It’s a warm fall evening in the year 2007. I’m playing on a men’s rec-league softball team.
We are getting our asses handed to us. A normal occurrence, but this time they are filleting our asses away with dull rusty knives, rolling them in mud and discarded sunflower seed shells, cooking them in cat urine with a hint of tobacco spit, and serving them back to us with domineering smirks.
Personally, I don’t care. I like winning, of course. But I like playing softball more, so win or lose, I’m having a good time. I don’t take it too seriously. It’s rec-league, for shit’s sake!
The manager of our team is a different story. He’s also the pitcher, and the sponsor. His mood gets darker with each run by our opponent.
Just about every batter on their team jacks the ball out of the park for a home run. It’s slow pitch softball, so it’s not like we can throw curveballs or knucklers to try to confuse them. There’s really nothing our pitcher/manager can do.
Or so I think.
About halfway through this slaughter, I find myself on second base, having slapped a sloppy double into shallow right field. I should be out, but with a score of 82,000,000 to nothing, they were, unsurprisingly, getting a little lazy on defense. Perhaps they were simply tired from running around the bases all night.
Our next batter steps to the plate, and just before the pitcher starts his motion home, our manager jumps out of the dugout waving the Official Softball Rule Book above his head.
“This game is over!” He yells triumphantly, and pointing at the other dugout, “You guys forfeit!”
Of course, there are questions. Not only by the other team, but by our team as well. Not to mention the umpire, who corners our manager. As we gather around, our manager, with a beatific smile of the truly righteous, declaims:
“The rule book says that each team will have consistent uniforms.”
“Yeah. So?” says the umpire.
“Well some of those guys have different hats. They forfeit! We win!”
The other team laughs. The umpire shakes his head.
I and my team hang our heads in shame and embarrassment.
Needless to say our manager loses the argument, but he continues to fight for his stupid insane interpretation of Da Rules, to the point where we (us and the other team) all just walk off the field and go home.
I don’t quit the team. There are only a couple games left and even if the manager is a certifiable idiot, I like most of the guys on my team and don’t want to let them down.
After the season I vow to never play for that team again.
It’s a strange, amusing story, and it really happened, though I may have slightly exaggerated the score.
It popped into my head a couple days ago while I was perusing updates on the coup attempt in our nation’s capital. You know, the one that started three years ago when the dotard Witch of Chappaqua unexpectedly lost to Orange Man, and has now metastasized into an impeachment inquiry.
It's strange the lengths some people will go in order to win, even if by winning, they destroy something even more precious.
In my story, our team saw the ridiculousness of the argument being made by someone who couldn’t bear to lose. We had too much respect for the game to be a part of his shenanigans. Even if his moronically stupid argument had prevailed, it would have been the wrong thing to do. By winning one measly game, we would have lost something far more important.
It was just a little thing, but even then our integrity and honor would not allow it.
Integrity and honor. That’s what separates average Americans from their “betters” in the capital, where all ethics and morals are for sale and subject to self-serving calculation, and even objective wrongs are entertained for the possibility of winning the moment, and the ultimate costs of compromised integrity and lost honor are numbed by the liquor of power and money.
Look, it was just a stupid softball game, but it reinforced for me the lesson that if you can't handle the little shit you'll fall on your face with the big shit. Or, put in a less scatological way:
Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much.Luke 16:10
I'm not a believer, but that's one thing the Bible got right.