FINAL NOTICE: So the cancer patient said “screw it all,” and went on a short hunting expedition to Africa.
Felt great when he came back, but immediately went to see his oncologist for an update.
“What’s the good word, doc?”
Doctor: “Well, I have good news and bad news,” said the doctor.
Patient: “Give me the good news first.”
Doctor: “You have only 30 days to live.”
Patient: “But doctor, I told you I wanted the good news first.”
Doctor: “That was the good news. The bad news is we have been trying to reach you for a month.”
Potential. I think I hate that word. But in all honesty, my doctors are transparent and straightforward, telling me encouragingly that the early staging of my cancer makes it “potentially very survivable.”
This of course reminded me of a great baseball story. Fifty years ago, NY Mets manager Casey Stengel pointed to his star young 17-year-old rookie, Ed Kranepool, and said, “in 10 years, he has the potential to be a superstar. Now that 20-year-old guy over there in the right field? He has the potential to be 30.”
As for me, well, the 1960 Mets star Ed Kranepool is my age, has a new kidney, and he is still here, so why not me? My plans are to be at the Opening Day game today at Marlins Park. Maybe I won’t be their shortstop in 10 years, but I can be playing in the SFAAA over 80 leagues. Rocky, don’t bat me first, though. I may be slow running the bases with my walker.
Originally, I did not mind getting older. But on second thought, my body is taking it very badly. One body part laughs at the other to see who has it worse, I want to be 21 again and ruin my life differently. I still remember doing LSD one night in my college dorm, waking up the next morning, and eating Chinese food off the floor with some naked guy by my side. I remember asking him if I was the only one he had ever been with. He said, “Yes, all the others were nines and tens.”
SOCIAL MEDIA AND SLANG
I am sure one thing today's generation of youth will do as it rewrites history is butcher the English language on social media. It will have no punctuation and many misspelled words. No, I just do not buy into the contemporary retort that speaks the words: “Well you know what I meant to say.” Maybe so, but it is not a felony to use complete sentences, good grammar, and proper spelling to say it. The reality is that most Instagram users have never been known to use a word that might send a reader to a dictionary, if they even know what that is.
‘YA GOTTA BELIEVE’
Tug Mc Graw is an ex-NY Mets baseball player and World Series hero from the ‘70s who I admired immensely, who died of brain cancer way too young. I pinned his 1973 Topps baseball card to my ceiling in my townhouse 40 years ago, and it is still there — a bit dusty perhaps. Full of enthusiasm for the game he loved, Tug McGraw left an indelible mark on baseball.
When he won a World Series with the Phillies, baseball bonuses were a lot smaller. Asked what he was going to do with his $12,000 earnings, he said, “I am going to spend 85% of it on wine, women, and partying. The rest I am going to squander.” Sounds very gay to me. Actually, Tug’s son, the singer Tim McGraw, helps keep his brain cancer foundation alive. You can donate online at tugmcgraw.org/donate.
OVER 60 AND THE SFAAA
This next vignette is dedicated to all those of us who have ever played in the Master’s Division of the over 60 South Florida Athletic Association. You have this nightmare that one day, at the age of 70, you are going to hit what you hoped would be a game-winning homer on the softball field but sliding into home plate you collide with the catcher and go into cardiac arrest. The last words you ever hear will be an umpire shouting “You’re out!”
It happened to Saul of Wilton Station. Tragic. He was playing softball with his life-long friend Jerry when he suffered a fatal stroke running the bases too hard. The next day at his funeral, Jerry looked down at Saul, in his casket, a baseball glove in one hand, a Mimosa in the other, and said, “Rest in peace, Saul. For your sake, I only hope there is baseball in Heaven.”
Just then, from the rafters, Jerry heard a deep barreling voice, and looked up. It was Saul, saying, “I have good news and bad news for you, Jerry. There is baseball in Heaven. In fact, the good news is that the gay World Series starts tomorrow. The bad news is that you are pitching.”
RON DESANTIS AND SFGN
Ironically, the satirically biting cover we ran on the front page of SFGN two weeks ago has not gotten as much play as we would have liked on Facebook, because while they have no problem carelessly posting false facts, reckless lies, and poisonous political dialogue, they ban four-letter words and cursing.
Will SFGN go to Facebook Jail if we dare post the cover online? I may make some jokes about my own life, because, well, he who can laugh at himself will never cease to be amused. But attacking the lives of our transgender population, and the love our fellow LGBT citizens for each other is no joke. It is just cruel, worthy of censure and condemnation. From a governor, it’s inexcusable.
Not many of us like Ron DeSantis, but at least he is also intensely disliked by his friends. I stand by the words on our cover. You are who you are, and as the words from “La Cage aux Folles,” you are God’s creation. Don’t let anyone ever put you down. You can do that on your own.
OP-ED | The Cancer Chronicles: Rants and Ruminations from a Medical Bed
OP-ED | The Cancer Chronicles, Part 2: Ruminations of a Chemotherapeutic Mind
OP-ED | The Cancer Chronicles, Part 3: Machinations of a Medicated Mind