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Ask A 1920s Baseball Fan

Dear 1920s Baseball Fan,

About three years ago, my husband and I bought an above-ground pool for the kids. They love it, and I have to admit it's a blessing on summer days when the temperature's above 80. Trouble is, my husband is absolutely obsessed with it. If he's not swimming in it, he's cleaning it or tinkering with the filter. I can't spend all my time out by the pool with him or I'll look like a lobster by the end of summer! I don't know what to do.

Lonely in Lakeland

Dear Lonely,

Awright! Awright, awright, awright! Let's have some chatter from alla kranks inna stands for our Terrapins here! Atta boys! How to go, Ringgold! How to go, there, Keefe! Awright! Let's play some ball today and send them Tip-Tops packin'! Let's hang a few on 'em, boys! Lord love a duck but it suits me to play Brooklyn. Keefe and the Swede and Phillips are okey, and I guess their dago can play some for a feller with a vowel at the end'a his name. But the rest's a box a' muffins. Carroll's got a swing so slow you could plant cabbage in it, and that shortstop Spink don't never know whether to bake beans or go blind when the apple falls his way, and that manager don't know enough to pour piss out'n a boot and almost asks the other team's permission to change pitchers. Every pitcher they got has a windup which if you're on base you could steal his wallet and watch and spectacles before the ball is halfway to the plate. But as opponents, them Tip-Tops is more popular than an off-duty trombone quartet in a swish bar. C'mon, boys! Get the fleas out yer flannel and let's see some pepper out there!

Dear 1920s Baseball Fan,

I have been married to a wonderful man for five years. The only snag is that my mother-in-law pops by anytime she feels like it. She's a nice woman, but she doesn't respect boundaries. My husband admits that her unannounced visits bother him, but he's reluctant to mention it to her. I think she'd rather hear the news from her own son. Don't you agree?

—Trampled on in Tempe

Dear Trampled,

Boy howdy, did you see that? Did you see what that fat Brooklyn Polack did to the ol' pill? Why, that's going express all the way to Indianapolis! Too bad Indianapolis is foul. Polacks is strong, but you couldn't get baseball into one with a whip an'a chair. That ol' pitcher McIlhenny is gonna hang one off his jaw, though your bohunk's got a coconut like a bag of brass doorknobs and might not feel it—Crimony sakes, you call that a heater? Tossin' dewdrops like that, we could turn ya loose in a looking-glass factory and ya wouldn't do the goods no harm… Aw, naw! The next soul who sees that one'll be the street sweeper in Schenectady, because it's leaving Baltimore on the High Line. McIlhenny, you eephus! Well, I guess even Polacks has their moments. Next time he's up, though, the pitcher'd better leave him with no place to wear his hat. Aw, well. It's Keefe batting next, at least, an' he couldn't hit his wife on St. Patrick's Day. Hulloo, Keefe! Why'n'cha try and hit it with yer purse!

Dear 1920s Baseball Fan,

I am 25 and currently involved in a long- distance relationship with a sweet man I met last summer. Although I care about him deeply, he has become quite overbearing. He sends me roses almost every week and calls me at work just to tell me how much he loves me. His neediness is becoming a huge turnoff. How can I tell him to tone it down?

—Smothered in Seneca

Dear Smothered,

Hey, Crackerjack here! Can I get a Crackerjack? Wait, what… what's the rumpus? Why the rhubarb? Wait, what—am I seeing things? Did they shave a gariller or some similar thing? Who on God's green Earth is Washington? But he's… that gentleman is… why, if he's white, then Frisco Bay is grapefruit juice! That there is a nigroo sure as I'm sittin' here! Don't base-ball got a gentleman's agreement? I come to the game to get away from my troubles, and next thing I know, there's a spade batting for the Tip-Tops! Call the Pinkertons! Boo! Nertz to ya! Boo! Rilly-dilly Saskatoon, yer daddy was an oct-o-roon!—Listen, they got a league for them already, see? Nyahh! Base-ball is our national pasttime, see, and nobody, but nobody—not even Brooklyn—is ever gonna stand for a nigroo to play it!

Frenchy Steinetz is a syndicated columnist whose weekly advice column, "Ask A 1920s Baseball Fan," appears in more than 250 newspapers nationwide.

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