I think that baseball, even though it is not a contact sport, is still way too harsh. We need to make it a kinder and gentler sporting event.
For instance, the official that governs home plate is called the umpire. This is a poor choice of words because the word “the umpire” translates in our sub-conscious mind as “the grumpier”. They are grumpy! Have you ever seen a happy umpire? Have you ever seen an umpire, sing, whistle or dance with glee? No, he crouches with a menacing judgmental grimace just waiting for you to make a mistake. When you swing and miss, he shouts. That’s right, he actually raises his voice in a harsh retort and then waves rude finger gestures.
What happens when you unintentionally miss connecting the bat with the ball? The umpire shouts out a bone jarring “STRIKE”. What a rude way to point out to everyone that you made a mistake! The word “strike” is way to bruising to the baseball player’s ego. The more compassionate way is to kindly comment to the batter, “You have one failure to connect.” Then the umpire should pat the batter on the shoulder and say something like “You’ll do better the next time, son.”
I also think that it is very harmful to the batter’s self-esteem when after three strikes at bat, the umpire shouts “YOU’RE OUT!” That’s the last thing that the batter needs to hear. He knows that he screwed up. Instead, the umpire should whisper in the batter’s ear, “You’ve had three failures to connect. You are temporarily excused from batting.” Then the batter should be handed some kind of little toy, like you get at the dentist office, as a consolation prize.
Here are two more baseball terms that need gentrification. The word “bat” should be re-termed as “baseball redirecting utensil”. The word “outfield” should be softened to “your distant field station”.
There is, however, many things that are right with baseball. They just need a little tweaking.
“The pitcher” is a great baseball name because it connotes serving others. Therefore, the pitcher should be given a pitcher of lemonade and some cakes or cookies that he can serve to his infield players between pitches.
In fact, this leads to what I think would be the greatest improvement in baseball. We should cancel the competition and just have a big picnic. Baseball should be like a big family reunion meal. We’ll all meet at home base and the meal is served on home plate.
Instead of a round hard ball, serve up spaghetti and meat balls. You can be certain, people won’t miss catching a juicy meatball in their mitts.
Having removed all harshness and competition, we can remake baseball into the picnic on the grass that it always was meant to be. How do I know this? Think about it, have you ever seen one single pitcher who isn’t standing on the mound and chewing something?
At our first class, I gave us a homework assignment of trying to write 10 jokes with set up-punchline & tag before the next class on January 23rd.
Did you find this assignment more difficult than you ever expected in your life? Was it even harder then trying to silently open a package of
chocolate chip cookies at two in the morning so your spouse doesn't hear it?
Writing comedy can be hard!!! Sitting in front of a blank computer screen trying to be funny may be even more difficult
than standing in front of an audience trying to make them laugh. At least with an audience you can tell a knock knock joke
then say, "That's my time" and flee the stage.
This past week, I sat down a couple of times and tried to write jokes. I wrote down everything that flowed into my mind.
It all seemed so foolish and silly and nonsensical. Finally after about a half hour, I had the idea of looking online on a
website called "Silly questions that people asked." After reading a couple dozen of those, my comedy juices started flowing
and I wrote two jokes. One of the jokes made me laugh out loud for at least 15 seconds. (I am often found laughing out loud
This illustrates a comedy writing tip. Read other people's funny lines to spark your own funny lines. Get in the comedy river
and let the comedy ooze into your pores until something funny flows out of you. (Note- using a lot of water flowing symbols makes
the infants and elderly in your audience prone to having to take more bathroom breaks during your show. Just sayin')
Another technique for writing comedy is to have some comedy buddies. Five years ago, when I jumped into this foolish profession, I asked
two friends to help me out. We sat in a room and bounced ideas off of each other. None were of any value...UNTIL.... we came up
with one of my all time favorite jokes. This joke is so good (in my own head) that whenever I use it, half of the room will groan
and the other half will laugh. This joke always has an effect on the audience. So write your jokes with a couple of humor buddies. That will release a comedy brainstorm in the room. (Assuming that at least a couple of you have brains.)
DON'T GET FRUSTRATED AND NEVER GIVE UP!! In beginning your comedy growth, the biggest principle is to NEVER, EVER, EVER
EVER GIVE UP. You will win if you don't quit. (Eventually you will succeed in becoming funnier than you are and that is our goal of
The only way you can fail in this class is by giving up and not trying at all. Failing to make people laugh is not only an option, it is a
schoolmaster to teach you how to think like the audience thinks. Besides, you are comedian, you should rejoice in your failures and weave
them into future comedy bits. (If you don't believe me, check out these You Tubes :
I hope I have encouraged you to keep trying. I'm so "stoked" (whatever that slang word means) to seeing you again at our next meeting
at the library.