Trick or Treats (Big Gulp and the Bumble)

While maintaining the summertime theme, this title means absolutely zero regarding Halloween.  I’ll save that for my November blog.  Treats are reserved for those desiring Ding Dongs, Zingers, Wang Doodlers, Twinkies, Pong Paks, and Slappy Sams…..hold on……I may be confusing treats with fireworks. On the flip flop side, there are tricks.  Only one should be reserved for ballplayers!  AND IT’S NOT TREATS!

Let me calm down and explain.  My brother, Tom, and I coached a little league ball team one, and only one summer, for the tricks, not the treats. Coerced (manipulated) by Tom, I accepted the job (his son, Quinn, was a member of the team).  It was difficult denying his offer of no pay, jalapeno heat and pissed off parents knowing zippydadooda NOTHING about baseball.

Showing up at the ballpark two hours before the game, Tom, Russ (my pitching coach comrade), and I would prepare the field.  Russ was our non paid residential good person  preparing the mound for pitchers.  Preparing a mound requires far more time than raking and pounding dirt while sweating profusely.  That’s the easy part.  The hard part is keeping kids with dirt bikes trying to do bunny hops off the prepared pitcher’s mound.  We volunteered our time quite gracefully and enjoyed a few moments over those few hot months.  By a few, I think I mean two, or perhaps, what felt like, five. God Bless our souls.

That summer of coaching could best be characterized by the trinity of fans.  We had the Bumble, Big Gulp, and one other genuinely good man, named Earl, sponsoring  one of our players within the “Big Brother Organization”.  As a spectator and father, Big Gulp’s secondary concern was to bitch and moan about our coaching and where his son should be in the batting order or pitching rotation.  His primary concern was to drink an endless supply of Big Gulps during the game, thus increasing 7-11’s stock drastically in the 1990’s.  Luckily for us coaches, it was nice that he could stick something like a straw, 64 ounces of cola or his foot in his mouth, sparing us from additional whining.

Tom, Russ and I were growing weary of this fellow, but when recognizing someone actually has something, mentally, wrong with them, you make a conscience decision not to beat the hell out of them.  One fine day, ruined by having to coach little league baseball, Tom received a phone call from Big Gulp.  Big Gulp (he reads like a comic book hero) gave notice to Tom that he would not be attending the day’s game, but wanted his son to be the starting pitcher.  Diplomatically, Tom said there was a chance his son may start but wished to speak with me, the assistant coach,before making the decision.  None too pleased with Tom’s non guarantee,  Big Gulp provided meaningless statistics in an attempt to solidify his argument.  Without succumbing to persuasion, and out of curiosity, Tom side swiped the conversation by asking Big Gulp why he wouldn’t be in the stands, or grass that day.  Turns out, Big Gulp had an Elvis Presley impersonation gig that day out of town.  We stopped hating him and felt sorry for him and his child from that day forth.  It did explain some things……such as the side burns.  That was one of the enjoyable moments.

Photo courtesy of Washington State Dept of Motor Vehicles and Licensing

Bumbles don’t really bounce.  The gentleman, or sidekick, perhaps band member of Big Gulp was a man we affectionately labeled “The Bumble”.  His son, equally as crappy as Big Gulp’s, also played on the team.  By play, I mean he wore a uniform and carried a bat.  The Bumble, however, was exceptionally nice, but maintained a gift of gabble, or babble.  Though maintaining his kindness and good sportsmanship, he simply never shut up.

Referencing “The Bumble”, only those thirsting for Rudolph, Charlie Brown, Frosty, and countless other 1970’s classics may remember.  The Bumble was introduced as a Yeti slash Sasquatch like creature haunting, in fact terrifying, bedrooms, closets and tinsel town themed animated Christmas neighborhoods.  That poor giant biped turned out to be a cute, cuddly, furry creature who no one really understood…..other than Tom and me…..until we met the real Bumble.

Humor is so medicinal.  Sometimes it comes without words.  It does arrive with hand or feet gestures, or even a smug grin acknowledging the ridiculousness of a situation.  Suffering through these baseball games, Tom, Russ, I and anyone within 100 miles of this ballpark yearned for something more than mere humor.   We sought relief.  Not from the heat or children who hadn’t tossed a ball before 10 years of age, let alone conception, we just wished to find some solace with summer.  The Bumble provided that solace one day when Tom looked at me and said, “Do you know who he looks like?”.  I replied, “Yeah, The Bumble”.  Tom and I both laughed and the summer felt like winter, without the storms, the ice, red noses and frozen fingers.  Once again, I loved baseball.

Coaching anything requires patience, knowledge, persistence, acceptance, sternness, and two or three straight jackets.  Representing the civilized world, Earl was one of the few members of the baseball and athletic community certifying why sports, humanity, and humility can coexist.

As an intimidating figure, one of which upon approaching Tom and me after a game, we collectively said, “Oh boy, here we go again.  How is this guy going to educate us about the sport of baseball?”  This man approached us, presented his hand, and said, in the most kind and genuine of ways, “Thank you… you have done a wonderful job”.  Acknowledging we hadn’t done a wonderful job, we exhaled relief knowing someone cared not just about baseball, but two or three cats taking time out of their schedule to coach the art of baseball.  This man who approached us was working full time and mentoring a young man who has turned out to be a wonderful adult.  I think that’s when we stopped bitching about summer.

Tom and I were speechless.  Simply, we replied, “You’re welcome”.

Formerly, I was going to bitch about the treats required by parents after a game.  Tom and I received a request to provide treats after the last game.  Our reply was, in a Gannonuttshell……”Negative”.

On a sideshow note,  regarding the appreciative and nice intimidating guy approaching Tom and me following the game……well, twelve years later, I married his daughter.  Isn’t baseball miraculous?  What a treat!

69 thoughts on “Trick or Treats (Big Gulp and the Bumble)

  1. I think one of my favorite things about talking with you, knowing your personality, reading your blog, and more importantly being your friend is your ability to give someone a nickname. I don’t think anyone can appropriately assign a more applicable name than you. I’m hoping and praying, which seems strange as I would not want to relive the encounter, for a Chickenhawk sighting or even stalking just to tell you about it. Glad to read your work again!

    • You are a terrific friend.

      Speaking of nicknames, I believe and remember you coining the name, “Chickenhawk”. Then again, I don’t really remember much, other than our friendship, and Captain Matt’s drawers presented on a white board. Hugh Hephner had nothing on the East Valley Middle School Mansion.

  2. Again i say thank you Ben
    you have found my daughter Britt and married her, you love her with your whole heart and treat her like a princess and THAT is all a father could ever hope for!!!!!

    thank you for the kind words Ben
    it take a special person give up their time to volunteer to teach kids how to play any game and as you may think that they were not listening to you and your brother they all took something with them from your kindness and teaching

  3. My favorite character, besides the coaching staff, was The Bumble. For some reason he reminded me of Chicken Lenny. Did he happen to carry a cribbage board and challenge any and all to a friendly game? Only to taunt them to the brink of insanity? Somehow beating a clearly more superior opponent? Anyway, good story Ben.

    • Jerry,

      You have provided inspiration for an additional blog. Chicken Lenny was the only person besides me of course who could get in your kitchen. Thanks for the response.

      I am unable to re-read the Big Gulp and Bumble story because of the pictures. They are far more impressive than my writing. Hope you are well.


  4. I think this is one of the most important info for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But wanna remark on some general things, The web site style is ideal, the articles is really excellent : D. Good job, cheers

  5. I lately came across your weblog and have been reading along. I thought I could leave my initial comment. I don’t know what to say except that I’ve enjoyed scaning what you all have to say

  6. Hi, Neat post. There is an issue with your website in internet explorer, could test this… IE still is the marketplace leader and a large part of folks will omit your excellent writing due to this problem.

  7. Hey there would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re working with? I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m having a hard time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique. P.S Apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!

  8. Fantastic beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your site, how could i subscribe for a blog website? The account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear idea

  9. You can certainly see your enthusiasm within the paintings you write. The sector hopes for even more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. All the time go after your heart.

  10. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it! vps hosting | cpanel vps |

  11. Hi, are you allowing any kind of advertising on your web site? I’d like to purchase a banner ad for a couple of months advertising my personal blog that is closely related. Let me know, or give me an email address that I can reach you at. Cheers!

  12. Very great post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wished to mention that I have really loved browsing your weblog posts. After all I will be subscribing on your feed and I hope you write once more soon!

  13. That is the type of info that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for now not positioning this higher up! Come on over and discuss with my web site. Thanks =)

  14. I was very happy to search out this net-site.I wanted to thanks for your time for this wonderful learn!! I definitely enjoying each little bit of it and I’ve you bookmarked to take a look at new stuff you weblog post.

  15. Pingback: cheap e cigarette kits

  16. Pingback: cheap e cigarette kits

  17. Pingback: Mildred Brandstrom

  18. Pingback: Hayden Vanschuyver

  19. Pingback: Google

  20. Pingback: scam website host

  21. Pingback: FakE OaklEy Flak JackEt

  22. Pingback: louis vuitton outlet

  23. Pingback: Air Max 90

  24. Pingback: uiEZdYfc

  25. Pingback: ecFvGnnf

  26. Pingback: RigJtPhv

  27. Pingback: wWLbVdZk

  28. Pingback: FjlsjkuD

  29. Pingback: NKBInuXo

  30. Pingback: PUgVoYcl

  31. Pingback: google

  32. Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having problems locating it
    but, I’d like to send you an e-mail. I’ve got some suggestions for your blog you might be interested in hearing.

    Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it grow over time.

  33. Hey very cool web site!! Man .. Beautiful .. Amazingg
    .. I will bookmark your site and take the feeds additionally?
    I’m satisfied to seek out numerous useful information right here in the put up, we’d
    like work out extra techniques on this regard, thqnk you for
    sharing. . . . . .

  34. Hello I am so delighted I found your weblog, I really
    found you by accident, while I was searching on Aol for something else, Regardless I am here now
    and would just like to say many thanks for
    a fantastic post and a all round thrilling blog
    (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read through
    it all at the moment but I have bookmarked it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have
    time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up the awesome b.

  35. Thanks for one’s marvelous posting! I genuinely enjoyed reading it, you will be a great author.I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will often come back from now on. I want to encourage you to continue your great posts, have a nice weekend!|

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *