brewers baseball and things

learning how to swim during a tsunami


I don’t have a gym membership, never had one, never will, but there’s no Rocky Balboa beating meat in the basement for me, no running up and down city hall steps. I’m a lazy ass in my post basketball life; have been for 25 years  or so.

Not playing basketball is amputation. The thrill is gone and it’s been gone a long while. And how many times people told me “you got some serious game white boy.” They said it the last time I loitered the court 2 years ago. Only thing in this life I’m proud of; a basketball jones and oh yeh, I can steam brocoli. Just drop the heads on a bed of rice while it’s cooking.

But plenty of reasons to be happy and reason number one is grocery stores. Our cave man ancestors would be pinching their hairy hunter arms if they knew how much sexual innuendo goes on there; brothers and sisters fondling oranges eggplants while slyly sneaking a peek; ladies with legs and vocadoes.

Sometimes I voyeur along, but not really. I’m too mental preferring the miracle of our ancestral hunt being reduced to aisle 7 and a can of tuna. There’s a garbage pail situated beside the huge stack of corns on the cobs; to peel back the husks and remove all those annoying yellow strands that get stuck everywhere. Free your cob of husks and your ass will follow?

This is North America or Meso America or whatever…home to corn; older than the Athabascans. I’ve eaten corn on more than one Indian Reservation and survived every time and it ain’t no fluke. We all ate the cobs like manual typewriters performing stream of consciousness….back and forth left and right without saying a word…just shut up and eat earth ….train track mmmmmmmmm.

But these days I’m pissed off, ornery, depressed, then hyper, suicidal , anxious. I’m one day shy of two weeks kicking the death habit…the cigarette thing…the fags as they call em in Guns of Brixton. “When they kick at your front door, how you gonna come? Hands on your head or trigger on your gun?” I’m a fucking fool, enjoying the sweet pock marked flying disease for so long……pigeon grey swirls to burn away with me slowly and solve existence crisis; a stupid solution and a killer to a penny pincher like me, but never again in Skokie or my freaking lungs. Never.

Addiction death democracy knows no discrimination. Accepts everyone like quicksand forest and kicking the habit makes ya crazy. I love grocery stores. …the corn husks…ripping the hairy flesh off in public and whipping em in excess of 100 mph into the garbage bin…therafreakinpeutic!

Come home with a couple a malt beers; some quebec label, belle guelle; on sale; 2 for 4 bucks and swooosh that first sip is a crack high, an evil knievel high; racing up or down Highway 1 or 101, speed limits 75? Screw the scenic route. I want speed. Three hours to san francisco; Brewers visiting Giants…three god damn hours to wait.

Sip some more beer on an empty stomach and watch one of my all time favorite movies; Cold Turkey starring Dick Van Dyke, Bob Newhart, Edith from All in the Family, Bentley from the Jeffersons and the manager in that baseball movie Bang the Drum Slowly. Love that guy. Love that movie. 25 million dollars to the town in america that can quit smoking. And of course it’s a depressed Iowa town..

That movie never lets up; non stop satire, pokes fun at every cotton picking thing about America; maybe that’s why no one knows about it. Who cares. Screw Penguin and his classics. That movie puts my laughter in a sling. I can barely stand up……even the soundtrack is ironic or sarcastic…Randy Newman the atheist singing about God..”he gives us all his love.” God damn, I love that movie, makes me cry, pisses me off, laughing.

I went to bed knowing Cubs beat those conservative cop loving shmuckaroonies..the Caridinals…I could quit the Brewers and become a Cubs junkie, could quit baseball and be a basketball junkie. I already am. I could quit anything.

But wake up to the lambasting….13-2..Giants wasted the Brewers. If Peralta and Estrada had combined for a 3 hit shutout rather than 5 innings and 11 earned runs. I would love the ballet of a well pitched game and the cute Herzog execution of 2 runs, but when I’m on a bus, the idiots on bikes are in the way and when I walk, I hate cars.

The Brewers are 73-61.


Author: Steve Myers

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

10 thoughts on “learning how to swim during a tsunami

  1. I don’t want to sound like a sycophant; I’ve never been anyone’s sycophant, that’s for sure. And doesn’t EVERYONE hate sycophants?

    With that said, I was laughing very heartily while reading a lot of this article. (I’m a snob when it comes to that “LOL” crap; I cringe when I read that vomit-inducing “LOL” on the internet. Anyway, I don’t “laugh out loud”, I GUFFAW out loud. That would be “GOL”, I guess.)

    Let me finish what I was trying to say without the asides. In this article, you have gone back to the Steven Myers of old. You have re-discovered your stride. This was a nice piece of writing, my friend.

    As for the corn thing, I thought that I was the only one who thought about the typewriter thing; back when I was a little kid, eating corn and showing off for my mother and my sister, eating row by row like a typewriter, and making the sound effects, to boot! My mother didn’t think my corn typewriter thing was all that funny, but I did, and my sister, then about five, did, as well.

    As for “Cold Turkey”, I think that came out in either 1969 or 1970, and I’m glad someone else remembers it. I saw the commercials on TV, everyone in school talked about the commercials for “Cold Turkey”, and I begged, begged, begged for my parents to take me to see it. It looked so funny! But when we finally got to the Grand Avenue Cinema, I was disappointed. It was the kind of satire that an eight or nine year old couldn’t process or understand, I guess. (I was either eight or nine, depending on when the movie came out). I could understand and appreciate the humor of the now-classic record album that my father played often, “Stan Freberg Presents The United States of America: The Early Years”, which is pretty sophisticated and brilliant satire. See what ya think, Steve, of the “Columbus Discovers America” thing, which is right after the short overture—–

    But I couldn’t understand the satire in “Cold Turkey”, not at that age, I couldn’t. I guess I’d like to see it again now that I’m about six times older than I was back then. Wow. 9 times 6. How did I get so old????? It’s about time that I grew up.

    And some of what you wrote was deadly serious stuff. “but never again in Skokie or my freaking lungs. Never.”

    I remember the Skokie incident. That was around 1979 or so, as I recall. The ACLU really blew THAT one, in my opinion, but they blow a LOT of ’em, don’t they. The ACLU has more or less become nothing but a pain in the ass in about 75 percent of instances.

    Great line that I can relate to: “I would love the ballet of a well pitched game and the cute Herzog execution of 2 runs, but when I’m on a bus, the idiots on bikes are in the way and when I walk, I hate cars.”


    • What 8 year old would want to see ColdTurkey? Give me star wars or bugs bunny blows up Nantucket, but not cold turkey. I was stupid as an 8 year oldf and feel even stupidier now. I liked the colors of baseball teams so i liked the Expos and astros. and i liked how weird cecil cooper looked standing there like he had to take a dump…..What the hell did I know about satire? What the hell do I know now? Then again, those scenes in the cold turkey movie of people behaving all crazy while trying to quit smoking were downright hilarious…especially when that somebody kicks that poodle like a football and the whining poodle flies past Bob Newhart who is talking on a phone inside a phone booth….and then the poodle smashes through a window of a civic hall meeting interupted by a phone call from the emergency room where the doctor is about to light up but then gets held up gunpoint by a police officer. Close enough to Looney Tunes for a kid with all the other satire layers for an adult.

      Movies like that maybe make ya think when ya get older i guess with the president congratulating the town with a missiles plant and the randy newman song playing again as the credits roll, but movies like that are still funny enough for everypone to go as one big happy family. That’s why Dad sells life insurance after all…so he can pay for movies and diapers and make his family happy and all that.

      • Well, it LOOKED damn hysterically funny from the numerous TV commercials that were advertising “Cold Turkey” at that time. It seemed to be such a departure from most of the movies that were coming out at that time. It looked like no other movie I had ever seen, at least from the TV commercials. I think that all the guys in my class wanted to see “Cold Turkey.” It was (at least the TV COMMERCIAL was) the talk of Miss Caselnova’s fourth grade class. (When class was not in progress, of course.)

        Just ten or eleven years later, I DID see a movie that was far different than anything I ever saw. But it was just the opposite. “Airplane” looked like a stupid movie. Just from the newspaper advertisement and the name of the movie (“Airplane”- how original), it looked stupid.

        But it was a VERY hot weekend day in the summer of 1980, and it a particularly unbearably hot day. I needed something to “Gimme Shelter”. (like the Rolling Stones). So I ducked into the Roosevelt Field Movie Theater, but only to get air-conditioned comfort. The movie, which sounded dumb, was just an afterthought.

        Wow! What a surprise! A movie like I had never seen before. The theater, which was packed mostly with people that were much older than me (I was only 19, so that isn’t so hard to believe), literally ROCKED with laughter. If I live to be a thousand, I’ll never experience being part of a movie crowd like this one. Everyone was like one mass, shaking the theater with hysterical and uncontrollable laughter. This movie was so DIFFERENT! And there was either a visual gag and/or a hysterically funny (and daring) line of dialogue about every two seconds. No one had any time to recover from the LAST gag. If you didn’t see “Airplane” in the movies, then you don’t know what you were missing, because it would have lost something on TV or on a VHS or a DVD. Because the audience reaction was PART of the fun; being PART of an audience that had never SEEN anything like this before. We weren’t just separate people for this movie; we were ONE AUDIENCE, INDIVISIBLE, with hysterical laughter for all.

        So with “Cold Turkey”, eight year old me was taken in by a television commercial, and with “Airplane”, the 19 year old me was turned off by the advertisements but turned ON by a movie theater experience that I’ll bet rivaled the audiences of “Rocky Horror Picture Show” (which I refused to see when my friends begged me to go; I was a SQUARE, man! I didn’t go to “Rocky Horror Picture Show” because I thought that it would give a bad name to our generation; I had heard all about it—- some of my friends went to it just about every week. And I heard that they brought in things to throw at the screen and make a general mess and I didn’t want to tick off the so-called “townies”; I was OFTEN embarrassed to be a student of the State University of New Paltz when I was around conservative people who lived there all their life and thought that the college students were a bunch of irresponsible jerks, which most of them actually were. I didn’t want to be though of as just another college jerk in the largely conservative, gun-totin’ town of New Paltz (not to be confused with the hippie-dippie VILLAGE of New Paltz!

        Anyway, I would think that experience of seeing “Airplane” in that movie theater was no less fun than the “oh so cool” experience of being an irresponsible jerk seeing “Rocky Horror Picture Show” a year later. I guess I’m just not too hip; I always WAS kind of a square.


        • Glen, don’t take this the wrong way as I can see your promotiong the cause of squares but with that gold chain the other day you will always be remembered as cool and hip in my imagination until I see you in person. I could never wear a chain or walk around without a shirt for that matter. I was way too uptight for that and still am. However, I am very cool in one way. The directors of airplane…the Zucker brothers grew up in Milwaukee not to far from where i grew up and that makes me both hip, vain, pretentious and self absorbed. Now if I could just get some sun glasses and a gold chain and a little chest hair and a Brooklyn accent…man I could be famous too.

        • so we were excited about airplane. it was local shliemels and shlamazels just making it big from Milwaukee. We weren’t brooklyn big, not by a long shot…just a bunch of hosers from poe dunk milwaukee or bushville as casey stengel of the Yankees I think called us in tjhe 1957 World Series. Those yankees adn dodgers always so Brooklyn big shots and cool….Oh you bethcha, it was a big deal for us to get on the map. we were excited about our Zucker brothers and Airplane and good jewish boys to boot….maybe like Gene Wilder or Golda Meir but not so much because no one cared about politics especially Israeli politics. Golda was from Milwaukee or lived there; went to school there or something, but politics…who cares. I don’t.

  2. Golda Meir grew up in Milwaukee. I believe she was a teacher there for a while before she went Splitsville and Israel and Golda became synonymous with Israel in people’s minds. Jackie Mason was born Yacov Moshe Maza in Sheboygan before the family split for the Lower East Side.

    Before you mentioned it, I hadn’t realized that Gene Wilder (real name Jerome Silberman) was from Wisconsin, too, from Milwaukee. Who KNEW?

    And the Chief Rabbinate of the Milwaukee Jewish Mafia/Diocese, Steven Myers!

    By the way, about your basketball career. Are you tall, Steve? How tall? Were you varsity or maybe JV in high school, or casual pickup games, or casual pickup trucks? Do I ask too many questions? Yes.

    Funny thing— I always pictured you as being short and sort of thin, but on that interview with Gary Roenicke, you sound tall and kind of husky.

    Are you another Dolph Shayes, Red Holzman, Nat Holman, Jordan Farmar, Ernie Grunfeld, Tamir Goodman?

    Actually, I think think that my nine year old nephew is the new up-and-coming Jewish Jordan. (Even though, like me, he thinks that Jordan was WAY over-rated because the refs looked the other way while he traveled so much.)

    So did no less an authority on basketball than the great John Wooden:


    • Glen, I’m sickly skinny, always have been, never more than 150 pounds. Look like I just got released from Auschwitz, but I come in around 6 feet with a good wing span. Helped with swooping one handed windmill lay ups. As far as Jordan being over rated, that’s a sin to even say. Just kidding, but he was a new evolution in basketball. No denying the refs looked the other way on certain calls, but over rated is not the right word for him no matter what John has a woody says.

    • John Wooden did not call Jordan over rated in that PDF link. He has some interesting things gto say about refs, but not that Jordan is over rated. Jordan, like the Timberwolves Rickie Rubio in today’s game is slight of hand magician; quicker than human eye, art of deception, defying gravity…ok, no more cliches…but if you have a spare 10 minutes and happen to be in Minnesota during the winter, hop on a sled and go see Rubio play. He’s not that far from Pete Maravich.

  3. I never said that Wooden said that Jordan was overrated. Just that the powers that be told the referees to look in the other direction. My nephew, who’s a basketball fanatic (I never really was all that much of a basketball fanatic) says that he’s seen videos on You Tube (he’s too young to have seen Jordan play live; he’s only nine years old) take a LOT of steps. He’s a smart kid, and getting to be a damn good basketball player. If athletic ability is genetic, then he sure as heck didn’t get it from ME! My father a good athlete, or was, before he got arthritis and all this other awful stuff, and if athletic ability is genetic, my nephew might have gotten it from him.


    • my sleeping pill made my vision cloudy. I tought i taw a woodie jorden and an over rate but your nephew is right about the five steps awarded superstars but with Jordan he also had that strange magic carpet ability to fly. Jesus chrysler! He flew so high he had to shoot jump shots down into the hoop. .

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