279.0: It feels like the very first time.
All right. This is it. Today is the day. Tell the guys that this ain’t no salvage operation — this is your chance to reboot the whole postseason!
I never know what time these playoff games will start. It’s crazy how much spotlight is always on them, like celebrities, how the times are scheduled according to prime time television broadcasts.
As it so happens, my shift starts at the same time as you guys get to work in Cincinnati time. You guys have about three hours. I know you can do it. (I never thought I’d be saying this, but you will have to direct them to step up the pitching in both the start and the relief. The defense has been OK and regarding hitting, well, that’s always a surprise with you guys. I’ve learned that it is impervious to strategy.)
At least you guys only have three hours — plus maybe extra innings, which are par for the Giants course. (One of the many things I have always admired about the Giants is how they manage to preserve, likely without intention and perhaps directed by some Kinsellian notion of fate, the old way of baseball.) As for me, I have a long shift tonight. Jeffrey Toobin is speaking at City Arts and Lectures. Apparently, he’s an important guy. Yeah. Ha.
But yes, seriously, he is. He writes for The New Yorker, which I like (though if I’m honest, Vanity Fair, which I have also liked for a very long time, has the more reader-friendly writing). He has a new book out that everyone is reading these days to either stay knowledgeable, or to feel important. Anyway, I’m working late tonight. Including my commute, I probably won’t be home until about eleven, and then I have to get up early tomorrow so I have enough time for my mid-day shift to bake a dessert that I promised I’d bring in for an event we’re having in the store later that night. Oy.
I managed to get away with playing the ballgame on the store’s PA system on Saturday but I don’t think I’ll be able to do that today since my boss will actually be around and weekdays have a higher profile than weekends. (The folks at headquarters like to leave us alone on weekends and surprise us on weekdays when the rules most apply.) Still, perhaps I’ll work up the courage to ask and, barring that, I’ll bring my lucky radio (which I still consider lucky even though I toted it around all day on Saturday and it did no good for you guys) and I will sneak away to listen to it as often as I can.
Isn’t it strange for me to say “headquarters” in reference to my company, which is independent? But they also have enough locations and even a main office that in fact is the de facto headquarters for the whole operation. Some weeks ago, I spoke with the manager of another local bookstore, and with silly naivety I asked him if he knew the owners of my company. He shook his head and only proffered that he had heard of them in their shared circles. The naive part is that I thought all the local bookstore owners knew each other, had banded together to reinvent the wheel after Borders was unable to recover from the flat that caused its mortal pileup. It turns out that there is this wary view of my company, that it straddles a line between being independent and a chain. Which is fine by me, Linc, because as I have previously written, I have served my 10,000 Gladwellian hours of learning how to live in the middle.
One of the more curious expressions of hypermasculinity that I have noticed in guys is that when they like to get something started, whether it’s something major like a game or something distressingly simple like walking down the sidewalk, they like to do this one-clap thing. Like boom: let’s do this! I’ve never understood it. It’s like the human version of an animalistic growl. I bet there’s some anthropologist or psychologist out there who specializes in tracing root primal behaviors and their evolutionary pattern in humans. If not, all that that I just typed sounds like a nice title for a paper, doesn’t it? I hope whomever steals it from me at least buys me dinner.
Boom. Go get ‘em today! (Yes, I did the one-clap thing and: ow.)