Thursday, May 29, 2008

Yahtzee anyone?

This is a damned dirty game.

I recently had occasion to play ( i.e. a hangover) and was frankly shocked and delighted by the sheer dirtiness of conversation during play.

Yahtzee is an easy game. You've seen the scorecards I assume? And understand the object of play?

You see the goal is to fill out your upper half so you can get the big bonus. It's almost impossible to get a bonus if the upper half is not reasonably balanced. You can win the game without a bonus, but it's hard. But don't feel bad if your upper half is not as well filled out as your lower half. Fortunately, it's easy to overcome a bad upper half with a spectacular bottom half.

Unfortunately, it is also possible to have nothing going on in your lower half, especially if you fail to get a large straight. A small straight alone just doesn't cut it, and you can spend a lot of time and energy trying to turn small straights into large straights. It's preferable to get a large straight unexpectedly and spontaneously rather than trying futilely for it over and over again. It can be very frustrating. While a small straight is perfectly fine, they are quite commonplace and not as much a cause for celebration as the large straight.

On very rare occasions, the lack of a large straight can be overcome by getting the bonus.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Birthplace of the Boner

Consider this obituary from the New York Times, 1956:

"Fred Merkle, former major league baseball player who was best remembered for a boner that cost the New York Giants the pennant in 1908, died today. He was 67 years old."

I've mentioned before that "boner" used to refer to a blooper or mistake. Well after consulting three prominent resources on the English language I believe I have arrived at the genesis of this beloved term.

His name is Fred Merkle.

You see, Fred was a 19 year old rookie playing for the New York Giants against the Chicago Cubs in September of 1908. This was the game that would decide the National League pennant. Well, Merkle was on first base with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth when the batter hit a single, scoring another player who had been on third. Guy from third scores and the game is over right?

Well, Merkle didn't run to second. Thinking the game was over he just ran to the dugout to celebrate and was forced out at second by an astute center fielder who realized the run would be nullified at the third out.

So when does this whole thing get dirty?

Well, because he acted like such a bonehead, this mistake on his part forever became known as "Merkle's Boner." No, not "mistake" or "blunder" or "mishap" but "BONER." Poor Mr. Merkle's life was forever associated with a word that came to refer to an erect penis. Consider the headline from September 23, 1908, the day after the game,

"A Boner Buries the Giants"

Now I just have to figure out when "boner" came into its present day usage. What was the transition point?

I'm a librarian I can figure this shit out.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

More DE's in the KC blogosphere

Boy, Plog scooped the fuck out of me this week. A fantastic post about dirty names in baseball player history totally takes the cake and was inspired by the recent Chiefs acquisition of hilariously named Mike Cox. For the record, Mike Cox was already on my to-do list for this week. Also, having recently lived in Michigan, I can tell you that the Attorney General of that great state is also named Mike Cox. Anyhow, kudos to Plog--that's what happens when people get paid to dredge up and research double entendres.

For me, folks, it's just a labor of love.

Also Plog posted about a youtube video that another blogger had posted earlier (sorry can't remember who) featuring a Minnesota weatherman enthusiastically referring to Jared Allen's jersey number, #69. I'd embed it, but I'm too lazy.

I'd be remiss not to mention May's fabulous recent post title, "An Orgasm in My Mouth". Tony, for the record this is much more effective at garnering readership than borderline anorexic post-sorostitutes with photoshopped asses.

Lastly, XO, the inspirational figurehead of the local blogosphere dredged up a great picture of "Raper Park." This patch of recreational joy apparently offers restrooms and shelter for all who hangout there. Sorry this joke is becoming uncomfortable so I'll just stop now.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Tom Raper RVs

Thanks to a recent post by XO, I received a blast from the past. When I was living in Chicago, they had these local commercials--you know the ones--poor production values, an overexcited business owner screaming at you, and the seeming inability to keep the family name out of the business name.

I'm talking about Tom Raper RVs.

I couldn't find the commercials posted anywhere, but Tom Raper RVs was all over the place. The monster-truck sounding narrator of the commercials kept saying his name over and over again and there were billboards all over the expressway to Indiana


And apparently Mr. Raper has diversified his business interested to include Raper Homes and Raper trailers.

Wow, isn't that great?