Elderly Tigers Fan Waits for Belated Birthday Present

May 22, 2011

All Mary Johnson wanted to do for her 104th birthday was see her beloved Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park for the very first time.

But Mother Nature decided to play a cruel joke–much like the one God plays when he keeps a human being alive for 104 years–and last Sunday’s the game against the Kansas City Royals was rained out.

So Mary Johnson’s first game at Comerica will have to wait, which shouldn’t be a problem. After 104 years, what’s another couple of weeks?

Johnson maintains a youthful exuberance despite her advanced age. She credits Vaseline for her wrinkle-free skin and her sharply parted hair.

Mary Johnson

So when that sweet old lady, still full of life, finally makes it through those turnstiles, you just know she’s really going to enjoy herself. In fact, here are some of the things we can imagine the 104 year-old woman saying to the fans seated around her once that much-anticipated moment finally arrives:

“Nine dollars for a beer!? Why, I remember when nine dollars got you a giant bag of opium and a date with a gigolo!”

“I’d love to have a peanut deary, but unfortunately I left my teeth in the car.”

“Why, I remember when this was gang land as far as the eye could see!”

“This exploding scoreboard both amazes and frightens me at the same time.”

“I like that Scott Sizemore, he’s such a nice boy, with a nice face.”

“When you live to be as old as I am, the long lines at the bathroom don’t bother you so much. Probably because you can pretty much go wherever you want. Like right now, for example.”

“I’ll recognize the state of Arizona before you’ll ever get me to recognize the designated hitter! Ptooey!”

“That Ty Cobb was such a gentleman. Never had a bad word to say about anyone, bless his heart.”

“I can do the wave! Just watch me. Here I go…Oww!! My hip!”

“I stuffed my purse full of packets of pickle relish. They won’t let us have pickle relish at the home. I like pickle relish. I stuffed my purse full of packets of pickle relish. They won’t let us have pickle relish at the home. I like pickle relish…”

“Come on pitcher, throw the ball to the plate! While we’re young, damn it!”

“Oh, I wish my grandchildren were alive to see this!”

“That sun’s a bright one today! Good thing I brought an extra tub of Vaseline. Mmm, creamy!”

“I wish those young women dressed as whores would catapult a T-shirt over here.”

“Why, I can remember when baseball was called ‘Bag Ball.’ And before that it was called ‘Hickory Sticks.’ And before that it was called ‘Hey Everybody, Let’s Beat Up the Irish.’”

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Memo to Cubs Fans: Don’t Block the Plate

May 13, 2011

The state of Illinois hopes to be selling vanity and personalized license plates featuring the St. Louis Cardinals team logo and colors in the very near future.

If Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has his way, the Cardinals will join Chicago’s Blackhawks, Cubs, Bears, Bulls, and White Sox as part of program to sell plates in order to raise money for education.

As could be expected, the measure has been met with some major grumbling by politicians, media types, and fans in the northern part of the state, even being referred to as “blasphemy” in some circles.

The opposition’s main point of contention: The Cardinals are from the state of Missouri, not Illinois.

This seems a tad irrelevant. For one thing, you’d think a state as broke as Illinois would be okay with selling Manchester United license plates if they made money, let alone wringing their hands over a team that resides just across a river and has several million of its fans living within its own borders, paying taxes for things like White Sox stadiums they’ll never visit.

It makes you wonder if an effort to block the Cardinals from being added to the program is in the works.

If that happens though, I for one think downstate Illinois Cardinals fans should respect the wishes of the citizens of their state. This is a democracy, and the majority rules.

Besides, while the state can dictate which professional sports teams it will feature on personalized license plates; it can’t (completely) tell you what to put on those plates.

So if you’re a Cardinal fan living in Illinois, and you find yourself unable to buy Cardinals vanity license plates, maybe you buy Cubs plates that celebrate one of the team’s many famous collapses.

Or perhaps, as an Illinois Cardinal fan, rather than focusing on a specific event of failure, you’d like your personalized Cubs plates to be more of a general commentary on the condition of Cubs baseball for the past century-plus.

A Cardinal fan living in Illinois could also take the more direct approach – short, succinct, and to the point.

So fear not, Cardinal fans of Central and Southern Illinois. Being restricted to having only Illinois professional teams on your license plates wouldn’t be the worst thing. Being born a Cubs fan would.

Just remember, there may be a limit of seven characters on the Cubs plates, but there’s no limit on the Cubs’ ineptitude.