Saturday, May 10

Hell is...

It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE GAME.

1. We are now more than a month into the “Jose will not be an every day writer” era, and Jose has to be honest, it’s not going great.

Jose thought it would be terrific. Less work = more free time = greater happiness. By the transitive property of equality, that should mean than less work = greater happiness. And yet, it hasn’t gone that way. Ergo, mathematics is bullsh*t and 1+1 probably does equal 3, and Sir Isaac Newton is a jerk. Instead of enjoying life, sipping wine on the banks of the Seine or possibly the Tiber and the like, Jose has ended up with nothing from the whole exercise save for greater empathy for “The Coral Axe” Alex Cora.

Jose used to have the life of Manny Ramirez. He was in the game pretty much every day except for when he didn’t feel like it. It was a good life. But now, Jose is removed from the game, lonely and distant, participating only when things line up perfectly, like when you are given the field sobriety test but are actually sober.

How does Cora do it? How?

The answer, Jose believes, is that he fills up his free time with other pursuits, studying architecture, epistemology and the classics, doing all of the things that make him, as Tito says, “the smartest player in the game.” But Jose isn’t smart like Alex Cora. He can’t understand spherical trigonometry or read lesser novels of Dostoyevsky in the original Russian. So instead he sulks like Achilles in his tent or A-Rod without shemales, and slowly, slowly goes mad from the boredom of it all.

And then, when at last the call comes, when Jose’s services are once again needed and he must join in the game, Jose remains Cora-like, aloof and disengaged, unable to participate in any meaningful way. It is awful. Even worse it is ungodly.

Which brings us to the nature of hell. Dante will tell you that hell is a horrifying combination of fire and ice and if you are really bad, a three-headed beast gnawing eternally on your head. Dante Bichette will tell you that it is a diet. The Pope claims it is a sense of total separation from God. And old J.P. Sartre? He will smugly refer you to No Exit, and after you have squandered a few hours, you will learn that hell is other people. But they are wrong. They are all wrong.

Jose knows the truth. He does not know what he did to deserve the bitter knowledge, but know it he does.

Hell is being Alex Cora.

But you already knew that didn’t you? Here’s the really weird thing, though. Heaven is being Joey Cora. It’s right there in Paradiso; in the ninth sphere you get to be Joey Cora, but no one knows that because the only part of the Divine Comedy anyone ever reads in Inferno.

2. How manifold are the delights of the Roger Clemens debacle? Really manifold. Really, really manifold. But of all of the delights, there are none more delightful than the news that he once hit on the wife of wrestling legend Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake.

Lot’s of people have gotten in their little jabs at Clemens for this small immorality, but none have had Jose’s unique qualifications to comment on the matter. As a result, the typical analysis is something like “Well, they’d better settle this inside a steel cage.” Pathetic. You call that insight?

What would a steel cage match settle? Nothing. If wrestling has taught Jose anything, it’s that women are basically chattel to be won as the result of fake combat, more or less the same lesson as he learned from the crusades. So clearly, Clemens and Beefcake should have a match with the love of Mrs. Beefcake on the line. Since Clemens claims to be from Texas even though he is actually from Ohio, it would have to be a Texas bull rope match, wherein the two combatants are lashed to each other with a thick, braided rope. The first man to touch all four corners of the ring in succession is victorious.

This is a good deal for Clemens, because inevitably, the guy who is not the husband wins these matches. Then Roger would get Mrs. Beefcake who would hate him for a while, but then eventually come around and start loving him and talking in the ring about how he was a much better lover than Brutus. For a guy whose testicles are probably shriveled from years of steroid abuse, this would be a nice touch. Even better for Roger, Debbie Clemens would have to end up leaving him for Beefcake as a result of the debacle because that’s just how these things go.

So Clemens would get the woman he hit on, and loose the bedazzling Mrs. Clemens. Why wouldn’t he do this? And better still, he would be moving into a sport where his use of steroids is socially acceptable, and even if he killed his wife and K kids, which is about the only thing he could do now to get more unpopular, he would still get a full length special on USA Network.

3. As Jose wrote all of this in a café in a major American League metropolis, a bunch of protestors marched by ending a demand to 60 years of terror. At first Jose thought they were demanding an end to the Yawkey Era, but then Jose remembered that he’s not in Boston and that it’s not 1993. Also, the crowd seemed to really hate Jews, so they’d probably be pro-Tom Yawkey right?

I’m Jose Melendez, and those are my KEYS TO THE GAME.

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