalgically. Because of this, I am going to refresh your memory. I certainly hope you realize the vast majority of my memories of you range from bad to awful. If you do not, you are even more delusional then I thought, but will be brought back to reality by the time you finish reading this. Once I am assured you have both feet planted firmly in reality, I will listen to what you have to say on one condition. You make complete restitution to my mother for back child support, to include interest. Using an online back child support calculator, I have settled on a conservative figure of $200,000. I hear you are a semi-truck driver now. I have seen the commercials advertising how lucrative of a career it is. Considering one of your ex-wives girlfriend allows you inexplicably to live in a house she owns rent free, I am sure you are in great shape financially. If you have something that important to say to me, I would advise you to, ahem, get truckin’. When I visited in July, Cathy told me how much you have changed. Whatever I did not bet on you being delusional I will put on the fact you have not. Anthony told me you refuse to speak to him because you are mad he did not tell you I was coming home. Tisk tisk, that sure sounds like the same old you to me. For organizational sake, this will be broken down into five chapters. Each chapter covers an approximate age range in my life: Chapter 1, 0-5 years old, covers my earliest memories of you before you left. Chapter 2, 6-11 years old, covers from your return from CA to your move to FL. Chapter 3, 12-16 years old, covers my summer visits in FL. Chapter 4, 17-30 years old, covers from your return from FL until the last time we spoke in April 2005. Chapter 5 will wrap things up nicely. CHAPTER ONE I do not remember much from the short time you and my mother were married. I remember having a steel hydraulic dump truck. I believe the only reason I remember the truck is the memory of you throwing it across the kitchen. I still remember the dent and 2" long scratch that heavy duty toy left in the refrigerator door. I also remember you throwing the ottoman across the living room. I am sure they both deserved it. My last memories of this time are of moms cousin Dana, the one you left us for. She made the best egg sandwiches. You must have thought so as well. Thank you for not breaking my mothers’ nose in front of Stacey or me. You did not have to worry about Anthony seeing it either, as my mother was pregnant with him at the time. CHAPTER TWO My first memories of you upon your return from California involve your second wife Debbie, and her sons Billy and Doug. Stacey Anthony and I would stay with you and your new family every other weekend. I remember how Stacey, Billy, Doug, Anthony and I had to squeeze into the backseat of that old Cadillac. You would pack a cooler full of beer for the road when we went anywhere. The backseat floorboard was so covered with beer cans they would fall out onto the ground when we opened the doors, and we had to shimmy our feet down through them to touch the floor. You would crack your first beer as we pulled out of the driveway. I remember being amazed at how fast you drank them. Our job in back, in addition to not being heard, was to prep from the second beer on. I do not remember a training session per se, but do remember knowing to pull a beer out, dry/clean the top, open it and hand it up to you. You completed the same ritual for each one you finished. You would pull the empty can out of the coozy, give it one squeeze to somewhat crush the middle, and toss it over your right shoulder, straight at one of us. We would wait for it and try to swat it down. More often than not, what little beer was left in the can would splash out onto us. We would giggle quietly and wipe it off our faces or onto each other. It seemed normal at the time. I guess that is what happens to young kids when they do not know any better. As long as you were happy, or at least not enraged, we were happy. Three particular memories from that time are etched in my mind. I am not sure if I have them chronologically or not. The first was a fall afternoon. Debbie yelled that lunch was ready. All five of us rushed the table. You were already seated at the head of the table. As Doug and Stacey approached, they eyed the same seat, directly to your right. He beat here there ever so slightly and slid into place. She let out a half-hearted whine, and in a split-second you backhanded him across his nose. You hit him so hard that both he and the chair flipped over backwards onto the floor. Blood gushed out of his nose before he even hit the ground. Debbie helped him up and tended to him in the bathroom. As shocking as the whole thing was, one thing stood out to me. It was the sight of your fully extended arm, immediately reaching down to grab your fork. It was one fluid motion. You did not bat an eye, just that little boys face. My best guess is he was seven or eight years old. The second was a beautiful spring day. Billy, Doug, Anthony and I were outside. Doug and I were playing basketball one on one, with Anthony and Billy "coaching". Anthony kept calling time-outs which irritated me. In the midst of arguing I gave him a slap. I did not know you were watching us from inside. You immediately yelled for me to come in. My blood ran cold, for good reason. You took me into the boys’ bedroom and stood me in a corner. You left the room and returned moments later, with a 2 ft. length of green garden hose. Props to you on the foresight of your preparation. You already had the "handle" end wrapped with duct tape. It would have been a shame to lose your grip in the midst of a good beating. Your actions might have been marginally understandable, if they were the result of a hyper-protective parental policy regarding Anthony. His is your youngest child, has spina bifida and is a paraplegic, paralyzed from the waist down. Your actions in my third memory eliminates that possibility. I remember this one as if it happened five minutes ago. I was in the boys’ bedroom already sensing your brooding mood. Anthony was out in the main part of the house and did something to infuriate you. I heard that oh so familiar string of curse words, in that rage filled gravely yell, and heard him take off across the floor heading my way. Now normally, the sound of him crawling across the floor was both common and unmistakable. The rhythmic pounding of his hands hitting the floor, combined with the sound of his paralyzed legs dragging behind was unique. The only time it sounded different was when he was mad and chasing me, which happened often. It would be the same sound, only in double time. This particular version I had never heard before and never heard again. I could not see him but remember hearing him trying to go so fast. Evidently fear outweighs anger in the motivation department. He was trying to get away from you so fast I heard him fall forward and catch himself on his elbows, more than once. You had to have seen this as you walked up behind him. How could the sight of your paraplegic son, trying so hard to get away from your blind rage that he was literally falling on his face not break your heart? Not only did it not break your heart, it did not even make a dent. You know how I know? Because all of the sudden the sound stopped. It stopped because you walked up behind him and yanked him off the floor with both hands. Your left hand gripped the back of his shirt collar and your right his belt line. You tossed that little crippled boy across the bedroom onto a bed. You did not even bother to come into the bedroom. I saw your arms swing through the doorway as you launched him into the air like a bale of hay. Only by the grace of God did he land like he did. He hit the bottom third of the mattress and bounced once to the upper third, his head stopping inches from the wall. He was so scarred he froze the way he finally stopped, in his crawling position. He looked over at me with the most petrified look I have ever seen. My best guess is he was five or six years old. At the end of our weekends with you we would return home to mom. I remember one specific time you took us home. You came in to say your good-byes and we walked out the front door to see you off. As we walked out, our cat Tigger jumped up onto the railing of the deck. He would do that often when someone came outside, and walk slowly down the rail, hoping for a pet or just a little scratch as they walked by. Instead, in a split second you violently yanked him up by his tail, swung him one complete revolution around, and winged him underhanded into the darkness. I could tell he covered quite a bit of distance from his screeching fading into the night. I screamed and ran inside crying. CHAPTER THREE After you moved to FL, Stacey, Anthony and I spent several summers with you. Around this time the Simpsons television show was getting popular. Bart Simpson was known for saying "don't have a cow man!" We all said it frequently, without repercussions. True to form, when I said it one night at dinner it hit you the wrong way. You yelled at me to hurry and finish my dinner, and get in your bedroom. A hush fell over the kitchen as everyone knew what was coming. I tried to choke down my food quickly, but was so petrified I had a hard time swallowing. When you felt I was not eating fast enough you became even more furious. You hatefully snarled the longer I took the worse it was going to be. I immediately stopped chewing and just started swallowing big chunks of food. The chunks hurt my chest as they slid down, feeling as if the bites were so big they were stretching my insides. To help them go down I gulped water. My hands were shaking so bad I hit my teeth with the glass a couple of times. When I finished I rushed into your bedroom and bent over. I was thankful for a second when my peripheral vision caught the brown of a belt versus the green of a garden hose. My thankfulness was short lived. You whipped me severely enough with that belt to make me almost miss the hose. People trying to live vicariously through their children is a common occurrence. What happens a lot of times, is the less someone has accomplished in their life, the more they want the attention brought on by being the parent of a successful child. You are a classic example of that. Billy and Doug were both great little league baseball players and you took great pride in that. Going to their practices and games was right up your alley. You would recite their stats, analogize how hard they could throw the ball, and marvel at how far ahead of kids their age they were, especially Doug. Now I have heard all of your stories over the years, literally dozens of times. I never once heard you talk about playing baseball in school, only slow pitch softball in the barfly leagues. You athlete. In spite of this lack of experience, you felt so strongly about Billy not "keeping his head down" while batting in a game one summer day, you beat him with a whiffle ball bat that night. I remember his screams begging you to stop. They echoed from the garage into the house, where the rest of us listened in horror. You were relentless, screaming at him to "keep your head down" as you mercilessly beat him up and down the back of his bare legs. CHAPTER FOUR After several magical summers with you in FL, you moved back to IN. It is funny how your perception of things, people and life change as you get older. Things about you began to bother me, but I was still a kid. I do not know if I fully realized the gravity of everything you had done at that point. Eventually I turned 21, and would hang out with you, Uncle Louie and Uncle Jimmy at Ninas Bar. It was around this time my real disdain for you began. I could write a novel in an attempt to explain, but here is a microcosm instead. We were all at the bar on a Saturday afternoon. All the regulars were there, and everyone was enjoying cheap beer, cheap pool and the small bars friendly atmosphere. A couple stopped in for a few minutes to 'sign the book'. You probably remember the couple. Don is the mans name, his wifes name escapes me. His wife was a little bigger than average and lacked what might be described as a Hollywood smile. Looks aside, the couple was very well liked. Regulars but not big drinkers, kind, friendly and always smiling. They signed the book, said their goodbyes and went on their way. As soon as the door closed behind them, you turned to everyone shaking your head in disgust, and started spitting your venom. "Man! How'd you like to wake up next to THAT every morning? Oh man! Ugh! How does he even get his arms around that?" You had such an incredulously disgusted look on your face. Still shaking you head, with a deep slow sigh you wiped your hand over your mouth, subtly referencing her less than stellar smile in addition to overtly mocking her size. You received a couple of courtesy half grins for your mini-rant, but it was obvious no one in the entire bar was on board with you. Everyone liked them and what you said was just ridiculous. I could not have been more mortified, embarrassed or ashamed of you being my father at that moment. I could not have imagined anyone saying that about such a nice woman, let alone someone she no doubt considered friendly, and always said hello to by name. The total absurdity of your comment aside, let us look at this a little closer. So there you stood, in all your glory, feeling completely comfortable making fun of someones appearance. Did I mention all your glory, physically? Cut off jean shorts exposing the better part of your chopstick legs, shirt from Reagans first term, 6'1"/137 pounds, (with two pockets full of change) at most six teeth in your entire head, which you are smart enough to never let see the light of day, and overall shaped like a question mark. Someone should have said “Hey Charlie smile! Let's see the dirty half-dozen you're rocking up there!" But of course no one did. You know why? Because you are one of a kind. Fortunately. I do not remember exactly when it was, but at some point you had a quarter-hearted suicide attempt. I use the word "attempt" VERY loosely. You took some pills and drank some booze, stumbled over to your neighbors house for "one last cigarette" and "collapsed", after telling her what you had imbibed. Not exactly a home run swing there champ. At this same time Stacey had her house for sale. She had gotten married and it was vacant. When you got out of the hospital she said you could stay there for free for a while, to help you get back on your feet. Her house was listed on the real estate market and all she asked was that you kept the utilities paid. Her house needed to be ready to be shown to prospective at buyers at any time. You moved into her nice little house and settled back into your routine. Several months later you moved out, and in with Susie, a nurse who took pity on you at the hospital. Shortly after, Staceys realtor arrived with a prospective buyer and noted that every single utility was shut-off. You had not paid ONE SINGLE utility bill and timed your get away perfectly, just before they were shut off. Some show of gratitude to you daughter for her loving generosity. Fast forward a couple of years. I had enlisted in the Air Force, and had six months before I left for basic training. The lease on my duplex was set to end several months before I was leaving town. You told me I should move in with you for the last couple of months before I left. You said it would be a chance for me to save some money. I did not realize until after I moved in the savings you were speaking of was that of splitting your rent. I left for basic training in February of 2004. I had my car insurance set to be switched to a ‘storage’ policy the day after I left. The plan had been set for some time. You were going to drop me off at the recruiters’ office and take my car straight to Uncle Jimmys. It was to remain there, in storage, until I got out of training. But for some reason my car never made it to Uncle Jimmys. You drove it around under insured, as if it were your own, without my knowledge. Several weeks later it broke down. Your solution was to drop my keys into my mothers’ mailbox with a note telling her where my broken down car could be found. But at least you had a plan for her. You told her to get her AAA to cover towing it. Your problem solving skills are legendary. So time goes on and at some point you get junk mail of mine, a credit card application. You proceed to apply for the credit card, as me, and add yourself to the account. You had the card for eight months before I found out. By the time I did, "I" had a credit card I was not aware of, with a $5,000 credit limit, and an almost $8,000 balance. I did not even know that was possible. It was, thanks to you not having not made a payment for months, after charging the card past its credit limit. Your response when I confronted you was to lie. Once you were pinned down, your exact words were "ah it's not really that big of a deal." That was finally it for me. CHAPTER FIVE So here we are 10 years later. I continue to be amazed at how much people put up with from you. After writing all this down, I see I was guilty of the same thing. I told Cathy the correct analogy for you was a turd bouncing and skidding through life. It leaves smears and stains on everything it touches. But for some reason it never gets flushed. Inexplicably people just spray it with potpourri, and it continues to bounce and skid down the road. That is you. Turd. I do not beat women or children, or abuse animals, but am keenly aware of the negative influence of both your 'nature' in me, as well as the small amount of 'nurture' from you I was exposed to. I put a great amount of effort into attempting to never respond to any situation as I know you would. You are the little demon in me I fight. And then I think of Billy and Doug. I hate to even imagine what else you put those poor boys through, what I am aware of is horrific enough. As you know both are in prison, Billy for murder and Doug for drug manufacturing. I wonder where they would be now if they never met you. Do you ever wonder? Of course not. Just a few for the road. You steal your salt/pepper shakers and silverware from restaurants. You stole Susies sons’ identity and put your home phone is his name. You sullied you own DEAD MOTHERS name by keeping the money your brothers gave you to pay things in her name after she passed. Ready for one of my favorites? You never served in the military but used a MADE UP military service number to join the VFW!!! I wonder what stories you tell there. Now this part may surprise you. I am a Christian now, and part of my reason for writing this letter was to offer you forgiveness. So I forgive you father, for everything you have done to me. I forgive you and advise you to turn your life over to the Lord, and be saved through the blood Christ Jesus shed on the cross for us. Your eternal soul depends on it. As a Christian I implore you to do so, but as a man I sure hope you do not. I am still working out the kinks of my new found faith, or maybe it is just that pesky little demon. You are a pregnant wife beater, paraplegic child abuser, animal abuser, identify thief, common thief, non-child support paying fraudulent military (non) veteran. It is hard to believe you are a real person and not the villain from a movie script the Lifetime channel rejected for being too depressing. And the worse thing of all is that you are my FUCKING FATHER.
I got paid minimum wage, but tips were very good. It was the spring of my senior year in high school and the summer before I went to college. I only worked one season because a change in management led to a bunch of lay-offs (and being the young guy, mine was one of them). After I left for school, I would come home for weekend series after August and work. There has been no doors opened to the front office, unfortunately, but I did meet a few people that probably could have helped my career if I chose to stay in the field (I am in the biology field now so it is completely unrelated). Biggest douche was either Ken Griffey Jr. or Ivan Rodriguez. Griffey walked around like he was god and when I asked him for an autograph, he didn't say anything to me or even look at me. Most of the players would give you a smile and a handshake or give you something extra like a batting glove. Griffey didn't even have time to acknowledge a fan. Pudge was just a terrifying little person. He had the shortest temper ever and actually smashed our ping-pong table with a baseball bat after striking out. Coolest Yankee was not a Yankee at the time, but it was Nick Swisher. He use to get thrown off the field after games by security because he stood there until every last fan got an autograph. He was also playing constant pranks and everybody around loved the guy. He remembered everybody's name and tipped well too and that was before he was extremely well known. Biggest douche on the yankees is hard to say. There was so much media and press around so I feel like everyone was on their best behavior. I remember A-Rod was kind of an arrogant dick, as you could probably guess, and Johnny Damon was pretty laid back and cool. Randy Johnson was terrifying also but turned out to be pretty nice. As far as Jeter goes, I never really liked the guy because I thought he was an arrogant dick, but when I met him, he was probably one of the nicest, most humble players I met and he gave I think the biggest tip out of any players...He gave each of us 200 dollars and 500 dollars for the bat boy. So I gained a total respect for him as a player and a person after that.
Yeah, I agree. He was nice, had his kids with him running around the club house and appeared to be a great father, tipped us well etc. I just didn't want to piss him off because he BLEW UP. The guy was a hot head, but that's the only bad thing I have to say against him.
Swisher didn't play for the Sox until I think 2008 and that was after my time working for the Tribe.
I understand what you're saying though. We have the same problem with having phenomenal players that leave to go elsewhere (e.g. Peyton Hillis, LeBron James, Cliff Lee, C.C. Sabathia, Manny Ramirez, Victor Martinez, Kellen Winslow -- and this list can go on for days for every sport). I know Chicago has taken some blows to the head too, but at least you have a championship in 2005 to lean back on. We haven't won a championship in any sport since the Browns in '64 :(
Haha Yeah, Pudge got charged like $1200 for our ping pong table. It was a lot like a hotel. They got charged for everything (food/service/drinks/laundry) and had to pay extra for anything they broke or damaged.
He wouldn't sign anything then tried to charge us when he finally did agree. He also tried to take a broken bat back from a guy I worked with claiming it was his property, even though he left it there for over 2 months. He was just a dick and didn't care about anybody but himself, not even his team.
Don't be sad...Pudge was pretty awesome, he was just a fucking hot-head. Before he smashed our ping-pong table he actually participated in a little tournament we clubhouse attendants had while batting practice was taking place. He finished BP and came down and fucking destroyed all of us within seconds. He was awesome though, I just was scared to death of pissing him off. Also, after he struck out, I made damn sure to be nowhere near.
The Rangers were a real cool club. They had Texiera, who was not only one of my favorite players at the time, but also one of the nicest guys I met. Blalock was pretty cool too and gave me his batting gloves as you can see in the picture above. I liked working their series a lot...Definitely one of the most fun teams to work for. They had some big names at the time too.
Kenny Rogers from the Tigers. He was a pitcher so he sat in the clubhouse and got hammered during the games he wasn't starting and also had a few drinks before the game he was pitching, but wouldn't say he got drunk. Also, he would hide behind the washing machine and smoke cigarettes and had me keep watch for Jim Leyland and warn him if he was coming. He was a super nice guy though.
Most ridiculous request was from Jason Kendall...He made me go get him as many cans of Kodiak Wintergreen chew as I could find. I went to 3 stores and got him 9 logs (that's 90 cans. 90 fucking cans) and he gave me 500 dollars and told me to keep the change. This was also when LeBron was getting real big so LaTroy Hawkins gave me his credit card and had me go get him every Witness shirt they had at the Cavs gift shop at the Q. It was over 30 shirts and cost over 600 dollars. My tip was this bad-ass orioles shirt that had grafitti lettering on it that said "Cowboy Up" on the front, then "Gangsta Shit - Orioles 2006" on the back...problem being it was a size 3x. I still have it though.
As far as errors go, I had one play where Juan Rivera from the Angels was running for a foul ball that was near me. I misjudged it and ran directly at the play, causing him to miss the ball. I was cussed out for what seemed like an eternity and he requested someone else out there so they sent someone to "relieve" me half way through the game. I was on ESPN that night too and all my friends got a good kick out of it.
One time I was warming up Vlad Guerrero and threw two in a row over his head and the next one he threw as hard as he could at my ankles and I made an ass of myself dodging it. That was pretty funny too I guess...
I've scoured youtube in the past to find it but have been unable to. I think it was so insignificant that it has sunk into the depths of the internet, but it was a defining moment in my young adulthood. I had it recorded on my old DVR, but we have since gotten a new DVR and returned the old one to the cable company. Sorry I cannot produce on this one.
The Doc was awesome. He was one of the few guys that I actually got star-struck for (him and Frank Thomas). He and I had a conversation about fishing because I was telling him about how I visit Ontario yearly and saw him pitch at the SkyDome when I went to Toronto in 7th grade. He asked what I did in Ontario and told him we have a fishing cottage and we talked about May pike fishing. Like I said, I was nervous, but after talking for awhile, he made the conversation real casual. Super nice dude!
About Greg Zaun, I don't really recall actually speaking with him at all. I'm sure I did at one point or another, but nothing really stood out from the conversation. It was more than likely all business, as it was with most players.
I don't mean any offense, but I feel like there is more competition in the AL. It seems in the NL that there is usually only one or two powerhouse teams every year and everyone else is just shit. On the other hand though, those powerhouse teams that come out of the NL are usually awesome.
BTW, Everyone in ze German army knows Yugo Schtiglitz.
Damn that seems like an eternity ago! I have this vhs tape called "Cleveland Rocks." It is basically a documentary about the Tribe's '95 season. It's really good and I would recommend it to any baseball fan. If you see it around anywhere, you should pick it up!
My favorite past Tribe players were Kenny Lofton and Albert Belle in the 90's, Victor Martinez and Kelly Shoppach were my favorites when I worked for the Tribe, and currently, my favorite Indians are Hannahan and Choo.
Sabathia was pretty awesome the few times I met him. One time he was part of an elaborate prank involving half the freaking stadium. One of the pitching coaches (I don't remember what team) told me to go find the key to the bullpen so I should go to the home side and ask the Indians' equipment manager, so I did and he told me C.C. had them last. So I went and found C.C. and he told me to go ask Wickman and he led me to the offices and they bounced me around and around until I finally got up to Mark Shapiro's office suite who told me it was a big joke and welcome to the team. When I got back down, I went to the home side to tell them about it and as I walked in, the whole team basically was standing there laughing at me, then the same thing when I walked into the visitor's clubhouse. I guess it is an initiation sort of thing that they put new guys through throughout the entire MLB. I felt like an ass but it was funny.
Choo was pretty cool too, but was difficult to talk to because he did have very good English at the time. He got a lot better since then, but the language barrier prevented me from ever having a good conversation with him.
I never actually spoke with Cliff Lee, but I'd see him around sometimes and say hi.
Victor was cool to talk to if you caught him outside of the locker room (I ran into him at the mall once and we had a 10 minute conversation because he recognized me) but in the locker room, the guy was ALL business. He didn't even talk to his teammates. While everyone was up and messing around, he was sitting there with his head phones on getting psyched.
Most of the guys were always nice, but sometimes if you caught them after a loss or if they had a shitty game, they would be a lot more likely to talk down to you, but it was pretty uncommon. Like I said earlier, for the most part the only guys who were assholes were the prima donnas.
Shapiro was actually really nice and was known throughout the organization as treating the employees at the Jake very well...He was extremely busy and I only met him that once, but he was able to pause what he was doing to introduce himself and chat for a few minutes.
The nicest were probably Kenny Rogers, Roy Halliday, Bronson Arroyo, Barry Zito, Mark Texiera, Bob Wickman, Frank Thomas, Richie Sexon, and Jim Thome. All stand-up guys and all good tippers. Kurt Schilling was pretty cool to talk to also, but Nick Swisher was by far the best guy to be around. He made everyone feel like they were one of his friends.
I hated A.J. Pierzynski from the white sox, but not because he was a dick to us, but because he was a dick to his teammates and talked shit about everyone on the other teams. Also, the A's held a little vote and voted him the most hated guy in the MLB. Also, Griffey was an ass as well as A-Rod. Miguel Tejada was pretty dickish too, but I don't know if he was just shy, didn't speak good English, or just didn't care to talk to anyone. And no, I've never caught anyone using PEDs...I have suspicions though.
Haha nice! Thome was cool. He had one of the guys give him a ride to some golf course that he owns in the area. I would have enjoyed knowing what the conversation was like. Thome was just a super nice simple country dude.
Griffey had a 6 foot tall closet on wheels with a massive pad lock on it that he got really defensive if anybody went near it. Either he was hiding something in there or he was extremely over-protective of his clothes.
I would say the A's were probably the most fun and most memorable. They were a pretty young team and were led by Nick Swisher who was borderline insane. He was a blast to be around. seemed like the old guys on the team were even like teenagers. They had random votes like most hated player in the league, who had the hottest wife, who had the smallest penis etc. They also stuck around for hours after the games to watch TV and bullshit so we had an opportunity to spill some drinks with them after hours too. The Yankees were not fun at all, as Joe Torre ran a real tight ship.
Drunkest tribe fan was definitely a guy who fell off the wall on the first base line and onto the field. He wasn't even chasing a foul ball...he just fell. He got escorted out as you can imagine.
My favorite Indian was definitely closing pitcher Bob Wickman. He used to stay in the clubhouse late and invite me and the other guys over to the home side to play cards and stuff.
My favorite non-Indian was probably Barry Zito. He brought a guitar with him in his luggage and him and I sat and BS'd while we jammed out for awhile before the games. He and I were both just starting to play guitar at that point so you can imagine how terrible it sounded.
Yes, and I did this more than once. Vlad Guererro was the worst...threw it over his head twice and he heaved one at my ankles that I had no chance of catching. Had to dodge it and looked like an ass in front of thousands.
Milton Bradley was another bad experience. After throwing it over his head, he just walked over, picked it up and threw it to a fan. He didn't warm up with me for the rest of the game, but he still gave me a good tip.
They tip you at the end of the series...So we alternated series as ball boy, but ultimately all had the same responsibilities in the club house. Usually the right fielder would find the right field ball boy after the end of the series and hand them a bill.
My aunt owned a restaurant/bar a block from the stadium that I used to work at and the guys from the front office would come in for lunch every day. One of the guys who happened to go to high school with my aunt asked me if I was looking for a job and I said yes and we exchanged contact info and they called me that day to go in for an interview the following day.
Biggest douche was Griffey. He was had an extremely arrogant demeanor to him and wouldn't talk to us. If he needed anything, he had his "people" come talk to us and he also had a pad-locked 6 foot closet on wheels that nobody was allowed to get near.
Barry Zito for sure. He and I were both just starting out playing guitar when I first met him and we started talking about it. He told me to bring my guitar in, which I did and he and I sat in a conference room for about an hour each day they were in town and jammed as best we could for two rookies. A third guy came and played for a bit too, but I can't for the life of me remember who it was.
Actually, a girl I knew was in the crowd one game I was ball boy and saw me and came down to talk to me. I did not get laid from it, but went on a few dates with her.
Another time I was ball boy, a girl was sitting near me and I saw her smiling at me the whole game so afterwards I signaled for her to come down and I instantly got extremely awkward and blew it. All I said was, "Hi...My name's _____. What's yours?" Then she told me her name and I fumbled a bunch of awkward words, knowing I blew it, I then said, "Nice to meet you. I have to go." and ran off the field."
Nick Swisher was the funniest in general. The funniest conversation is pretty difficult to choose. There were so many. One of the guys from the Tigers (I don't remember who, he was not a big name player) brought a huge pink dildo in his luggage and was going around interviewing people like it was a microphone and shoving it towards their mouths. That was pretty damn funny. Also, the locker-room wide conversation between the entire Oakland A's team about who has the smallest penis in the MLB was pretty funny too. I think they decided it was Ichiro.
Lots of the players drank during the games. Mostly, it was starting pitchers who weren't starting that game, or guys who got ejected. Kenny Rogers from the Tigers used to drink and smoke in the clubhouse during games...Only when Leyland was not around though because they could get in serious trouble. He would hide behind the washing machine and smoke cigarettes.
To answer your question, I haven't met too many baseball or football players, but it seems like you hear way more about them pulling dumb shit in public like getting busted with guns or drugs. Baseball players usually just get busted for roids, but overall, i'd say they are probably the nicest. I think it has to do with the fact that violence is not encouraged in baseball like it is in football and (some) basketball and your goal is not to necessarily over-power the other team like in other sports, but rather to beat them with good plays and good pitching. Even on offense, it is totally non-aggressive and I think that's something that embeds itself in someone's personality that has been doing it since childhood. Every so often you get some assholes or you get guys who let the money go to their heads, but it seems to be more-so in other sports.
We had quite a few broken bats, but there were 6 of us who worked there. The only fair way that we were able to distribute memorabilia was to play poker, with the winner getting choice of stuff. That's how I got those Hank Blalock batting gloves. A Manny Ramirez broken bat came through once and this guy I worked with that I hated won it. I took second so I was kind of salty. Some of the players opted to keep their broken bats too and others took them and gave them to fans, so there weren't too many that came through to us since we were bottom of the barrel.
Back to that Manny bat, when the Sox came back into town, the guy asked Manny to sign it and Manny wouldn't sign it and tried to take it back from him, but didn't end up following through with taking it.
And to answer your other question, I studied bio at a small college in PA and I do research for the Cleveland Clinic now.
I really liked Kenny Rogers and Brandon Inge. Rogers was like a giant kid. He would do shit he knew Leyland would get pissed about so he would tip us to help him cover it up. I mentioned earlier he would smoke cigarettes while hiding behind the washing machine and have us keep lookout for Leyland. Inge was just a genuinely nice guy. The most laid back guy was probably Verlander except for the game he started against us because if I remember correctly he had a bad outing.
Yeah haha...a high foul ball was hit towards me still in play and I picked up my stool and took off running to get away from the play. Turns out, I misjudged the fly ball and ran right towards it, causing Juan Rivera to drop the ball and cuss me out in multiple languages. He requested a new ball boy and they pulled me off the field halfway through the game. I was on ESPN that night too so all my friends could make fun of me.
Also, I made a pretty sweet grab on a line drive going towards the fans next to me. I caught the ball and the force caused my glove to hit some lady in the side. She wasn't mad though because she said she would rather it be my glove than the ball...
There was also quite a few throwing errors on my part while warming up right fielders that led to a not so happy Milton Bradly one game and an even angrier Vlad Guerrero on a different occasion.
Not really...wives and girlfriends weren't really talked about too much, but I know a lot of the guys would hit up the strip clubs (and ask us how to get there) at the end of a series. Sometimes, they would even go as far as to ask for a ride there. Usually my boss would give them a ride there.
The job itself was incredible. It was an experience I wouldn't trade for anything. Yeah, we had some shitty tasks, but these were the guys I grew up idolizing as a little kid, and for the most part, they lived up to my expectations with the exception of a few big names. They were like me and my friends, but with lots of money and a cool job and most of them were extremely humble.
I never saw any illegal activity, but there was definitely some shady stuff...When the Reds came to town for inter-league play, for example, Ken Griffey Jr's luggage was literally a 6 foot tall closet on wheels with a massive pad lock on it. Every time he opened it, he turned it towards the bench he was sitting on so nobody ever really saw inside. As soon as he got what he needed out, the pad lock went back on.
No worries, no offense was taken. It was a cool summer job, but I wouldn't want to make a career of it.
And I think Griffey might have possibly had some needles in there. I don't know for sure... I do know he had some suits in there that probably cost a few thousand dollars because I saw him wearing them after games.
Last updated: 2012-04-28 22:14 UTC This post was generated by a robot! Send all complaints to epsy.
Brett is an internationally published sports journalist, political analyst, and medical fiction author. His commentary is seen in The Star, The Citizen, Tampa Bay Times, The Street, The Sowetan, The Sunday Times, The Sunday Independent, and across hundreds of online and print media platforms. He is the author of ‘Cricket Chatz’ and the highly-acclaimed, ‘Serum’. Looking for a great NFL Betting Party? Here are the best recommendations to gather your bettor friends and have a blast this Super Bowl 50. The Super Bowl is a time when the NFL betting lines open up for fans and football lovers. But it is not just about watching the big game on television, it is also about celebrating the event with family members, friends and fellow bettors. Former NBA player Doug Christie has been married to his wife Jackie for 20 years. She’s now a reality TV star on Basketball Wives: LA on VH1. So you’d think, after 20 years of marriage that ... Find top College Basketball betting odds, scores, news and picks from VegasInsider, along with more NCAAb information to assist your sports handicapping. Get a sneak peek of the future VI! Try it now. Advertisement. Looking for the best free basketball tips? We have you covered. Tipsters of the bettingexpert community post free profitable basketball betting tips every day.
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