brewers baseball and things

Painter Pimp and Kid Sprocket

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Kid Sprocket doesn’t speak right, says don’t where doesn’t belongs, but he can wire up a light fixture or replace a spark plug. He learned a few rules and mechanical trades and then said the hell with it.

“Gotta swagger my own way to the plate and to hell what everybody else says.”

Dwight

Dwight

Critics scare people into someone they ain’t, Sprocket says. He saw this happen to friends. One spoke with exaggerated politeness and another posed as Charles Bukowski. Anyway you slice it, civil war ensues, us versus them all inside their heads. Sprocket knows pollution. He likes rusted grain silos and considers a critic’s words far worse than the sweet smell of bus exhaust.

He walks over the Mercier bridge, connects The Kahnawake Reservation to Montreal island. He walks it just about every day, back and forth, real slow. That’s where he met Bob Lumen.

Bob is fat and likes weak ideas, makes up little rhymes and enjoys sharing a burger at a local restaurant. He’s also a collector of beautiful girls and any girl willing to get naked is beautiful to Bob. He has thousands of naked girl photos in his collection. They wear all kinds of bizarre costumes; breasts squeezed by OshKosh B’gosh overalls, hairy erotic zones through the webs of first baseman gloves .

Critics call Bob a pervert. Feminists say he takes advantage of women. Baseball coaches feel ashamed. But the girls look happy and Bob lets them do most of the talking..

Kid Sprocket visits Bob after work, just about every day. The Kid sits stiff, uptight and fully dressed on an old plaid couch. Naked huntgirls slither across Kid Sprocket’s lap and he doesn’t like it, moves closer to the window and thinks about Run Hunt contorting into another hit by pitch. Bob calls Kid Sprocket- “The Dentist” and draws pictures of him on the backs of envelopes.

pitcherbatter

Vern is the girl with a bird on her shoulder. She also likes to draw, especially the Montreal Expos logo. She sees dozens of possibilities in the tri-colored, curly cue lettering, but still isn’t sure what it symbolizes. No one is, except Kid Sprocket.

They all like to sit on the porch at sunset and hand out the drawings to strangers who accept the gift and recite the names of Expo players in return. It’s a black market situation; sketches for sounds. Manny Mota, Mike Marshall, Larry Lintz, Wayne Twitchell, Claude Raymond, Rodney Scott, Bill Lee, Vladimir Guerrero, but no one knows what the Expo emblem really stands for.traditional

Some of the girls fall asleep on the porch. Others walk past the oil refineries of Montreal’s East end and watch the ships get swallowed by the naked St. Lawrence river meeting the naked sky. Bob and Kid Sprocket go back inside. Bob scribbles Native American faces over European paintings. Kid Sprocket hears the violin player atop the Montreal Expos Jarry Park dugout. Nothing seems dead.

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Author: Steve Myers

I grew up in Milwaukee and have been a Milwaukee Brewers baseball fan for as long as I can remember.

11 thoughts on “Painter Pimp and Kid Sprocket

  1. Never a dull moment with Steve Myers!

    Interesting writing, as usual.

    I always wondered about the Montreal insignia being red, white, and blue. I mean, of ALL TEAMS, they were the only one that I can recall having those colors. They were CANADIAN! (No SHIT, Slater.)

    Also, are you aware that you mentioned late rockabilly and (later) country singer, the late Bob Luman? Except that you spelled it “Lumen”. I guess you were thinking of lighting unit measurements.

    Here we go again with the music!!!!!! (Bob Luman on the right, the husky one. Del Reeves is in the white suit. It’s Reeve’s show called “Country Carousel.” Clip is from 1969, which would explain all the “Sock It To Me” stuff.

    Glen

    • But do you know what the insignia stands for? Thanks for the Luman. Great sound! He holds that guitar higher than Craig Counsell does a bat.

    • Every baseball fan, even the casual ones knew the Expos emblem was originally red, white, and blue, but most are stumped when it comes to figuring out what the letters stood for. Come on, take a guess. Have some fun… I dare you.

      • First of all, it looks like a red, white, and blue “M” to me. Which stands for “Montreal”.

        Are you saying that there are more than one letter INSIDE the insignia on the cap?

        By the way, I remember when the Milwaukee Brewers changed their cap from the “M” (the one that was like the one that the Milwaukee Braves wore) to the one that they wore at the time when George Bamberger and later Harvey Kuehnn was managing them. I remember that one guy in the sports section of SOME newspaper or sports Magazine (forget where I read it) said that he didn’t like it; he said that it looked like a dog’s paw.

        As for me, it took me YEARS to notice the “M” and the “B” in the cap insignia! (I’m a little bit slow at certain things.) I didn’t give it a lot of thought, but to me, yes, it DID look like a dog’s paw! But I didn’t really think that it was a BAD-looking insignia. I just didn’t know what it meant.

        As far as your challenge about the Expos insignia on the cap, I just looked at it again, and I noticed a subtle, lower-case “e” at the beggining, and what could be a lower case “o” at the end. So I would say that hidden inside that kooky letter “m” is the word “Expo”. Is there a “67” hidden somewhere in there, too? After all, the Expos were named after “Expo 67”.

        If I managed to get it correct, I swear that I didn’t cheat and look it up, because what fun would THAT be?

        So what’s the answer?

        Glen

        • Of course the Brewer’s logo was more than an M and a B. It was the shape of a baseball glove with a ball in the palm of the mitt. I guess some people thought it was too damn cute or looked like a dog’s paw in the example you gave, but shit go damn, if you get to the world series with a logo, why not stick with it.

          As far as the Expos logo, there is no end to interpreting what it stood for. You’ve added one I hadn’t heard-67 possibly being hidden in there and the lower case o at the end. I sure hope 67 is not there because naming the team after the Exposition always struck me as terrible and the name Expos as even worse, but the emblem I always liked.

          It is a lower case e for Expos as you said bleeding into the stylized M for Montreal as you also said, but then it empties into a lower case b for baseball. And so all together it is Expos Montreal baseball or just a stylized M for Montreal….That was the official word back in 1969.

          But right from the beginning, there were other interpretations and it continues till this very day, There’s Mb for Montreal baseball, Cb for Charles Bronfman -the team’s first owner, ELB for Expos League Baseball and a number of French versions.

          It was the laughing stock of the baseball world for a long while. Only now do people dig it out of nostalgia I guess. Anyway, if you’re interested to know more about it, I wrote a post about it a few months ago. It’s more about the new craze of wearing Expo hats in far out colors in 2013, but there’s a part about the origin of the emblem.
          https://brokenbatsbaseball.wordpress.com/2013/05/22/expos-next-generation/

  2. I LOVED the Expos cap when I was a kid. I loved everything about the Expos, until they moved out of Jarry Park and into that terrible Olympic Stadium. Yeah, it was good for the ’76 Olympics, that was fun. But as a baseball stadium, it was horrible.

    I also always noticed that there was an exuberance among the French-Canadians in Jarry Park. They used to dance to the organ during rainouts— and that was just the GUYS!

    That exuberance seemed to disappear when they moved into that sterile spaceship that looked like it was something out of Star Wars from the outside. I never saw it from the inside, except on TV, of course. That was ugly ENOUGH, but the OUTSIDE was even MORE hideous, if that’s at all possible.

    I’ll bet that Bill Lee would have had a blast if he was pitching for the Expos while they were still playing in Jarry Park. That was his kind of place!!! And mine, too.

    Glen

    • All the cookie cutters looked like space ships from the outside. Maybe I’m in the minority, but nothing tops seeing the Big O or any of the cookie cutters from a distance. It is truly out of this world and as shitty as the place was, you knew where you were going…..to a baseball game and you knew it from 10 miles away.

      I refuse to be nostalgic about Jarry Park or any of the old ones. I refuse to think it was somehow better. I don’t have a time machine so I can’t go back. All I got is my problems and hangups right here and right now and I need baseball and we got what we got. The Big O sucked. You’re right Glen, but there was baseball played in there and it was 10 bucks for a ticket and there was live music in the concourse….good local rock bands.

      What they should have done is hired some of the hot Montreal females to hold sandwich boards between innings, strutting around the bases doing a strip tease. See what Butt Selig would say then when 40,000 fans shoved it up his 2004 contracting ass.

      But then again, they took the devil out of devil rays so america might not like it if reality interrupted its wholesome game.

  3. Wow, a Bukowski reference! I went to his grave a couple of years ago, pounded a 40 and even poured a little on his grave. He is sort of seen as a cartoon character these days, but was a damn fine writer.
    I love reading the comments almost as much as the stories. Good stuff as always.

    • I’ll take a cartoon character over the cult of personality/Jesus worship that plagues. Anyway, we have one definite advantage over bukowski and all the other dead ones. We’re still alive.

  4. (If I knew how to photoshop I would do the thing with Native American faces)

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