Meandering thoughts on the news…
Donald Trump is running for president. Britain just voted to exit the European Union. And my brand new custom made baseball bats were stolen off my stoop. Which is these is the most awful?
Donald Trump’s presidential bid appears fraught with interminable weakness. He seems painfully disinterested in learning about – or at least talking about – actual issues and policies. To be fair, some of this is surely strategy. The less specifically he speaks, the less his opponents can specifically ridicule. So he speaks almost entirely in fuzzy non-specifics, choosing instead to rail against this group or that. Hate is in right now, and he’s got no shortage of it. Can it be enough to spring him to victory? A lot of electoral math says no but the Brexit vote should provide some pause to those who say it cannot happen.
Speaking of Brexit, holy shit it happened! On Thursday the Brits voted out of the EU, and on Friday they practically broke the Google server trying to educate themselves as to what the f*** they had just done. If the news is to be believed, it would seem that voters wanted to express the seriousness of their plight through the ballot box but either didn’t expect the initiative to pass or didn’t expect the world to take it so damn seriously. Like a romantic partner telling you “it’s over” and then re-appearing the next morning to apologize, only to find all their possessions strewn about the front lawn.
Okay, now onto the story that actually matters to me: my baseball bats. My buddy and longtime teammate Eric bought a bat lathe a couple years ago and made me a great bat last season. Sadly it broke toward the end of the year when I hit a long fly ball that landed just foul. (Despite the fact that my personal wood bat broke on a long foul fly, and despite the fact that the guy on deck actually had the same name as the batboy in The Natural – Bobby – and despite the fact that Bobby was the one sifting through the bats to find an adequate replacement for the remainder of my at-bat just like the batboy in the film, I failed to think to say, “Pick me out a winner, Bobby” until the moment had passed. It instantly and permanently became one of the great regrets of my life.) Upon hearing the news, Eric resolved to create two new personalized wood bats for me from scratch.
The man worked on them for weeks. He made them slightly different from one another and called me regularly from his home in San Francisco to report on their progress. One had a larger nub on the end than the other. One was slightly fatter than the other. They both had personalized logos and my initials. He polished and finished them. Excitedly, he put them in the mail.
Returning from a few days away, I saw the long tall box leaning against the entrance to my apartment. It looked perfectly intact. My wife approached and opened a flap in the cardboard to find that it had been tampered with and the bats were, in fact, gone. Stolen! My heart sank and has remained sunk.
Look, there’s no question that a Donald Trump presidency would impact my life on a day-to-day basis. I live in Washington, D.C., so I’ll be constantly reminded of the mean bastard. I follow the news, so I’ll have to keep listening to his stupid horse voice as he murders critical thought and upends (once common) decency on a daily basis. And I share many people’s concern for the urgency of issues like climate change, gun violence and human rights, all of which he thinks are fiction. On top of that, the Brexit vote appears poised to mess up the global economy, the effects of which will surely find their way into my own checking account, maybe even pushing the pause button on my meager effort to buy my first home. But I’ll tell you right now: the vanishing of those beautiful bats – of which I didn’t even so much as see a photograph – surely surpasses both of these struggles in the area of personal tragedy.
Okay, tragedy is a strong word. Anyway, I’m tired. I need more coffee. Obviously. That’s the news. Are you happy?