I was invited to a family event. I declined. It will be me and my daughter.
As Billy Joel noted, we will be “sharing a drink they call loneliness, but it’s better than drinking alone.”
And considerably better than death.
It is the 25th anniversary of Uncle Scoopy’s Fun House!
(Well, it might be today. It was in November of 1995. So let’s say today, since I happened to think of it.)
That’s a long time. It started in Bill Clinton’s first term. That’s a lot of editions – somewhere around 9000. I’m not sure how many editions there were in 1995 and 1996, because I couldn’t write it every day back then. I was traveling internationally in those 14.4 modem days, and there were plenty of places with no internet connections, or connections so slow they were useless. I tried, but I just couldn’t write my crappy little “e-zine” in relatively remote and primitive places like Nicaragua, Zimbabwe, Papua New Guinea and Indiana.
Sorry, Hoosiers. I’m just fuckin’ witcha.
But we have published an edition every day, seven days a week, for the last 23 of those 25 tours around the sun. I say “we” because three other people besides me have published the daily fun house, although I have contributed in some way every day. On the days when I didn’t assemble the page, I contributed a column, or links, or movie reviews and/or collages.
For trivia buffs, the other three guys who assembled and wrote the front page:
- Tuna, now deceased, a computer professional from the San Francisco area, who only wrote about 15 pages at the very end of 1999, but contributed his comments and collages to thousands of pages. (He created about 100,000 collages.) In addition to celebrity imaging, and running a hosting service, he was a brilliant photographer.
- The Realist, an infrequent contributor, but an avid fan and a neighbor of mine in Austin, who left Texas to become an Ivy League assistant professor in the frozen north. He wrote the page for about a month when I was traveling with my two youngest kids. I don’t hear from him any more. It has been fifteen or twenty years since our young genius left for the north, so I suppose he is probably a full professor by now.
- Scoopy Jr., my oldest son, another Austinite, who wrote the daily page for about three years (close to 1000 pages) while I concentrated exclusively on movie collages and reviews.
As for this page, Other Crap, it’s a real Johnny-come-lately by my standards. It has only been around for 17 1/2 years!
Luscious Luke was my favorite player when I was a kid. If you grew up in Rochester or Buffalo, you will probably say the same thing. He was a local legend. Although a kind-hearted man who was a clubhouse joker, he was a brute in the batters’ box. He was 240 pounds of muscle with shoulders that seemed as wide as two ordinary men, and he could hit the ball as hard as anyone ever has – as hard as Bo Jackson, Giancarlo Stanton, Babe Ruth or Mickey Mantle. In fact, if you want to imagine him, just picture a black version of Stanton. By the time I saw him, Luke was nearly 50, wore glasses to bat, and was slow to time the fast ball – but was so strong that he hit 400-foot homers to the opposite field.
“As a player, Easter was best known for his powerful home runs, colloquially known as “Easter Eggs.” While with the Homestead Grays in 1948, he became the first player to hit a home run into the center field bleachers at New York’s Polo Grounds during game action, a section that was 475 feet from home plate. During his rookie season, he also hit the longest home run in the history of Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium, a 477-foot blast over the auxiliary scoreboard in right field. The only other player to match that feat was Mickey Mantle, who did it in 1960. Finally, during his twilight days with the Bisons, he became the first player to hit a home run over the center field scoreboard at Buffalo’s home park, Offermann Stadium, doing so twice in 1957. On June 14 he cleared the board, and newspapers reported the blow at an estimated 500 feet.[Rochester, New York, Democrat and Chronicle, June 15, 1957, p. 21] On August 15, he hit the board near the top, and it went through a space between the board and a sign just above it.[Rochester, New York, Democrat and Chronicle, August 16, 1957, p. 26]
When told by a fan one time that the fan had seen Easter’s longest home run in person, Easter is reported to have replied, “If it came down, it wasn’t my longest.””
Luke was already a PCL legend when he made it to the majors. In 1949 he batted .363 for San Diego with a .722 slugging average.
Nobody is really sure when Luke was born, and the big guy offered a different birth year every time he was asked. The census data indicate he was born in 1915, making him a major league rookie at 35. Despite his advanced years in baseball terms, Luke had three great years with Cleveland.
1950: 28 homers, 107 RBI
After the Indians cut him, he went on to hit more than 200 minor league homers.
Here is a really great article about Luke’s colorful life, mostly about the early days of his career.
“What’s to-day, my fine fellow?”
“To-day? You don’t know? Why, Shatmas Day! Oh, good sir, with due respect, if you don’t know Shat, you don’t know Shit.”
There are those who, with apologies to pretenders like Alexander Graham Bell and the not-as-great Gretzky, call Bill Shatner the greatest of all Canadians. That’s nonsense. Why restrict his importance to a single frozen land with fewer than 40 million inhabitants? He is the simply greatest HUMAN (with one possible exception).
Today is his 89th birthday. What is he up to? “William Shatner Provides Delightful Self-Quarantine Updates As Captain Kirk.”
Like most of his followers, I celebrate by getting into costume and re-enacting one of his many career highlights. I normally choose this all-time classic:
But that scene requires two actors, which is inappropriate in the era of Coronavirus and social distancing, so this year I have chosen to re-enact the fight scene from White Comanche, since Shatner plays both parts.
And here, me hearties, be Robert Newton, the sea dog himself:
“You! You there!” he shouted to a boy on the street. “What day is this?”
The boy gave a puzzled look. “It’s Shatmas, sir.”
“Good! I haven’t missed it. Here, lad. There’s a big, juicy turkey of a Shatner movie on Netflix. Buy it and deliver it to my house.”
On this, the most sacred day of the Other Crap calendar, we honor the man who has given the world more bad acting, bad singing and “other crap” than anyone in history.
Here’s wishing you and yours a joyous Bill Shatner Birthday. Merry Shatmas to all, and to all a good night.
And to you, Bill Shatner, if you read this or even if you don’t, may you live in good health forever!
“… quotes and phrases to sound like a salty sea dog”
In a departure this year, I’ve decided to talk like a Somali Pirate:
“Is dhiib!” (Possibly preceded by “Yarrrrrrr, Abshir lad ….”)
Kanamara Penis Festival, Kawasaki, Japan
On the Scoopy Calendar, this is the second most important holiday of the year, after William Shatner’s Birthday
These are our holidays:
March 14: Steak and BJ Day
March 22: William Shatner’s birthday.
First Sunday in April: Giant Pink Japanese Penis Day
July 31: National Orgasm Day
Sept 19: Talk Like a Pirate Day
Oct 24: F. Murray Abraham’s birthday.
Dec 23: Festivus
Like Easter, GPJPD it marks the beginning of Spring. I keep hoping they will make the pink peeps penis-shaped to commemorate the convergence.
A repeated word of warning for those who hope to attend: do NOT try to smuggle giant pink penises into Japan from other countries. In addition to the fact that you would face the dire legal penalties for giant penis smuggling (imagine Midnight Express, except with giant penises), there are simply good reasons why you should not do so.
- First of all, they would not be sacred. Only giant pink Japanese penises have been blessed. That would be like trying to pass off a bottle of Ozarka from 7-Eleven as Holy Water in the Vatican.
- Second, the Most Honorable Japanese Department of Agriculture and Giant Genitalia is concerned that introducing a new strain of giant pink penises into their eco-system could cause the native strain to mutate or die out. It’s the same reason why you can’t take frogs to Australia.
The main thing to remember is that there is simply no need for you to take such a risk. There are plenty of giant pink Japanese penises to go around, and that means a fun day for one and all.