Wednesday, January 06, 2010

"310 From Contention"

THAT WAS ALWAYS THE SOURCE OF CONFLICT any time the conversation turned to the movie (or, if you prefer, "motion picture") "3:10 To Yuma."

The title.

As we all remember, it was in Contention, Arizona where Daniel Evans fought impossible odds to get Ben Wade on that train ... a train scheduled to depart the station at 10-past-3 p.m., w/ the destination: Yuma.

But, then Ben Wade's chief lieutenant, Charlie Prince, gunned down poor Daniel ... before Ben Wade gunned down Charlie and the rest of his own gang.

After all, Ben Wade had twice busted outta that Yuma jail.

It's these thoughts of "3:10 From Contention" -- be it the original 1957 version with Glenn Ford and Van Heflin -- or the remake 50 yrs. later (with Russell Crowe and Christian Bale -- and a damn quality sinister element from Ben Foster as Charlie Prince ... although Richard Jaeckel in that role in the originial, never mind) ... these are the thoughts which can swirl inside a man's head as he's brushinwyou're brushin' your teeth and you look in the mirror and then you do a double-take because suddenly it hits you:

"When the hell did I turn into Rosie O'Donnell?"

Although it used to be that you weren't all that offended when somebody remarked that my taste in women and Rosie's was approximately the same, it doesn't ease the fright which has gripped my heart once I realized that ugly and obese and less softball talent than she is a lonely way to die.

It hit home a few days ago ... when I stepped on the allegedly-accurately-calibrated scale at Dr. Gibbons office.

What a grim milestone it was: "3-bills."
Actually, 3-bills-plus.

311, to be exact.

It used to be the goal of thousands of slo-pitch softball fatsos everywhere ... for those who believed that America remains strongest when the softball fields are occupied (with a runner at second at one out) -- "to have three numbers sync up nicely: playing weight, batting average, ERA."

The accepted-yet-unofficial Magic Number was once 425 ... as in 425 lbs. ... .425 BA ... 4.25 ERA., alas ... that "golden plateau" loses its luster with the convergence of three factors: multi-grains, zero grams of trans fat and my own retirement a few seasons ago.

Such a trifecta was a little like the phenomenon which occures in nature wherein Jamie Moyer wears his age and the speed-in-MPH of his fastball on the back of his Phillies shirt.


Once a Steelers fan eclipses 3-bills, he begins to wonder what's next on the horizon.

Willie Colon's 315?
Trai Essex's 324?
Chris Kemoeatu's 344?

Technically, none of those guys is morbidly obese ... mostly because a Super Bowl ring negates obesity.

Yet, when you're 300 and blobby and O'Donnellish, it's difficult to remember the days when you were 250 and legging out a triple during the softball wars of yore.
Or when you were 275 and legging out a triple ... and wishin' that somebody knocks ya in from third right quick so that you can grab a Pall Mall before it's time to take the field for the top of the 5th.

"3oo" was a lot more fun when it was Homer who was striving to achieve that milestone so that he could work at home and disdaining the exercise program led by Mr. Burns ("push out the jive ... bring in the love ...").

HOMER (reading the computer screen): "Do you want to vent the core?" (answering out loud before typing) "N ... O ..." (reading the computer screen) "Are you sure? Venting helps to prevent ex-ploh-zhee-yunn?"

That's a frickn', all-time classic -- highlighted by his msg. to Marge upon discovering that he needed to type only "Y" rather than "y-e-s" to the computer:

"Hey, Miss Doesn'tFindMeSexuallyAttractiveAnymore ... I just tripled my productivity!"

Looks as though I've gotta do the same.

Or I'll never be able to delight the fans with another triple ...

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