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Authors: Steve Kluger

Tags: #Humour, #Adult, #Historical, #Young Adult

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BOOK: Last Days of Summer
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Although formal instruction is usually held on a regular basis, we recognize your obligations as a professional baseball player and are willing to work our schedule around yours. Please advise us in this regard.

One more thing. In order to ensure that we do not get off on the wrong foot, I would appreciate your addressing me as Rabbi. “Rabby” is intensely annoying.

Respectfully,
Rabbi Morris Lieberman

Dear Kid,

You did it to me again, didn't you? One minute I am telling your Rabby what a swell guy you are and how you deserve a break and etc. and the next thing I know he sends me something you and me are suppose to read together that looks like a cat with a broken leg walked across the paper. “I trust you are familiar with Genesis 6 v. 9 the story of Noah.” Yeah. It rained and everybody died.

This did not happen all by itself. What did you tell him?

Charlie

Dear Charlie,

Rachel Panitz is this girl with dark brown hair who sits three seats in front of me and to the right, close enough for spitballs and shmoogies and other things. Craig thinks she is stuck up but I don't, even though the only time she ever looked at me was when she was giving a book report about what an “ass hole” Tom Sawyer was, which is probably because I hit her in the back of the neck with a jar of paste. A little one. Craig says I'm afraid to talk to her but every time I think I'm going to, I wind up gluing her bicycle tire to the playground or something stupid like that instead. The funny thing is that she never squeals on me to Mrs. Hicks. Not even when she found the centipede in her tuna fish and the note I thumb tacked on her banana. She just pretended it didn't happen and then traded bracelets with Kathy Fine. I don't get it. Sometimes I wish she would haul off and slug me. At least it would mean she knew who I was.

Joey

Dear Joey,

What did you tell the Rabby? I am not going to ask you again.

Charlie

Dear Charlie,

Maybe I had to pull a few strings. But you started it. If you hadn't sent him that letter then he wouldn't have written one to my Mom and I wouldn't have found out about it so it's your fault.

Anyway, he sort of thinks you want to convert. But you really don't have to. What you can do is act like you changed your mind after it's over. How is he going to know if we don't tell him? I
promise
this is the last thing I'll ever ask you to do except take me on a road trip with you.

Joey

P.S. My mother says we're not supposed to say anything to Aunt Carrie for as long as we can get away with it. She has a weak heart and this could finish her off.

Dear Joey,

Your a real pip, you know that? Okay here's what is going to happen.

  1. Your going to learn this Hebrew thing frontwards and backwards so many times that your going to dream about it. And then
  2. Your going to teach it to me. And you better do it fast before I change my mind which could be any minute.
  3. I will handle the English. If you can call that English.
  4. Remember that I am only doing this because your in a real jam this time. And I promised you that you would not have to fight the big ones by yourself anymore.
  5. If this Rabby really thinks I am going to convert he must be a lot bigger lunkhead than he sounds even with his $10 words such as “irregular” and “obligations”. I do not even know anything about being a
    Protestant
    .

We only have 5 months to pull this off and I will be on the road half the time. So I'm warning you Bucko. You think your teacher gives you a hard time? You haven't worked with me yet. Ask Stuke. The only reason nobody can figure out how to beat our double play is on account of me keeping him there past 3:30 in the A.M. until we got it right, even though all we had to see by was part of a moon and a flashlight that didn't work. Which is probably why he acts the way he acts due to getting hit in the head all night.

Hazel has a saying that she says and it goes “Be careful what you ask for, for you may get it.” Know what? You got it.

Charlie

P.S. And if we pull out of this mess in one piece, don't think I will be giving you a type writer or a wireless or etc. You will be lucky if I do not push you off a cliff. This is what happens when you jinx the dirt.

P.S.2. Go ahead. Put quotion marks around asshole with a space in the middle again. Your living on borrowed time anyway.

“Lucky” Lindy Pilots America First

D
ES
M
OINES
, Saturday. Charles A. Lindbergh, the aviator who captured the imagination of an entire world when he became the first man to fly non-stop from New York to Paris in 1927, has emerged as the most visibly rising force behind America First—the rapidly growing isolationist movement organized to keep the United States neutral throughout the duration of the European war. Lindy's outspoken rhetoric has already drawn fire from the White House as a result of a recent rally in Iowa, when he cautioned America's Jews to shut up or else. “Because of Jewish ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio and our government,” he warned, “if war comes, they will be blamed for it.” President Roosevelt called the former hero “an irresponsible nincompoop.”

Many recall that, among the accolades bestowed upon him by the world's leaders, Lindbergh was decorated by Hitler himself during a visit to the European capitals after his

T
HE
W
HITE
H
OUSE

Dear Joey:

Thank you for your most recent letter. I can assure you that America First is sponsored neither by Communists, by neo-Fascists, or by Mrs. Aubaugh. But we'll keep an eye on her, just in case.

Naturally we are monitoring the Manchurian situation closely and remain convinced that the Japanese have no desire to become embroiled in a world war. However, we are also attempting to preserve the rather fragile peace that presently binds our two countries. Suggesting that Kurusu and Nomura are a couple of sneaks would only complicate things.

Fala had a mild cold. Nothing to be concerned about. (But thanks for asking.)

My regards to your mother and your aunt.

Cordially as always,
Stephen T. Early
Press Secretary

Dear Charlie,

It's a good thing you didn't join America First, because right now all of my Charlie Banks stuff would be in the trash can with my Lindbergh newspapers and magazines and other “Lucky Lindy” junk that the garbage man is going to burn tomorrow.

The first line of the Hebrew goes like “Ay-leh toldos Noach.” When you get to the “ch”, you're supposed to say it from the back of your mouth on the top, like when you have a sore throat and it itches.

And stop talking to me like you were my drill sergeant. I'm not one of those guys you shot gunboats with in China. I said I was sorry, okay? Jinx your own damn dirt.

Joey

Dear Joey,

I got gigged $50 today and it is all your fault. In the 4th inning in Saint Louis, G. Mancuso for the Cardinals tripled when Bobby Carpenter threw him a fast ball by mistake due to farting at the same time and losing his edge. Then Mize came up, who does not like to hit until he has wasted a good 20 minutes fouling them off, which meant that me and Mancuso were standing on 3d Base
for a while with nothing to talk about on account of we have maybe swapped two words with each other in our whole life and both of them were fuck you. So instead I practiced the “ch” but accidentally wound up spitting a mouth full of snot onto Mancuso who thought I did it on purpose. Then both of the benches cleared and when it was over they made me cough up $50 due to starting it. I had a peach of a time. Thanks for nothing. What else I had was a split lip from G. Mancuso who still does not believe me—and the only reason I am not going to tap him on the conk tomorrow is from all of a sudden being able to play “In the Mood” on my saxaphone without any mistakes. (I hope this does not mean I need to get pasted in the mouth whenever I wish to play it again.) But I am still out $50. This is because the NY Giants do not really make their nut from the gate but from handing out fines for breaking rules that nobody but a dead man could follow anyway. We are not suppose to play poker. We are not suppose to have intercourse. We are not suppose to be awake after 10:00 in the P.M. And etc. Mel Ott says that the only two people in the world who could score 100 on the list are God and Carl Hubbell. And God is a maybe.

How come nobody ever told me that Noah was a pain in the ass? “Make thee an ark of gopher wood, with rooms shalt thou make the ark and thou shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.” Well no kidding. What
else
is he going to build the damn boat with? Bricks? And while we are here, how come it doesn't say anything about where all
those animals were suppose to shit? Do they want us to think they held it in for 40 days? And this one. “The length of the ark 300 cubits, the breadth of it 50 cubits, and the height of it 30 cubits.” What in Hell is a cubit? I am warning you. If there is math in this, you can forget it.

When we see the Rabby on Monday, let me do the talking.

Charlie

P.S. You should of burned the Lindbergh stuff a long time ago. Anybody with money can do what he did. If he was flying Wrong Way Corrigan's 25¢ crate instead, he would not of even made it to Ellis Island. Did you hear that FDR called him a nincompoop? What a laugh. That's like you calling somebody a Big-Mouth.

P.S.2. Burge Whitehead broke his finger in a crap game so they made Stuke play 2d Base today on account of he owned the dice. It was suppose to teach him a lesson, but don't you know he pulls off the first unassisted triple play since Wamby did it in the 1920 Series. If he was not a picnic to live with before, now he will need a kick in the ass on a regular basis just to remind him that he still pisses and etc. like everybody else.

P.S.3. And who ever said anything about gunboats and China?

TRADING CARD NO
. 422

Charles Linden Banks

The Racine Rocket

THIRD BASE, NEW YORK GIANTS

What's Charlie Banks got that Superman hasn't? Try 31 triples, 68 doubles, and enough haymakers to feed most of the horses in the Midwest. And that ain't hay! Beats the heck out of Kryptonite, doesn't it?

Born in Wisconsin, Charlie Banks was an only child whose father was the vice president of Racine Produce, Inc., and whose mother wrote a society column for the
Milwaukee Sentinel
. Though hard-hit by the Depression, he fought back against malnutrition by joining the Merchant Marine and sinking three Japanese gunboats along the Yangtze River. (Where do you think those muscles came from, folks!) Soon he drifted on to Hong Kong, where he earned his cleats on a rundown ball field across the street from a waterfront saloon. The rest is history. A devout Protestant who attends church regularly. Charlie shrugs off his success on the basepaths by insisting, “God is my umpire.”

He likes making spaghetti, hunting for deer, and devoting his spare time to humanitarian causes. His dislikes include Dodgers, Reds, and Cardinals. And we don't mean maybe. Mr. DiMaggio, watch out!

BOOK: Last Days of Summer
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