Thursday, April 16, 2009

Like a Fart in the Wind

Does jumping in the air while holding another man's hand make you gay? I think so. If by gay you mean incredibly happy. Gayer than springtime, some might say. But all that glee I felt while frolicking in the hot Mexican sun came to a crashing end when I landed in dreary Chicago on a rain-swept Monday evening earlier this week. Turning on my phone to frantically see alllll the many people who had left voicemails and friendly texts since I left the States five days earlier, I realized I have no friends. Not a single solitary human being called me, you know, wanted to hang out, get a drink, watch a marathon of Real Housewives of Atlanta. Not even my mother. Granted, she knew I was away, but she's old and forgetful, so I expected a text at the very least. I digress... point is my own personal disappointment quickly evolved into shock and awe when I got a text from one Mr. Fine Tone that said the following, or something to this effect: "Way to go to Mexico and kill Harry Kalas." Hmmm. I knew I had gone to Mexico and eaten a lot of Mexican hot dogs, but killed Harry Kalas? Confused, I thought to myself, Harry the K... gone? Would Tone joke about this? Never. And then I got real sad. Not only because there is a greater possibility Gary Matthews will be promoted to a more important cog in the Phillies broadcast machine, but really because I, like so many others, love John Gruden. I mean Harry Kalas. I'm talking Breyer's Mint Chocolate Chip love here. Maybe even sprinkle on some Mint Milanos, that was my level of compassion.

Harry Kalas was much more than an admirable man of indulgence who loved the good things in life. Sure his lungs were darker than the deepest jungle in the Congo. Yeah he slugged whisky like it was the DR holiday bash 365 days a year. God bless the man because he in all likelihood took down Chris Wheeler's wife triggering a feud akin to Ricky Vaughn-Roger Dorn. But beyond all those truly great qualities, he was a comforting voice and a friend to millions. When thousands of people line up on Saturday morning to see his 145 lb body lying at home plate at the Bank, undoubtedly most will feel as if they knew the man personally. As though he was their ace rollie. That's pretty dope if you ask this fella.

I remember when the Phils were only on television, at least in my house, on Sunday afternoons. Tuning into Philly 57 (I think was the station at the time) to catch the Harry-Wheels-Musser-Whitey combo was a treasured treat. For some reason I attach his voice with the concrete carpet we called "turf" that covered the Vet for so many years. The one with random wet spots scattered throughout the field, and seams that tripped up everyone from Dickie Thon to Charlie Hayes to Tommy Herr. I remember how the camera would start with H-K and then scroll out to see Andy Musser and his ridiculous Kangol hats. Harry for some reason triggers, in my mind, the old maroon colors, Von Hayes, and the years we sucked. I don't necessarily love him because he was the focal point of my baseball experience. Nah, really, I loved him for just the opposite. Sure his famous calls made him a tri-state phenomenon. But I learned to appreciate the 1.5 minute at-bats when he barely said a damn thing. Harry went hand-in-hand with those miserably humid and hot summer nights when the Phillies were battling it out for last place with Spike Owen & the Expos. Harry was Sil Campusano breaking up Doug Drabek's no-hitter with 2 outs in the 9th inning. Harry was Steve Bedrosian's beard, Steve Jelt'z jerry-curl, Bruce Ruffin's mullet, & Randy Ready's awesome name. Harry made me want to throw sidearm like Kent Tekulve. Shit, Harry added legitimacy to Bobby Munoz's upside, and bite to Wally Richie's slider. Harry was "calls of the game" while stuck in traffic on the way home from the Vet. Plain & simple, Harry was the fuckin man.

So now that I have gone through a box of kleenex, it's time to point forward. Can Wheels hold it down on the dolo? Is Larry Anderson the answer? Do we steal away Harry's son from the Devil Rays? Do we rescue Andy Musser from whatever mundane life he is leading in the random New Jersey town he probably lives in? Do we let the most articulate man this side of the Shenandoah Valley, our beloved Charlie Manuel, take over after we win another title this year? Time will tell. But if D'allesandro's can start selling New England Clam Chowder (those nazis) with a straight face, I suppose the Phils can and will move on without Harry the K. I'll still eat what they be cooking, but it aint gonna be easy.

Sad this is the last time I saw you Harry, but you went out a champion, and I'm glad I got to send you off with a hearty wave and a creepy scream. Go Phils.


  1. Just the fact that you mentioned bobby munoz made my entire week. I'd also like to mention that a new girl was hired at my job who's name is alene d'allesandro. Yes, she is the granddaughter of the owner and creator of d'allasandro's steaks and worked there for years when her parents owned it. They sold it a couple years ago which explains the selling of atrocious soups. Knowing her while understanding what her family has added to my life has been a most spectacular development.

  2. Firm, I want you to write my eulogy. ok?

  3. Following in Pete Shrier's footsteps, I'd like to date someone with an ownership interest (past or present) in D'als. Please put me D, Chief Naka.

  4. Time for you to Naka them boots!!!!!

    Question for the weekend: Would it be possible to use a cheesesteak as a dildo?

  5. I know an actor who is also part of the D'Allesandro clan.

    This is dedicated to the title of your post: