Sunday, March 15, 2015

241. Merit

“You got some ‘splainin’ to do.”

Oh no. C.W. has become fascinated of late by reruns of “I Love Lucy,” on TV. Unbeknownst to us, he ordered a complete set of the episodes and has been watching them on TV. He even took on the form of “Ricky Ricardo” this morning to ask me some questions about our language.

“Whaz this mean?” he said, plopping into a chair and reading from a notebook. “He was bornded on third base but goes through life tinking he hit a triple.”

“It’s and idiom using baseball terminology.”

“Say what?”

“In baseball, the second best hit a batter can get is called a triple. It allows the batter to make it all the way to third base.”

“Thaz good?”

“Very good.”

“Means the batter has accomplished something good?”

“Yes. The batter has done very well.”

He made notes. “So if someone is ‘bornded on third base’ they just happen to be there?”


“And they ain’t done nothin’ to make it there?”


“But they may claim they did?”

“They may indeed.”

Hey started scribbling notes and muttering to himself. I made out, “George W. Bush, Romneys, Kennedys, Waltons,” and a few other names. Then he said something strange, “White males,” and “northern Europe.” It caught my attention.

“Wait” I said. “You may be getting this all wrong.”

“Splain,” he said.

“You’re not accusing white males of the ‘born on third base’ analogy, are you?”

“No,” he said.

“Good,” I said, nodding and sighing in relief.

“Just the ones,” he said, “whose ancestors came here from northern Europe.”

“Now just a dad gummed minute,” I said.

“Qué pasa?”

“You’re not lumping me in with the privileged set are you?”

“Why not?”

“I wasn’t born rich,”

“You were born of the color of milk or fresh snow weren’t you?”

“I was born white, yes.”

“And a male?”


“Second base already,” He said. “Now, Latin, Mediterránean, African, Asian, Eurasion, …

I interrupted him. “You know darn good and well that I am of northern European descent.

Where you start can sure go a long ways
in determining where you will finish, eh? - C.W.
“Yes, Mrs. Big Dope had your DNA analyzed, didn’t she?

“What does that have to do with it?”

“Third base,” he said. “All the way to third base.”

“You are crazy,” I said. “Muy loco.”

He ignored me. “Let’s move on to another idiom,”he said.

“Let’s,” I said. “That one is silly.”

He flipped a page in his notebook, smiled, and looked up. “If the shoe fits, wear it,” he said. “Whaz at mean?”
And check out an ad. Big Dope needs new baseball shoes.
Oh, and buy his book. It's not bad.
- C.W.

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