Blackhumouristpress's Blog

November 2, 2011

Cleveland de Brasil

Mathew, Mark and Luke all lived in a gated community on a hillside that overlooked the Pacific Ocean.  All three of the men were part of the hated 1% of the United States that appeared to be flourishing off of the backs of those being displaced from homes and depleted of savings.
            Mathew and Mark had become friends with Luke and his wife Maria a few years back after Luke made a killing buying and selling real estate.  Luke’s name was actually Joao, which is John but decided to go with the middle name of Lucio or Luke. Understand?  Orange County in California saw home prices tank before the rest of the nation.  Luke moved from Ohio by way of Sao Paulo to southern California and quickly became a very wealthy man.
            Mathew and Mark’s wives, Martha and Myrtle were friends with Luke and Maria and really appeared to like them but actually were suspicious of them and wondered how it was that both of them could seem so in tune to one another and so happy and content and yet never speak to one another.  The quartet noticed that quite often, Luke and Maria would just look at one another without saying a word and it appeared as though they had a conversation with their minds.  Mathew finally said to Mark when Luke went to his wine cellar to get a bottle of wine that he had purchased at a small winery in Italy.
            “I think these two are aliens…  I know it sounds weird but how do two people look so perfect, act so perfect, never fight, never complain and yet look at you as if they know something you’re trying to hide something that they already know about.  Who comes from Cleveland and makes a fortune in real estate?  What’s their secret?”
            The three sets of couples sat eating and drinking wine in Luke and Maria’s backyard that had a magnificient view of thePacific Ocean.  It was warm as the sun began to set.  The wine flowed like water.  Luke had more alcohol than he had had in quite some time and could not contain himself any longer.  Luke was no longer the quiet observer as usual.  Luke went from being quiet to loud and aggressive yet maliciously playful all along.
            “Let’s play a game… Shall we?  A game of, ‘I know what you’re thinking’…  You all must agree to this first.  I want to make sure we are all on board,” said Luke.
            Maria grabbed her husband by the arm without saying a word.  Luke pursed his lips and held his hand up.  Maria blinked hard and took a seat with her arms folded.
            “This game is called Guess the Guests…Now then… One among us is sleeping with another among us while married to two others among us.  One among us has actually been set for life since birth and has set up a faux business to give the appearance of hard work while screwing the secretary while she shoves beads up his ass in his office.  One among us worried about insider information that they had knowledge of and is worried about the feds closing in on them.  One among us is fucking everything they can whenever the chance presents itself including with friends of their offspring.  One among is certifiably cuckoo and is on every sort of medication you could imagine to help this individual walk a straight line.  Straight enough so that nobody knows or suspects that something very wrong is going on inside their brain…  I’ll make this easy on all of you.  If you take me and my wife out of the running on this guessing game, that narrows the field to just the four of you.”
            “Luke! Nao… Por favor, pare.  Eles nao sabem que podemos ler suas mentes…”
            The guests were stunned that Maria could speak another language other than English.  She looked like them and sounded like them but then suddenly bust out in another tongue when the chips were down and out.
            “You see it for yourself tonight, my dear friends…  My wife and I are truly capable of disagreeing, of fighting, of disappointment in one another.  Here I am a Midwestern fly-by-night who happened to have that Midas touch… Like Goldfinger, right?  I make money hand over fist and you all wonder how.  How is he doing this?  How do these two manage to get along so well?  They seem plastic.  They seem fake.  They seem to be aliens who use some sort of telepathy to communicate with one another like some sort of weirdo Twilight Zone bullshit, right?  You’re goddamn right that I see it in your eyes and read it like a book.  I know your secrets…  I know your dirty little secrets and you can’t hide from Luke.  I  know when you’re being honest and that is far more than any of you know about yourselves…  So as they say in Brazil or shall I say Cleveland, after too many drinks; go fuck yourselves and cry or have another drink and dance…  I will be back.  I am going for more of the truth serum… A little of that Cleveland Indian fire water.  You either be gone or remain when I get back.  You have a choice.”
            Nobody left the table and nobody spoke while Luke was gone.  They were all stunned and shocked by the brash outburst of a man who had never said very much in the past.  Luke had never bragged or judged before. Loud Samba music accompanied Luke’s return.  Luke laughed loudly with a cigar dangling out of the corner of his mouth, holding four bottles of red wine.  He was singing along with the song in Portugese.   The guests all guessed it was Spanish.  They were wrong.
 
            Batom- a bala bate no meu coracao.  Dentes espalhados pelo chao- Natural- E a vezes social…  Vai la cou boi!
           
            Nobody in the backyard had ever really heard Samba music before or danced to it except Maria who had grown up with it long before they reached Cleveland.  They all drank and all danced and gave very little thought to the things Luke had said.  They may as well as have danced naked. Their inhibitions disappeared. The Mexican wait staff and the Vietnamese au pair joined in on the dancing as did neighbors adjacent to Luke’s property until the sun came up over Santa Monica Boulevard.
 
            At about two in the afternoon following the party, Luke stood and stared out at the water the way he had once done at the Atlantic Ocean as a boy and Lake Erie as a younger man.  He held a cup of coffee and suffered through a headache as he watched surfers off in the distance wading on boards, waiting to catch the right wave.  Maria approached Luke and without saying a word, spoke to her husband in Portuguese.  I could write what she said to Luke in Portuguese and it would really sound pretty.  In English, this is how it went;
 
            “You nearly let the cat out of the bag last night.  I really thought you were going to tell them how we know… They could never begin to grasp how we know things.  It would blow their minds.”
            Luke or Lucio, Joao or John, took a drink of his coffee turned to his wife and replied without opening his mouth with a big toothy smile.
 
            “Pessoas de Cleveland… pode ser estranho… 
 
             “The People of Cleveland… can be strange”

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April 7, 2011

Baseball is not a Sport or Vishnu at the Plate

Filed under: Uncategorized — blackhumouristpress @ 4:20 am
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            Vishnu Patel was able to anonymously come to the United States without having to wear a scarlet letter or fear for his life so much.  In India, Vishnu Patel was simply known as Vishnu since Patel is about as common a name as Jones is in the ghetto.

            Vishnu was a Cricket playing prodigy who was a fast bowler.  Bowling is much akin to pitching a baseball and has nothing to do with the sport of bowling even though Vishnu came to love that over time upon moving to the United States.

            Vishnu was a rich young man in India.  He could bowl fast and spin the ball so that when it hit the ground, it would bounce like a superball.  Vishnu was sponsored by all sorts of companies that wanted his name on cricket bats.  He was in songs and in movies and drove sports cars and had a big home.  At bat, Vishnu easily scored and had several centuries meaning that while at bat, he scored over 100 points all by himself.  Vishnu was the Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretsky, Brett Favre and Babe Ruth rolled into one.  Like the Hindu god of the same name, Vishnu seemed to walk on water but like all mortals he had something about him that tarnished him in the eyes of Indians; homosexuality.

            Vishnu had kept his secret under close wraps in India.  He was always seen in public with a pretty girl.  It was during a test match in Australia that he was photographed dancing and kissing another man in a gay night club.  Vishnu had crushed his supporters upon the revelation that he was in fact homosexual.  There were death threats and Vishnu’s kept man and he fled the country in 2008.

            Endorsements dried up and Vishnu fled for the United States for fear that he would be killed or jailed.  There was a fear among Indian parents that perhaps their sons might deem homosexuality as something that would be, “not so bad” because the great Vishnu fancied lads. 

            Vishnu took whatever money he had left and bought a Tim Horton’s franchise right outside of Cleveland, Ohio.  Tim Horton’s was quickly becoming the biggest Canadian export after beer.  Vishnu was satisfied being just another Indian in America.  People mistook him for a cab driver and a computer technician but nobody recognized him as a former great cricket player except one sports columnist who wrote for the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

 Tim Jones, who never lived in the ghetto by the way, relished being a thorn in the side of the Cleveland Indians.  It was Tim Jones who recognized the former star who single handedly decimated the West Indies Cricket Club in Barbados.  Jones was on had to witness Vishnu’s feat.  Vishnu had five wickets as a bowler and batted over a century to defeat the West Indies more or less, by himself.  Tim Jones went after the Cleveland Indian’s front office in his column.  Here is what he had to say:

“Chief Wahoo should have a tear in his eye just like the crying Indian from the early 1970’s commercial who was saddened and dismayed by what had become of his land.  What has become of Chief Wahoo’s Indians?  If the Cavs and Browns don’t make you cry, maybe this year’s Indians will.  A mere 9,000 fans managed to make it out to see their team win 7-1 against the Chicago White Sox.  David Hasslehoff might draw more than that if he were to perform at Progressive Field.  If you didn’t hear it already, the Indians turned their first triple play since 2008 on Sunday.  It is nothing like the front office’s triple play of getting rid of their three best players and expecting a dwindling population to step up and pay to see a shell of what once was a proud franchise.  Proud like an Indian.  Speaking of Indians, most of you would never know this but one of the best players to have ever played the sport of cricket owns Tim Horton franchises right here in the state of Ohio, right in the city of Cleveland.  I’d be willing to bet my wigwam and teepee that The Great Vishnu could save the franchise single handedly.  Picture any of our current has-beens or never-will-bees pitching like Cliff Lee and batting like a healthy Grady Sizemore.  I throw out the challenge to Mr. Patel and Mr. Acta.  Do something different.  Bring back the crowds. Let an Indian, a real Indian save the Indians from oblivion.  Wipe that tear from Chief Wahoo’s cheek and restore that stupid smile once again.”

Everyone who read Mr. Jones’ column knew that he was brutal on sports teams in Cleveland and knew that the Cleveland Indians held the most promise of success in the city of Cleveland before losing several players who may one day end up in the baseball hall of fame.  Tim Jones caught up with Vishnu and was surprised what he had to say about the sport of baseball.  Vishnu had laid down the gauntlet.

“Meester Tim…  I dawn vant to put dawn dee national pastime of a nation but ven I pass by parks and I see over-vait, middle aged men hitting a beach ball, under hand at a speed dat ees barely able to support it in dee air, I liken eet to a hunter tracking a cow.  How caan you meese shooting a grazing cow who looks at you stupidly vile lining up her head weeth a scope?  Now hitting a baseball might be a tad more difficult but eet ees naught cricket.  Cricket ees a sport.  Baseball ees a hobby.”

Native Clevelanders or rather white people and blacks who were once owned by whites, who have resided on indigenous people’s land that were mistaken by Christopher Columbus for Indians, were indignant by the brazen comments of Vishnu.  It was one thing for Americans residing in Cleveland to attack their own team and their own beloved sport; it was another thing to have a gay foreigner verbally bitch slap baseball.  Vishnu had no choice but to face those who loved baseball and the Indians.

Vishnu studied tapes of baseball for a few days and even watched some games on ESPN before contacting Tim Jones to set up a meeting between him and the Cleveland Indians.  If you can imagine this, Progressive Field sold out every seat in the stadium to watch the exhibition between a former cricket great and professional baseball players.  The Cleveland Indian front office loved the publicity.

Vishnu emerged from a tunnel wearing a collared shirt that had the letters, INDIA across the front with his name on the back with the number 13.  Vishnu swung his arm in a circle a few times before facing the first batter.  Manny Acta sent up a pitcher to face Vishnu.  Vishnu came running up from second base, hit the mound and threw the ball in a windmill fashion, delivering a pitch that did not bounce. A 160 km/h fastball or damn near 100 miles an hour pitch for a strike.  The speed gun registered 101 mph.  The pitch twisted in the air and dropped like it fell off a cliff.  Vishnu struck out two pitchers, then two batters that would be lucky to pinch run and then some real big fish.  The guys that might make more than entire population of the average worker in the city of Cleveland combined.  One of the bonus babies got a few foul tips before being felled.  It was then Vishnu’s turn to come to the plate.  Vishnu stood on the plate as though he was protecting a wicket.  He wore what looked like a jockey’s helmet with a protective grill with gloves and leg guards that one might find on a goalie in ice hockey.  Vishnu whacked everything that came his way whether it was a strike or a ball.  The last pitch was an 85 mile an hour fastball.  Vishnu took two steps towards the pitch and knocked it into the right field stands where a group of Indian expatriates were banging drums, waving an Indian flag with painted faces.  Vishnu carried his bat with him as he would have in cricket as he rounded the bases.  Backwards.

It would be fair to surmise that baseball fans, The Cleveland Indians and Americans in general felt badly about the publicity stunt and that would be correct.  Upon signing Vishnu to a multi-year contract as a relief pitcher and designated hitter, the Indians suddenly began to win and fans returned to Progressive Field.  After a while nobody seemed to notice or care that their star player was not only not American or a baseball player, that he was gay too.  As Americans often like to say to one another: Only in America.

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