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2005-01-01 :: 9:24 p.m.

Monica at the Bat

Tonight I was bored and going through photo albums and such when I found a poem that Casey had written for me. Well, sort of written for me. We were studying "poetry" in Mrs. Szcz's class (I'm thinking this was 10th grade) and we each had to choose a poem to analyze. As a kind of practical joke, I chose to analyze "Casey at the Bat" and Casey wrote a spoof called "Monica at the Bat" to "analyze" (I guess I should point out here that from the time I was born until I started college, everyone called me by my middle name, Monica, because my mom's name was Olivia). We were all supposed to present our analyses in class and we'd arranged it so that I went next-to-last and Casey went last.

Ok, well, it seemed funny at the time. Also, I think Casey got a bad grade for not analyzing a "real" poem... but we had fun. And then he gave me the signed copy of the poem.

Anyway, I still think it's cute, so here it is (my apologies to Ernest Lawrence Thayer):

The outlook wasn't brilliant for the White Pine nine that day
The score stood four to two but with one inning more to play
Then when Saari died at first and Halberg did the same
A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game

A mighty many left, their confidence was cut
Some clung to hope which springs eternal in the human gut
They feared "If Monica had to get a whack," at that
"I'd probably cry, with Monica at the bat."

But Finn preceded Monica, as did Jimmy Fake
With any luck, a win for White Pine they would make
So gaiety and happiness was in all those who sat, to watch and hope that Monica never made it up to bat.

But Finn hit his head stepping from the pits
And Fake, while stretching, fell and did the splits.
And when the dust had lifted no one could stand to watch
'Cause Finn had a concussion and Fake had torn his crotch.

From five-thousand throats and more (the laugh of the opposing team)
Shattered through the hillside, it sounded like a scream
All White Pine was embarrassed, they turned and choked and spat,
For Monica held a golf club instead of a bat.

She seemed confused as she walked right by her place
She had to ask directions, her mind was out in space.
Finally, the crowd cheered and she dropped her hat
For the disgruntled umpire had given her a bat.

Ten-thousand eyes were on her as she held it upside down
And every single smiling mouth turned into a frown.
Pretending she was ready, she smacked it in the dirt.
Then she made the comment, "Golly, that could hurt."

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air
And Monica stood watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close-by the scrawny bats-girl the the ball unheeded sped
"Gorsh, that was fast," said Monica. "Strike one", the umpire said.

A girl made an eighty-buck bet she'd miss, one guy took 'er
He said, "With that kind of money, I could get a hooker!"
As the pitcher got ready to throw, people went to leave
But turned their heads as he gave the ball a heave.

With a smile of sudden clarity, Monica knew not how
She was supposed to go about hitting the ball now.
And so right past her the flying spheroid flew
The crowd yelled, "Hit it!" The umpire said, "Strike two!"

"Hit it?" questioned Monica as she stood near the plate
"Yes!" an evil sneer crossed her face as she raised the bat in hate.
They saw her face grow stern and cold, they saw her muscles strain.
And they all thought that Monica looked most insane.

The cheer is gone from her lips, her mouth is wide in thought
She thinks "If I don't hit this, I'll be so distraught."
Everybody stared, their eyes stuck on the ball
As Monica took a swing, giving it her all.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land, someone's having luck
The band is playing somewhere (thank God not ours-- we suck)
Yet somewhere lives are ended by a deadly gun
But all are in awe in White Pine, Monica hit a... single.

Right now I am listening to nada and am feeling O.K.

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