One of my five year old nieces was staying the night with us, and before bedtime, I was requested to tell her a story. I didn’t know it would give her nightmares.
Here was my thoughtful introduction. (her name is Lucy)
Me: Lucy, do you know anything about baseball?
Lucy: A little.
Me: Do you know anything about a magical place in the Emerald City (known as Seattle) called Safeco Field?
Lucy: (apprehensively) No.
Me: It’s where baseball players go to die. There is nothing safe about this place! And, many others suffer from their lack of ability and additional lack of knowledge of what should be a mentally simple game.
Lucy: What do you mean by others? Team mates?
Me: Not just team mates, but those in the stands witnessing them dig their own graves, primarily in left field and center field.
Lucy: Keep telling the story.
Me: Ok, but it doesn’t have a happy ending like World War Two. Are you cool with that?
Me: Good, because tomorrow night, we’re going to talk about Korea.
Me: I’m getting tired, but here’s the brief story. When very talented baseball players lose their desire to play, yet don’t lose the desire to make money, figuratively speaking, they come to a home where they are safe, just not at home plate. Are you following me?
Lucy: Not at home? Who feeds them?
Me: Good question. The owners.
Lucy: Do the owners live with them?
Me: Nobody lives with them! The owners can afford to pay people to take care of them, but the owners and players must sign contracts, much like making a deal with the devil. Do you anything about him?
Me: Yeah, let’s leave that one alone for tonight, and get back to the fun part of the story.
Lucy: But, uncle Ben, you haven’t told me about the worst part of this story. The owners don’t live with them, but shouldn’t they, out of principle?
Me: Another good question. No, sadly the owners live thousands of miles away but provide vast amounts of money so these ballplayers can eat, drink, chew on bubble gum and other things like women, but let’s not get into that.
Lucy: Tell me more.
Me: Before I put you to sleep with negative energy, let’s speak of a man named Santa Clause. Are you familiar with this guy?
Lucy: Yes! He is jolly and brings me gifts my parents can’t afford! He also has a beard and……..
Me: That’s enough. Do you know anyone else who has a beard?
Lucy: Yes, but no one who shows up with presents.
Me: Ok, let’s just get this Santa Clause crap out of the way, because he doesn’t exist, get it?
Me: Do you love your dad and your mom?
Me: They are much like managers of a baseball team.
Lucy: What does that mean?
Me: Good Lord, they are the ones helping you make proper decisions, when in fact, they should be kicking you in the ass.
Lucy: You’re scaring me…….this is not a fun story, and where are you going with this?
Me: The manager of the Emerald City Seattle Mariners is fat and wears a beard, but doesn’t bring any gifts! He is the exact opposite of Santa!
Lucy: I think I want to go to sleep.
Me: Ok. Goodnight and God Bless you.
Illustration courtesy of Lucy Gannon