🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
Brown Stockings ⚾
I’m A Dentist 🦷
Quick Hitters 🐅🦎
If all had gone according to plan, I’d be well into retirement and diving into my money Scrooge McDuck-style after a success career pitching for the New York Yankees. Alas, I’m sitting at my desk in Maryland Heights, Missourah, munching on carrot sticks while preparing for a weekly meeting between marketing and product management.
That shit ain’t even close.
Baseball ended painfully for me at age 16 when I damaged my elbow throwing too many curveballs too young. A year of torturous rehab later, I returned to the field to realize I had lost a ton of velocity on the mound and routine throws back to the pitcher from first base after a pickoff attempt sent pain cascading into my fingers.
So I started writing about baseball instead and yada-yada-yada here we are, crafting brilliant content to sell HVAC chemicals to wholesalers. Fun times.
But baseball has never left my blood.
And so I am now the newest member of the St. Louis Brown Stockings.
Baseball buffs will know that the Brown Stockings were an OG baseball team before Major League Baseball became Major League Baseball. They existed in the late 1800s, right about the time the American League and the National League came together, but they went bankrupt after a game-fixing scandal by a few players. Oops.
Today, old-time baseball exists again. The Brown Stockings are a part of a niche group of baseball lovers who dress up in uniforms like they had back in the day and play the game as it used to be played. That makes it quite unfamiliar to modern baseball fans. Most notably, there are no gloves, and you can make an out by catching a fly ball off one bounce.
A guy at work is captain of the Brown Stockings, and we were talking about how the team operates. There are a bunch of games around the Midwest, and it’s very much a family atmosphere. So I signed up, bought some khaki knickers and some cleats, and yesterday my co-worker gave me my uniform shirt, cap, belt and socks.
I am well past my athletic prime. I’m much more suited for things like chess and reading. My history of injuries is long, deep and wide. But I love baseball, and so I’m going to start playing for the Brown Stockings.
There’s just one problem: Every player has an old-timey baseball nickname — things like Lightning, Sticks, Swede, Klinger, Nightingale and Griz. I need a nickname. This is a huge decision, and so far, I’ve been unable to make it.
I’m taking suggestions.
I wear many caps in my life. I’m a marketing guy, writer, father, husband, motivational dude, basketball coach, amateur improviser, old-timey baseball player, empath and a whole bunch of other crap. And now, apparently, I’m a dentist.
A few weeks ago I wrote about having a temporary crown put on a tooth because of dental malpractice from my youth in which irresponsible tooth torturers who hadn’t done their long-term research put a silver filling in a cavity. The problem is that silver expands and, oops, it cracked my tooth.
Well, on Friday afternoon, the stupid crown came off. I went through the weekend trying to take care of what the dentist calls “the post,” but is really just the filed-down remnants of the tooth on which they plan to put the permanent crown on April 19. Tuesday, I was able to go in and have the lovely McKenna put the temporary crown back on.
Then, yesterday, it came off again. So I called the dentist and left a message, anticipating another visit to put the stupid thing back on. A few minutes later, I received a call back and was told I could put it back on myself, using either a dab of toothpaste, Vaseline (no thank you) or temporary cement purchased at Wal-Mart (corporate shill).
“Wait, what?” I replied. “Like, just … put the thing back on myself?”
“Yes. By yourself.”
“And I’m, like, trained enough to do this?”
“Sure. It’s easy.”
“Then why did I have to fork out a part of my deductible to have you do it the first two times … two times that, I must remind you, did not take?”
So I did. I went the toothpaste route, and so far so good. I just finished my carrots and the tooth is still in.
Apparently, I’m a pretty badass dentist.
Dieudonne became a part of our household amidst chaos, grief and weariness. Objectively speaking, it wasn’t a good time for us to welcome a 4-year-old with medical issues who didn’t speak a word of English. Of course, waiting for a “good time” to tackle that challenge is much like saying, “We’ll have kids when we’re…Keep reading
Some quick-hitters from the world around me:
- Wal-Mart pulled a T-shirt from its stores after customers pointed out it was kinda naughty. The shirt aimed to spread environmental awareness through recycling. It had a big capital “RE” and then, stacked to the right of it, the words Cycle, Use, New, Think. The problem is that stacking those for words lines up an oopsie-daisy of a word if you read the first letters vertically. Yeah. That.
- I’m interviewing two candidates today to fill the role of my colleague at work. He’s retiring in a few weeks. I love interviewing job candidates. It’s something I’m really good at. I’ve hired probably 50 people at various jobs over the years, and I would say I would only not hire one of those people again. And even he wasn’t that bad. The empath in me is able to read the truth of people very well, and I know enough to not hire people who are just like me. I don’t need another me. I need people who can do what I am not great at or don’t like to do. Stay tuned.
- Life with My Favorite African is going well. He has his leg surgery on Monday, so there’s that. Many things are different about this version of MFA compared to the one who came to us in 2021. His English is much better. He’s much more compliant in that he’ll actually do the things you ask him to do without a tremendous amount of effort. He’s much more self-sufficient. There’s a good chance that when he goes home in late June/early July, he won’t be coming back. But I’m not thinking about that right now.
- By now, Wifey Poo was supposed to be driving her new-to-her IguanaMobile, the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan we purchased through Carvana. That I wrote “supposed to” gives you a good indication that it didn’t happen. Everything was set for Monday delivery. Then I got a phone call that said the check-engine light went on while in transport and that it would take two weeks at the dealer before we could have it delivered, supposedly fixed. I bailed on that deal quicker than a hiccup. A 30,000-mile car with a check-engine light before delivery is a great sign from God. So I went back to find a new new car for her. A similar 2021 IguanaMobile is now expected to arrive, hopefully with no warning lights blazing, on Wednesday.
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- Gotta be here for Wifey Poo’s new car delivery.
- Old-timey baseball calls.
- The weather has been beautiful.
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🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩’Full Stop’ 🛑Needles 💉Business Lessons 🧑💼 Here’s something I learned about myself today: One way to ensure that I will debate you on a topic until I give my last breath or until you are huddled in a corner in a fetal position is to end the statement of your opinion…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mindfulness 🧘Mullet Prez 👩🦳Murder Family 🔪 Our brains are amazing things. So adept are they at routines that they can essentially run on autopilot and let you do the everyday stuff like operating a multi-ton object advancing at 70+ mph among lots of other multi-top objects advancing at 70+ mph without…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bloody Hell 💂Circus Moments 🤡Silence 🤫 OK, people: I’ve got a bone to pick with you. But first, a little digression. What in the bloody hell does that phrase mean? “A bone to pick with you?” That sounds absolutely disgusting. And if you’re wondering why I said “bloody hell,” well, that…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩24 Hour Video 😡Rubik’s Kid 🧊Dilbert Doofus 🤪 There are two things I cannot stand in the working world — and in life, in general. The first is people whose lack of preparedness turns ordinary stuff into emergencies. The second is when people criticize the result of something they previous approved.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mormon Billionaires 💰Bigger Packages 🍌Birds Really Aren’t Real 🐦 Can we just get on with blowing the tits off the world with nuclear weapons or something and end this stupid thing we call the human race? Yeah, I know that’s a little dramatic, but when I take a look at the…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Muricah The Evil 🦅You Buy You 💰Big-Ass Van 🚚 I find it rather humorous that Muricah warned China not to send arms to one side of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine … and that we issued this warning with a straight face. I’m quite sure most Muricahns believe their country…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Salve 🩹Car Wash 🚗💧Light Removal 🎄 I try not to venture too often into a Wal-Mart, especially on the weekend. I cling to slim hope for this nation as it is, and I find Wal-Mart trips do not help my grip. Alas, this weekend, Boy The Younger was under the weather…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩CC, BCC, FU 📧Basketball Poll 🏀Andy Rooney 🎙️ This week has largely been a Shit Week marred by Shit People. What are Shit People? They aren’t exactly easy to define, but one hallmark of a Shit Person is his rampant use of the CC function at work to passive-aggressively play power…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chill Day 🛋️Busy Weekend ⚾Halftime 🏈 I’m not working today. Not only am I not working at my day job, I’m not doing any work for my side gig today. I’m not planning on doing much of anything, actually. And I don’t feel guilty about that. This weekend was insanely busy.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Big Pharma Sucks 💊Work Rules 🧑💼Big Weekend 🏈 Spend any time in front of the television and you’ll see ads touting the latest drugs that you shouldn’t take if you’re allergic to and that you most definitely need to ask your doctor about. Now comes a study showing that the people…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Top 5 🎈Symphony 🎻Living Eulogies 💗 Top 5 things overheard in Missourah last week as a purported Chinese spy balloon made its way over the state en route to its rendezvous with an F22’s missile: Despite my high-brow upbringing in Suburbia, New York, I’m not what anyone would call A Symphony…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Space Walk 🧑🚀Bye-Bye Brady 🏈Failure Rate 🐿️ When Boy The Elder was just Boy and devoid of a younger brother, we had a nickname for him: Pokey Joe. BTE didn’t do anything fast, but more than anything, what he did incredibly slow was get out of a car. That would suck…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Raccoons 🦝February 💘Man Nips 🕺 Today I bring you the story of a raccoon who got his balls stuck to railroad tracks. But the reason you think I’m bringing you this story is not the reason I’m bringing you this story. You think I’m bringing the story of the raccoon Neil…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Tyre Nichols 😔Tattoo Day ✒️Nephew Hoops🏀 I was a white kid in suburbia, New York, in 1988 when the gangsta rap group N.W.A. came out with its album Straight Outta Compton, featuring the song Fuck Tha Police. It was scandalous, at the time, to suggest that the police would be anything…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Car Concert 🎵Sick Wife🤒People Suck 🖕 Within the 24 hours in the run-up to Snowpocalypse 2023, the estimates on the Weather Channel app for our snowfall total ranged from 1 to 10 inches. That’s like going to the doctor and being told you have anything from a splinter to terminal cancer.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mission: Failed 👎Ho 🤣Handy Family 👍 It has to suck to work at the Missouri Department of Transportation. Why? It took exactly 75 minutes for all of 2023 to be a failure. Let me explain. Those of you unfortunate enough to have been involved in any sort of corporate planning process…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Houston 🖊️Sad clown 🤡Taco Seasoning 🌮 Houston, Missourah, is not unlike a lot of other rural Missourah towns through which I’ve driven and bears a resemblance to the Small Town USA in which Boy The Elder did a lot of his early growing up and to which Boy The Younger came…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Definitions 📖Missing Bourbon 🥃Mysterious Knocks 😵 I generally abhor any writing that starts with, “Webster’s dictionary defines …” Webster’s dictionary defines “ceiling” as a noun meaning “the overhead inside lining of a room.” The implication is that it’s a limitation, a max, a point of demarcation between what’s out there and…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sadness 😥Annoyance 😠Disappointment 😞 When Boy The Elder was Boy The Only in our home, he watched one of the Air Bud movies featuring a basketball-playing dog. Or maybe it was football. Or soccer. By the time that series was over, that dog had played them all. Anyway, whichever Air Bud…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Thor’s Blurry Hammer 🍆Pigeon Delivery 🕊️Idiot List 🤪 Thor is really, really good with his hammer. And by that, I mean that Thor the walrus in Scarborough, England, is really good at masturbating and ruining New Years Eve. If you haven’t heard about this story, stop reading stupid news like politics…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bruising Basketball 🏀Poke ☝️Six?!? 🔫 I grew up in the NBA era of the Bad Boys Detroit Pistons while loving a New York Knicks team that was, to put it mildly, quite physical. Guys like Steph Curry and LeBron James can makes basketball seem like artistry these days, but give me…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩What There is Like! ⛅’Modern Policing’ 🚨Xylophone Time! 🎵 When you decide to talk about a time in which you truly believe you more-or-less died and saw what comes after this life, you have to be comfortable with the fact that people might think you’re nuts. Hell, talking about it on…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Grace Ashford! 📰Idaholy Shit! 🥔Story of the Year! 🍆 The three most influential people in my life as a journalist are, sadly, all part of the Great Newsroom in the Sky now. Professors Michael Perkins and Bob Woodward (AKA Bob Woodward-Not-That-Bob-Woodward) helped educate me at Drake University, and Lisa Warren was…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Poor Puppy 🐶Romeo and Juliet 🤴👸Meta Mistake 🙊 Disturbing news out of Washington, D.C., today as Republican Congressman-elect George Santos (if that’s his real name) brought a 6-month-old puppy to the house floor and screamed “Hey, look at me!” before slitting its throat and lapping up its squirting blood like a…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩A Pretty Good Rant 😠Tesla Plunge 🚗Missed Lasts 😥 Those of you who regularly read my drivel (I see you, DirtySciFiBuddah) might have become aware of the fact over the past year or so that I am not a huge fan of our world’s modern institutions. All of them might, in…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Incomplete 🕮Frustration 😠Bowl Bust 🏈 To say that I know how to write is like saying I know how to breathe. No one considers that they know how to breathe. They just … breathe. No one is particularly good at breathing or bad at breathing. Again, they just … breathe. I’ve…Keep reading
Welcome to Issue No. 15 of Listicles, the feature that presents the Top 10, Top 5, Top 3, Top 100 or Top 1,000,000 of whatever it is you want to know about. Email your Listicle suggestions to email@example.com. So last year, I had a list of 100 intentions for 2022, and I did fairly well,…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩2023 📅Helping 🧠The Universe 🔭 I’m not much for long-term plans and goals. This isn’t to suggest I don’t think they’re important. I just think that spending a lot of time on them is futile. What’s the saying? Man plans, God laughs. Something like that. Anyway, I’ve learned through experience that…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chain Links 🔗”Work” 🧑💼Popular Toys 🧸 After my first son died in December 2000, I spent a lot of time wondering why. Why me? Why Wifey Poo? Why Jacob? Why this level of suffering in a world supposedly created and run by an all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful God? So I did what…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chiefs! 🏈Indy Tickets 🏎️Bank Visit 💰 When I bought the tickets to the Christmas Eve contest between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Seattle Seahawks as a gift for Boys The Elder & Younger, it was sometime in September and temps hovered around 90 degrees. The thought that the game might…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Timelines 👶Extinctions 🌋Sin City 👌 As I fall deeper down the rabbit hole learning more about theories on space and time, the concept of alternative timelines comes up again and again and again. Whether it’s the stuff of science fiction or one day will be proven to be the stuff of…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩’Cousin’ Laughs🎤Improv!?!? 🎭Drake Hoops 🏀 Back when I was a boy, I had a favorite Cousin-Who-Wasn’t-A-Cousin. His name was Joey DeVito, and he was in no way a blood relation to me, though I called his father Uncle Frankie and his mother Aunt Celia. I’m pretty sure this is an East…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Glazed 🍩Bingo! 🖥️Disappearing Christians ⛪ I didn’t intend to bring doughnuts for my co-workers yesterday morning. It just sorta happened. How it happened and how it played out is a window into my weird mind. First, an explanation: I have a card purchased from Boy The Younger that entitles me to…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩STL’s Homeless 😥Snake Hoo-Hoos 🐍That Was Epoch 👴 I found James huddled underneath a blanket as he sat, knees to his chest, head bowed, just outside the doorway of a CVS in the Delmar Loop section of St. Louis. If you’re not familiar with the area, it’s a fun place filled…Keep reading