It seems like just yesterday – ok, maybe two or three days ago – that the Red Sox were disencumbering the 2004 Yankees of yet more American League Championship hardware by winning the final four games of that seven-game series to cap the most excruciating and scintillating era of sports in my lifetime. The series included Dave Roberts' stolen base and tying run, an 11-inning game, a 14-inning game, a bloody sock, and the absolute pummeling of the despised (by me) Yanks in the Bronx. My life was changed forever!
Prior to that moment, everything was shit. I had nothing to live for. Sure, I had a wife who loved me (well, liked me – I think) and a dog who loved me as well (well, appreciated that I fed her), a house, a good job, and bike. But I also had one hell of an attitude and clothing that fit poorly.
When the Sox finally won a World Series after 86 years of frustration, avenues of hope opened for me. I became the head of a large corporation and everyone, even my dog, became effusive with adoration. (You can fact check that; I'll give you some highly reliable sources.) People threw jobs at me for which I was completely unqualified. To show my appreciation I rose to the occasion, mostly by taking night classes. I became famous in the quiet sort of way that humble people like myself become famous, which is to say not terribly famous at all. Still, people looked at me differently. They said that I had a bounce in my step, which people had formerly misinterpreted as a limp. Ha, me, limp. Not a chance!
Anyway, today those same Red Sox (sort of) will be playing those same Yankees (kind of, ish,) to determine who has the right to lose to the Rays in the divisional series. (Why does the world have to have Rays anyway!). A one-game long series in which you win or go home. No six-game lead-up to the final chapter or any of that other nonsense!
I'll be watching. Will you?
If you've never driven to Long Island from New England, you might be surprised to find that there is a large body of water between Connecticut and New York that you cannot cross via a bridge. Google Maps makes it look like an undisturbed road gets you from your home in Massachusetts to your cousin's wedding in Montauk, but the inch or so width of Long Island Sound on a map turns out to be almost 18 miles in "real life." That's a bridge too far.
Thankfully, Ferry service exists, shuttling you and your vehicles (I brought a bike as well as a car) across the choppy waters, with views of sailboards and waterfront homes, and evidence that you don't have COVID (the ship's exhaust affirming that I haven't lost my sense of smell). Now on Empire State soil, I am mystified when I see that the last 30 miles of the trip will take nearly two hours, even with little indication that traffic jams are causing delays.
And then I'm in a line of cars being directed onto another ferry – a small barge-like thing. I am unprepared for this second boat, with no reservation in hand. "You pay on the ferry" I'm told by one of the guys directing me onward. "Cash only." This ferry takes 10 minutes to get us onto Shelter Island, and soon I'm on at another dock, and now on my third ferry, another little puddle-jumper, which puts me on solid Long Island terra firma, with lots of towns that have "Hampton" in their name.The two-hours was diminished to just a little over an hour thanks to timing – the second and third ferries that I was entirely unprepared for both left the dock just moments after I drove aboard.
The return trip was managed by avoiding the two smaller ferries and taking a circuitous route back to Orient Point, as I worried that on Sundays the ferry service wouldn't run. Not a chance! What would become of Shelter Island residents who accidently find themselves choking on their brunch? It can't be that paramedics can't ford the waters (note the double negative), just because it's the Lord's day. (Or is the Lord's Day Saturday? I lost track of the Lord's Day many score moons ago).
Turns out that ferry service is essential, just like pharmacies, hardware stores, and cannabis shops (in California). Of course, if you're choking on your wedding steak, a ferry bringing Heimlich experts or this device that I'd like to buy won't help much.
Those Shelter Island residents have a great deal of guts.
After I'm dead and gone, how will my reign on earth be described by historians? I'd like to be known as "The Great" but that typically denotes "large" or "tall," which I'm not.
I wouldn't mind if the Wikipedia of the 22nd century referred to me as "Patrick the Brilliant," but, yeah…unlikely.
Another option: Patrick the Scruffy. I think this is apt. I shave a couple times a week, which means twice a week I look good. Otherwise, scruffy. On the other hand, not exactly the moniker I'm looking for.
Of course, it makes no difference what I want. "History will be the judge." Since the future will be inundated by mountains of data about me and my shortcomings, no doubt some rookie at Era-Naming headquarters will find my worst traits and forever tag me with them to describe the current era we're in, which I dominate (admittedly from behind the scenes).
How about "Patrick the Emotionally Exhausted"?
I wonder if there is a particular letter that gets pressed harder on a standard computer keyboard, on average, than all the others. Or a punctuation mark. There must be!
For example, does an exclamation point get whacked harder than a period? Or a comma?
What gets more forceful pressure: a semi colon or a colon? Surely, a colon. In a perfect world, a semi-colon would get pressed roughly half as hard as a colon.
And yet I have no data! This is my problem. Data is king, and I lack it in large quantities.
So, it's on to educated guessing: The I is probably hit the hardest of all letters, because we all like to toot our own horns. For punctuation, it's probably the exclamation point, especially when it follows the question mark. Otherwise, if my 35-plus years of watching people use a computer is any indication, the "enter" key is the one that's smacked hardest of all.
Planning to apply for an NEA grant and will call this research "my art."