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Substitute Scene

New York City’s like a friendly old ghost
you seem to cruise right through –
Bob Seger “Katmandu”

I now get New York magazine delivered to my door, the result of being too lazy to check the “no thanks” box on an Amazon giveaway. It’s more than an “er” behind the New Yorker and resembles a cross between Vanity Fair and the Post. Although it does feature some excellent semi naked photos of Lindsay Lohan in the current issue, a Marilyn Monroe homage allowing for the observation that whatever substance abuse problems she’s had, the girl’s also had the good sense not to alter a twenty two year old body. New York magazine might be the ultimate word in dentist office reading, providing sufficient depressive effect as to not require novocaine. After perusing a glossy paged Heath Ledger wrap up or any featured domicile in the Real Estate section (it’s not the $1.995 million asking that gets me, but the $1,828 per month “maintenance”) a good tooth-pulling might be just the ticket for re-entry to the real world. Even the New York Times seems to be pushing the boundaries of their “All the News That’s Fit to Print” motto, running a story this week on an alleged affair John McCain had with a lobbyist eight years back. If true, I for one find it encouraging that McCain had it in him as recently as eight years ago. If they want a real head-turner, why not go with Bob Geldof’s proclamation that George Bush has done more for the African cause than any other president? Who would have figured W would have to go to Liberia to dig up some respect?

Pitchers and catchers have long since reported to spring training in Arizona and Florida. Hope indeed springs eternal (unless you’re speaking of Bob, who passed away in 2003.) I once took a college course titled “The History and Literature of Baseball.” One of the predominant themes in baseball literature is that of venturing out and around the bases with the desired goal of returning home safely. This might explain America’s preoccupation with the long ball. Hitting a home run is one of life’s few guaranteed tickets; a chance to see what’s out there with the promise that you’ll be able to find your way back. Although the guarantee offers no provision that the experience won’t change you (see Bonds, Barry.) Any batting coach will tell you that the goal of a competent hitter is to hit line drives, not home runs. Home runs are a product of hitting solid line drives, not the other way around. Of course this offers no assurance that you won’t end up stranded on second base when the third out comes. Many a tear has to fall, but it’s all in the game. (2/22/08)

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