“Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in…. “
Aroidsville as the mighty Aroids, has well… quit.*
The once on his way to the Baseball Hall of Fame, Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez has taken a detour, to another place. Not a Hall Fame where you can read his great deeds on the wall or where there would be a likeness of him carved in stone replete with him wearing his Yankee cap. No, this is not a place of sight and sound. Well at least none you want to remember. No, this is a place of imagination, a place the mind wanders over what went wrong amid odors best combated with a lighted match, a place that exists between the pit of a man’s stomach and a strategically placed cistern of water. That sign post up ahead… it’s the toilet.
A place where you might hear LBJ in the next stall as he proclaims insolently “I do not wish to be your President anymore…” or Richard Nixon pacing around the urinals as he mumbles. “I will resign my Presidency effective tomorrow…” Or you may see a bewildered Roberto Duran as he washes his hands for the umpteenth time and whispers. “No mas… No mas…”
This is not a place for simple losers, people who just came out on the wrong side of the score. No this is a special place, where losing was just incidental in the grand scheme of things. This is the place for the guys who threw in the towel, the guys who sat on their stool and didn’t answer the bell, the guys who lied and cheated and when there was nothing left, just quit.
So there will be no number 13 on the wall out there in centerfield, no likeness of him etched in stone in Cooperstown, no songs about his exploits and he shouldn’t look too hard in the mail box for his invitation to Old Timer’s Day. He has just one last place to park his butt and they’ve been holding the door open for years, waiting for the last card to be dealt, the last bleat of protest to emanate from his lips. But that’s all over now as he’s finally arrived. There is only one thing on the wall there too. It’s not a listing of great deeds, just a simple sign that says ‘Employees must wash their hands’. And, all that’s left to do now is flush.