Score One For the Old Guys

Last night during my softball game, I rolled my ankle swinging the bat. Granted, the dirt at home plate was soft and miserable, but still. I wish I could say that my ankle gave way under the tremendous force of my mighty swing, but no one can suspend their disbelief that much. So as the ball bounded toward third base, I tried to run and could not. Then, to make matters worse – and far more embarrassing – the first baseman dropped the ball and it rolled a few feet away. He had plenty of time to corral the ball and stop on the bag. I swore all the way to the dugout. I muttered obscenities as I stretched the ankle and fastened my shoes to tourniquet-level tightness. Later in the game, I would score a base hit on a ball that traveled no more than 50 feet from the plate. I somehow expertly timed my swing so that I would catch the ball exactly at the end of the cap. I couldn’t do that again if I tried a hundred times. Getting old sucks.

The Aiea Summer League Staff, 1998.

The Aiea Summer League Staff, 1998.

But then the silver lining. In the 6th inning with runners on first and third, the batter hit a sharp grounder to my right, toward second base. I shuffled to the spot, fielded the ball, then glove-flipped it toward second base where I knew that pony-tailed brother of mine would be waiting. But it was a bad feed. The ball arched toward centerfield. But because he is Matty, he saved the play. While originally facing me, he adjusted by shifting his feet on the bag. He started rotating to his right, caught the ball over his right shoulder, finished the spin, and gunned the runner out by a step. DJ, a teammate who was also a former student who was also a former baseball player at both Damien and in Aiea said “Looks just like every day of practice when I was 13.” Yes, Matty and I were known to conclude our summer league practices with double play contests. Honestly, we play a little harder when there’s a runner on first when less than two outs, especially if we’re playing in the middle together.

It's about drugs, right?

It’s about drugs, right?

At some point during the game, someone played “Under the Bridge,” the famed Red Hot Chili Peppers’ song. Thanks to the advent of Bluetooth speaker technology, every Monday night has its own soundtrack ranging from ’90s alternative like last night to Lynnette’s ’90s booty music to local jamz. I am still waiting for someone to drop “Enter Sandman” because I feel like that was a defining track of the 1990s. Anyway, when “Under the Bridge” came on last night, I was standing at first base after that joke of a hit. Matty was first base coach. “Should I break into my slo-mo Kiedis run?” I said. “Nah,” he shot back. “You don’t have the hair for it.” He was right. But also, I wouldn’t have had to go slo-mo, I could have run at my normal rate and it would have looked just like the shot in the video here, minus the hair, plus the gut.

So this morning when I was waiting for my Starbucks order, “Under the Bridge” came on. I quickly texted Matty to tell him. I added the sarcastic question “What does it mean?” He replied with ha-has. But it is only the latest example of what is a sweeping change at Starbucks,  at least at my Kamehameha Shopping Center store. Two weeks ago I walked in and “Brother” by Alice in Chains was playing. I thought it might be some cool up-and-coming ’20 year old’s version of the song at first, but quickly recognized the voices of Layne Staley and Jerry Cantrell. The following morning, Jamiroquai’s “Virtual Insanity” was blaring as I walked in. I had to ask. Apparently, the store had been told to change their music rotation. No more folksy modern rock with one verse and 17 choruses. I was somewhat cynical of this change, but last Friday, I heard Fuel’s “Don’t Fall Away.” I mean, if you’re going to go with Fuel, you’ve pretty much committed to the thing.

I look forward to getting my coffee every morning, but even more so now. Am I going to hear “Yellow Ledbetter”? When are all the bands with numbers in their names start showing up? What a time to be alive!


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