Opening Day: Tough Crowd

New York is a tough town. Mets just introduced here at CitiField and the crowd, after last years endless injuries, greeted trainers Ray Ramirez, Mike Herbst, and Rick Slate, with resounding boos.

15 Comments

*wincing* Yeah, that sounds like a tough crowd to me, too ;) I hope it’s turning out to be a decent game and that the weather is nice.

Yikes. That’s not good. Hope the Mets turn it around this year.
-Holly
http://irishsoxkid19.mlblogs.com

Ouch. I hope things get better for the Mets – and that the Yankees have a good year. As to your reading of Thurber the other night… I absolutely loved it. It would be great to see you do it again (more than once). As to the story itself, I was thinking “Hmm… he’s already in my TV box…” :) But I wondered what your interpretation of it was – perhaps that of wanting to be anonymous for a while? Tired, maybe, of so many strangers acting like they know you when they really don’t, and when you don’t know them at all? I can understand that, but I hope that at least part of the time (if that is the case) the attention from those who care warms your heart just a little. I imagine it can be overwhelming sometimes, though. I know I’m a “guilty party” because to me, you feel like a friend, even though we’ve never met. Keith, I guess it’s just that you’re such a compassionate and caring person that it shows clearly in what you say and do… and it’s beautiful to see. But it can’t be easy when people keep asking you to “talk about this issue” “no, THAT one” “no, THIS ISSUE!” on your show… you’re one man, and you can’t solve everything. I think most of us know that, but sometimes we forget. And then there are the haters… those who hate you for (gasp!) telling the truth. Too many people, too much noise… In any case, I hope you find your “box”… a place where you can have at least a modicum of peace and contentment. You deserve it. And if you will forgive me…. Go Mariners!! :) (And Yankees!)

Well, at least the Mets won :D Right now I’m watching the Cubs get their backsides kicked by the Braves

The Mets deserve a break after last season. C’mon, New York! Stop acting so tough and look over at your good friend Mr. Met! After watching his men go drop off the lineup like flies until only David Wright was left, that big-headed, lovable mascot needs a hug. Do you think that big guy doesn’t know pain? He does.

Worked late into the night, so I had to sleep in, and therefore I missed this game. But at least the Mets won, so maybe that will shut the crowd up for a while. To borrow a line from Full House, “How rude!”

@entireofitself – If you’ll recall, when Keith read that story, he said it was a favorite of his in college. That’s long before Countdown began. :-)

About the story, I guess the reason it didn’t resonate as well with me is that I’ve always felt as if people were trying to put me in a box (I had teachers who tried to micromanage my life, just because I was an A student–even telling me what kind of fiction I should read, and which kids I should befriend!), so I’m emotionally and literally claustrophobic. I wanna be free! As a result, I preferred the mongoose story that was read on-air – it struck me as being sort of the antithesis of Rudyard’s Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. :-)

Oh, nice……the Braves actually got a REAL operatic Tenor to do God Bless America :D Much better ;) Cubs are still losing, though……..15-5 Braves as of right now, with only 1 out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the 8th. I guess it’s going to be a very long year >:-(

@Entireofitself: I think we all want to find our own “boxes” to escape from the world for a while, whether we’re celebrities or not ;) Oddly enough, there still seems to be a bit of a political subtext apparent to me regarding the story in this regard……..we create our own “boxes” anymore by how we choose our news services. Many only choose to get their news from sources that reflect their own biases, thus reinforcing those selfsame attitudes…….alas that there are those whose “news” comes from factually challenged sources, and bring told the real truth upsets them, so they lash out at the source of the light of truthfulness with anger and hate. It also doesn’t help that those same “news” organizations and radio talkers keep reinforcing the lunacy—-and the walls of those delusional “boxes”—- with ever more over-the-top rhetoric.

Keith, I did enjoy that reading and hope you do more, not only on the air but also do some as audio files to sell on iTunes, possibly for charitable purposes–like to donate some of the money raised to the National Association of Free Clinics. I feel that would be a wonderful thing to to remember your father and Mr Thurber by ;)

Ummm…..”regard” should be “respect”, and the Braves won 16-5 *sigh*

@unpaka27, @nightowl4music…. fascinating takes on the “box” issue. :) That’s one thing I love about coming here – Keith seems to attract an interesting and intelligent bunch. Keith, I agree with nightowl4music – if you did audio recordings, I think a lot of people would pay to have them. Not just because you’re on Countdown… you have a deep, resonant and beautiful voice, and you really bring the stories to life when you read them aloud. Sending some or all of the proceeds to the NAFC or another deserving charity would make it even more of a win-win. If you decide to go for it, please let your viewers know – I’ll happily get in line!

Entireofitself, don’t forget that at least some of the money will need to go to the Thurber estate.

I agree with the above poster about your voice, Keith, and your reading really does bring the story to life, as she said. I’d buy the files, too……I’m already using the YouTube video of last Friday’s reading to help chase out the leftover Easter music so I can get some rest at night for a change. Nothing quite like hearing a story before going to sleep ;)

I believe it was the 1990 season that the Mets lost big on opening day. I was going to grad school at Columbia and listened to the broadcast (RIP Bob Murphy). After the game, on the call-in show on WFAN, I counted. Seven of the first 10 callers demanded that Davey Johnson be fired for losing on opening day. Twenty years later, not much of a change.

As a Thurber fan of long standing (it’s a requirement if you’re from Ohio & develop a certain at-right-angles-to-the-rest-of-the-world sense of humor while an adolescent), I was startled to realize I had not encountered that particular Thurber story before now. As Keith read on, I found myself thinking that “The Admiral on the Wheel,” another Thurber personal narrative, provided an interesting comparison — the New Yorker Web site gives a handy abstract: “The writer suffers from defective vision. He tells about the strange and wonderful things he sees when his glasses are broken and he has to view things with only 2/5 vision.” As an aside, Thurber lost sight in one eye due to a childhood mishap, & the vision in his remaining eye deteriorated steadily for the rest of his life (this is why he eventually gave up cartooning). He was completely blind for the last 10 years or so of his life.
Anyhoo, before that eventuality … in the “Admiral on the Wheel,” he rather wistfully describes the magical other world opened to him when his glasses are broken — in fact he seems to prefer it to the real world … so it serves as another kind of escape.
Unfortunately, I was wearing my glasses this afternoon, & so was unable to avoid seeing the Indians get blanked by the White Sox, 6-0. I’m telling you, Keith may be spot on with his slippery ball theory from yesterday — Jake Westbrook threw four, count ‘em, FOUR wild pitches. On the other hand, the Sox managed to pull stunning, miraculous defensive plays, to the point where it looked like they were answering a casting call for a remake of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.* That Mark Buerhle between-the-legs-throw-while-falling was astonishing. Well, as Herb Score (and 100,000,000 other baseball sages) would say, “When you go to the ballpark, there’s always a chance you’ll see something you’ve never seen before.” (My corollary: “You will then promptly see it six times the very next day.”)
Sigh. Well, no team has ever gone 0-162. In the modern era. Yet.

@entireofitself, @unpaka27, @nightowl4music: Great analyses of ?A Box To Hide In?!

For what it’s worth, my .02&#162: This Thurber story was both troubling and funny to me.

Here was this poor fellow, feeling deeply put-upon by the world, so much so that he went from grocer to grocer trying to find a box big enough for him to hide in and, unsuccessful, finally gave up when it got dark and retreated back to the relative security of his home.

It was troubling because it spoke directly to my own insecurities. The times I most want to find a box to hide in are when I’m feeling like an oddball, a misfit, the person who refuses to waddle with the rest of the ducks!

I suspect that Thurber knew, along with other humorists and comedians (and Keith?), that humor is the best box of all. When the world starts closing in and is intent on examining our lives and insecurities a little too closely for comfort, we can throw up those four walls (or box) and throw some humor out there and then . . . Presto-Deflecto . . . it’s no longer about us, it’s about LAUGHTER. Humor is an indispensable arrow to have in your quiver.

And as Keith finished the story and his booming baritone faded, the last word I thought of was . . . hopeful.

Ashoein, I know the misfit oddball feeling all too well………never have fit in. As a matter of fact, once I was in junior high, my reputation as an oddball was sealed when I scared the hell out of several of classmates at a birthday party………one of the gals had a huge crush on Neil Diamond and loved the music “Song Sung Blue”. She was going on about wanting the lyrics so she could sing along, so I asked for a pencil and paper, listened to the 45 rpm record about 6 times and transcribed them for her. You could have heard a pin drop in there when I handed the paper to her………I left shortly thereafter. Never was invited to anything else after that…….not that I cared, as my classmates had made my life a living hell with teasing about my weight and glasses since first grade. I actually got along better with the teachers than with my own peer group……..too damned smart for my own good, I guess

Tribegal, the Cubs got nailed by those slippery baseballs, too…….they got off to a great start, then got shelled by the Braves and seemed to have a case of the dropsies, plus the pitching staff struggled. *sigh* It’s gonna be a long year……

See what I mean?? :) Another cogent and fascinating analysis, this time from ashoein. Love it! @ashoein: YES – humor is the greatest weapon you can have in your arsenal. I know I’ve mentioned before that I used to be severely weak until about a year ago… but what’s funny about that is your comment about waddling with the rest of the ducks – when I was having difficulty, I would end up dragging my feet (not by choice), and we used to joke about my “duck-walk”. I still remember one night working at Key Arena, and being utterly exhausted when we were leaving… I was duck-walking badly, and near tears. I heard an odd sound behind me, and it was a friend of mine, duck-walking right along with me. She had it down. I laughed so hard I forgot all about crying… and I was able to make it out of the arena. Laughter does indeed have restorative powers, even if just for a moment. I guess that’s one reason I like Countdown so much – Keith makes me laugh, and informs me at the same time, so he’s feeding several parts of my brain all at once. Great stuff. I’ve probably said this before, but I’ll say it again – I might lose my strength, and I might lose my dignity, but I will never lose my sense of humor. :)

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