Archive for August, 2007

I just heard a joke

Note: I didn’t write this joke. I just heard it.

One sunny day in 2009, an old man approached the White House from across Pennsylvania Avenue, where he’d been sitting on a park bench. He spoke to the Marine standing guard and said, “I would like to go in and meet with President Hillary Clinton.”

The Marine replied, “Sir, Mrs. Clinton is not President and doesn’t reside here.”

The old man said, “Okay,” and walked away.

The following day, the same man approached the White House and said to the same Marine, “I would like to go in and meet with President Hillary Clinton”. The Marine again told the man, “Sir, as I said yesterday, Mrs. Clinton is not President and doesn’t reside here.”

The man thanked him and again walked away . . .

The third day, the same man approached the White House and spoke to the very same Marine, saying “I would like to go in and meet with President Hillary Clinton.”

The Marine, understandably agitated at this point, looked at the man and said, “Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to speak to Mrs. Clinton. I’ve told you already several times that Mrs. Clinton is not the President and doesn’t reside here. Don’t you understand?”

The old man answered, “Oh, I understand you fine, I just love hearing your answer!”

The Marine snapped to attention, saluted, and said, “See you tomorrow.”

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I haven’t written anything for awhile. My last post threw me into a cave, and I just now think I’m beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I finally finished listening to the audiobook version of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. As I may have mentioned once or twice it’s my all-time favorite story. I think the first time I heard it was in Mr. Boersma’s class at Ramona School. He read several books aloud to our 6th grade class and I’m pretty sure Huck Finn was one of them. Each day just before the bell rang he would pick up the book and read us a chapter or two, depending on how much time he had and his mood. Most of us would sit with our heads down, so we couldn’t make faces at one another and get into trouble so late in the day. I never gave it much thought before, but the ending of the novel is really very contrived – after Huck and Jim journey hundreds of miles down the Mississippi River, who do they meet up with? I mean, c’mon.

Like Huck, I ran away from home once when I was little, but I made the mistake of announcing my intention to go to New York City. Several hours later when I tried to get back in the house the back door was locked, with a note that my sister Karin had written dangling on the door asking, “How is the weather in New York City?”

By the way, I think New York City owes me a beer. One day I was playing catch outside with Tommy Moore, an older boy who lived down the street. He was throwing me some pretty hard stuff and one of them slipped over my glove and hit me in the mouth. Afterwards my mouth swelled together, and for several days I had to eat everything through a straw. Tommy Moore later went on to pitch in the big leagues for several years, and was part of the trade with the St. Louis Cardinals that brought Joe Torre to New York. So I think New York owes me. And if you don’t believe me, like Susan Sarandon says in Bull Durham, “you can look it up.”

Here’s a picture of Tommy Moore, when he was on the Mets:

Tommy Moore Mets

It’s kind of small so here’s a link to a photo of Mandy Moore at Dodger stadium, watching the Mets.

I saw Tommy Moore pitch once on television when I was in the Navy, on the Game of the Week on NBC when he was on the St. Louis Cardinals. I was at a transit barracks at Treasure Island in San Francisco, and the game was on in the barracks lounge. The manager called him in to pitch late in the game and he threw very well. He had my wind-up though, or perhaps I had his, and pretty good stuff. Several batters hit him hard, but fortunately they were all right at somebody.

Of course it’s fun to search for any connection we might have to big league baseball. My great grandfather’s name was Seibold, or Seybold – as Huck would say, “grampa warn’t too partic’lar about the way he spelt his last name.” He was born in Pennsylvania in about 1880 or thereabouts and had several brothers that worked with him in the coal mines near Scranton. One day I was perusing a baseball encyclopedia, and found a picture of a player named Ralph Orlando “Socks” Seybold who also hailed from Pennsylvania and played around the turn of the century for the Philadelphia Athletics. Socks was a great ballplayer and is in the Hall of Fame. He held the American League single season home run record of 16 home runs for many years, until Babe Ruth hit 29 homers in 1919.

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