A pop fly straight into my addled head

The author at age 10.

The author at age 10.

“Were you a big fan of Dennis Eckersley?”

The Kansas City Royals are playing the Oakland Athletics tonight, a rare instance where baseball brings back honest-to-God memories of my youth. However, it may have more to do with ice cream and design than anything athletic.

Predictable, my girlfriend finds this delightful. I pretend to recognize that big furry caterpillar sitting underneath Mr. Eckersley’s nose, then proudly retort that I was a big Rickey Henderson fan. That’s all I’ve got when it comes to the A’s. Or baseball, for that matter.

I grew up in Kansas, so I should have gravitated toward the Royals. I went to a few games, may have owned a T-shirt, remember my mom’s dad having some sort of affinity for listening to the team on the radio and that was that. I was about to tell you about my signed autograph of Royals pitcher Orel Hershiser, but my memory is apparently a real piece of work and he never played in KC. But I still think I had Hershiser’s autograph, for whatever that’s worth.

A is for Adam.

A is for Adam.

I was the proud owner of several baseball hats. They were for fishing and tennis, never for their original purpose. Most of them were A teams – not A teams as in the best, but teams with the letter A as their logo. The California Angels. The Oakland Athletics. It makes sense. A is for Adam.

And that brings us to ice cream. Dairy Queen ingeniously happened upon a promotion in the 1990s that still elicits knowing nods. Ice cream with fudge + baseball + helmet bowls. I did my best to collect them all, including my beloved KC Royals and Oakland A’s.

What I’m trying to say is that I still love baseball ice cream, even to this day.

Episode 80: “Following”

No, it’s not Momento. But Following certainly begat the Christopher Nolan compendium. In his honor, we’ll be conducting this episode/interrogation out of chronological order. What if you were fingered for murder by police when the victim choked on popcorn? Would real food look edible in black and white? A thin man may attempt to play a fat one for Halloween. Go ahead, spill the movie that causes you the most guilt for having never seen. Everyone has a box.

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Episode 79: “Mystery Train”

It’s our first Jarmusch for our humble gathering – Mystery Train. We are in unanimous agreement that Screamin’ Jay Hawkins steals the show. This week’s surprise revelation is that one of our members has never hailed a cab. When will we watch our first pick at an honest-to-God movie theater? It could be ANY WEEK! Car bras and catching coons. “Jiffy Squid”? Turn that damn thing off!

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Episode 78: “House”

This will be complicated. We watched another movie titled House back at episode 64, but this one is different. Still the horror genre, but one decade later. And it’s not Poltergeist either. Maybe we should have watched this on LaserDisc? Finally, please don’t put Mentholatum or Vicks directly on your nostrils. Solitude’s always better with somebody else around, ya know?

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Episode 77: “Dr. Strangelove”

Finally! A proper microphone setup. We’re terribly sorry for the 40 episodes that came before. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb creates some trouble for titling, so let’s just go with the good doctor’s name. An old topic comes back to life –  Zingers! Those Hostess snack cakes, remember? Most incredibly, one of our vegetarian members stuffs his gullet full of octopus. Whoa. Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room.

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Episode 76: “The Manster”

Bring on the B-movie horror! The Manster would be a piece of cake for your grade school teacher to diagram – is he man or is he monster? Why not both! We pit the 1970s against the 1990s for most hated cultural decade. And there’s some Leonard Maltin hatred brewing. I don’t want this experiment repeated…ever!

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Episode 75: “The Fisher King”

We’re short-staffed tonight, but have an important duty – memorializing Robin Williams. Was The Fisher King the right choice? Who really knows. Dogs hunting rats is a New York City thing, though. That’s for certain. Death is definitely a penalty! It ain’t no fuckin’ gift!

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