Wednesday, August 26, 2009

APBA Baseball

One thing I hate about this blog is the early sixties. Stuff is mixed up in my head time wise and I don't have a way to anchor it to a year or a class. Things extend between years, pop up again and vanish. Boy Scouts, for instance, were part of my life at two very different occasions in the sixties. The same is true of APBA sports games.
ABPA is a game much like Strat-o-matic. Each is a combination of dice, player cards, and result boards. Each game has demented enthusiasts. In Wenonah my neighborhood was filled with APBA Baseball and later football, basketball, and golf enthusiasts. Terry and Chris were the first to purchase games and soon all of us had one. The games were played either in Terry's basement or my front porch.
We were deadly serious about the game. We played full seasons, used real score books and kept detailed statistics. There were leaders in HR's, batting average, and ERA. Just like the big boys. Terry had the Yankees and my team was the Reds, Gary Condell loved the Cardinals and Mick the Pirates. We'd sit for hours in Terry's basement rolling dice and yelling cheers, all the while listening to Mary Flemings collection of show tunes and Frank Sinatra 45's.
We were surrounded by Doc Flemings Yankee memorabilia and bar supplies and the air was damp basement air. The kids who weren't playing were playing the slot machine.
The competition was fierce although it seems the Yankees always won...just as they did in real life. Later we bought into old time teams. I had the 1940 Cincinnati Reds and Terry had the 27 Yankees. He won game after game after game. Every player on his team was light years better than any other player on any other team. Babe Ruth hit a homer every other at bat. It was hopeless.
Once again I was a loser. I had lots of company but the Reds weren't really all that good. I loved them and wanted them to be good but the numbers didn't lie...they were not a championship team vs any other team. Had I known that in the 70's the Big Red Machine would rear its head I would have given any thing to travel into the future and come back with those cards. No more block of k after k after k. I'd be a winner and they'd all be losers. Fat chance. I was stuck in 1965 in a basement getting crushed day after day after day by better players, better strategists, and cooler kids. I was a loser.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

An Apology

Many (well two) people have been asking when I would post again. They apparently were sick of the trestle. To all of you bored people I apologize. I'm undergoing treatment for Hepatitis C which requires me to take a chemo therapy drug every week. It sucks the life out of you. I don't care about food or sex and I can't come up with an idea to save my ass. So bear with me. This too shall pass and we can leap back with abandon into the heady days of the Beatles and the Dave Clark Five and Lyndon Baines Johnson and Vietnam. Life stretches out before us.

Pavlov's Jack

As you'll no doubt remember I washed out of Boy Scouts (literally) because I wet the bed. That was when I was eleven. I continued to do so till I was fourteen. I think that puts me in eighth grade but even if it doesn't I'm thinking about it so in it goes.
My parents took me to many doctors over the years trying to figure out why I peed myself at night. Shrinks, urologists, you name it. They also never really told me why we were talking to these folks. I was dragged from health care center to health care center and I still woke up in a sea of piss every morning.
Then one day my parents brought home a new device. It consisted of a rubber pad that went under my sheets and an electronic device. The device worked thus: when liquids hit the pad it triggered an electric signal that rang a loud bell. A REALLY, REALLY, REALLY LOUD BELL!!!!
No one explained to me how it actually worked except to show me the bell going off and setting things up and sending me to bed.
I peed again the next night and I think the next two nights but then a miracle happened. Right before I had to piss I woke up and went downstairs and pissed in the toilet. I didn't wet the bed. And I didn't wet the bed ever again.
I thought at the time this was a miracle. I still do for the most part. But I've since learned about Pavlov's dog and I realize I was a Pavlovian dog. I heard the bell before I peed and woke up and went downstairs.
This was good because I didn't wet the bed. It was bad because I hate bells. I have to pick up a phone on the first ring if not sooner. Loud noises freak me out. Oh, and I don't like to piss or shit in any place other than a toilet or the wilderness (or pee in a back yard late at night when I'm drunk and happy). This was a real liability when I became ill with AIDS because pissing and shitting yourself are kind of day to day possibilities.
But that is for a post much, much later. For now I'm in eighth grade and my sheets are dry and the bell is muffled.