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Column as I see ’em …
“Am I that detestable?” I asked a friend. “Do you really think people would pay money to throw baseballs at me and knock me into a tank of water?”
“Yes,” he said. “Given the things you write, there are people who will empty their bank accounts to buy chances to throw balls at you, just on the odd chance that one will bust through the screen and hit you in your big mouth.”
Apparently my friend is correct. Since being asked by Little League officials to sit in a dunking booth July 1 during the Fair and Horse Show, anyone to whom I’ve posed that question readily and automatically agrees.
Even my wife.
Normally I’m not a glutton for punishment. I get enough smarmy remarks and narrow-eyed glares while in public that I don’t need to go looking for people who do not care much for me.
But when Bart Lewis asked me to sit in the Little League dunking booth, I couldn’t say no.
The league already planned to have the booth to raise funds for its junior league — the one for 13- and 14-year olds.
But on that night, all the proceeds will be given to a player that has been stricken with cancer, and I’m more than happy to help.
Those who don’t like me — you already know who you are — can come out and throw until either you’re broke or dislocate your shoulders. I don’t care which happens first, so long as your dislike for me is channeled into a good cause.
But know this: I don’t plan on getting wet.
Know why? Because once you’ve paid your money and have ball in hand you will look at me, not the target, and miss. I’ll razz you, you’ll try again and miss, and by then you’ll be so angry that you’ll be lucky to hit even the backstop.
As for the rest of you, I’m sure some will get me in the water, but here are notable exceptions.
1. Sheriff’s office. From what I hear, only a couple of you can hit anything at the shooting range, unless the dirt berm and trees behind it count, that is. If you guys and girls can’t throw any straighter than you can shoot, I won’t even have to bring a towel. That goes for you, too, Chief Tommy Burris. I know you’re some sort of sharpshooter with a rifle, but word on the street is that you couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with a ball.
2.. Judge-Executive John Wayne Conway. I know you coached Little League 60 or 70 years ago, and think you know a thing or two about baseball, but I also know you learned to play ball at Western. Of course I don’t have any first-hand knowledge of that closed-down school, but Anderson High grads swear up and down Western baseball teams had zero talent.
3. Chip Chambers. That’s right, I’m calling you out, Chambers. I’ve seen you toss batting practice at Little League games. Enough said.
4. Jack Patel, manager of 4 Way Stop and Go near McDonald’s. Jack, a native if India, fancies himself something of a cricket player. Well, this is America, Jack, and there’s no way you’re getting me in the water.
5. High school basketball coach Glen Drury. Standing on the sidelines yelling at the refs isn’t going to help you at the dunking booth, coach, nor will peddling your bike a million miles to loosen up before you throw.
6. High school football coach Mark Peach. Rawhide isn’t pigskin, coach, and it will take you at least 20 throws before you even come close. Yep, I said 20.
7. State Rep. Kim King. Do I even have to say it? You throw like a girl.
8. High school baseball coach LW Barnes and softball coach Brian Glass. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, well, they coach.
9. Former UK basketball coach Billy Gillispie. You might want to have someone drive you here, though, know what I mean?
10. County code enforcement officer Doug Ingram. Wait, you’re packing heat. Never mind.
11. Judges Charles Hickman, Donna Dutton and Linda Armstrong. Not even I’m stupid enough to call them out, although I’ll bet none of them played a lot of ball in law school.
12. Property Value Administrator Brian Stivers. After what you did to my property value, I should be chucking balls at you, pal.
13. County Attorney Bobbi Jo Lewis. Rumor has it she coached Little League back when Conway did, but she’s certainly not that old. Otherwise, see reason number 7.
Oh, this list could go on forever, and between now and July 1 I plan to add to it. Just remember it’s all for a good cause.