“And Here’s to You Mrs. Benson…”

derek jeter“The big question around the region (Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania) the last few days has been just how long Derek Jeter will be hanging around PNC Field, getting that surgically repaired ankle back in shape,” make return to N.Y. Yankees in the Bronx.

On Sunday, July 7, 2013, a co-worker, semi-friend Joe Healey, called to let me know that his niece’s boyfriend, Mr. Vaughan Kemp, 24, was shot dead during a weekend party, as fireworks exploded on Grant St., City of Wilkes-Barre. Joe informed me that he’d likely attend Mr. Kemp’s funeral sometime before the weekend. With proliferating local murders in mind, and speaking respectfully, I cannot deny the wise words of popular sports columnist, Mr. Donnie Collins (noted above) and all the regional focus upon the health of revered Yankee shortstop, Derek’s Jeter’s injured ankle. No doubt a riddle of Pin Striped Sphinx – the overwhelming local question was, how long shall Jeter rehab with minor league Railriders?

One cynical and aged as I might might very well consider “Bread & Circus” origins, and minus the help of “Focus Groups,” one can intuit ancient citizen mindsets. For example, as Rome waged multifront wars throughout the Mediterranean basin, there were probably quite a few Empire sport fanatics concerned about the health of Roman star-quality gladiators, who were impressed into military duty, similar to that which almost happened to defiant heavyweight boxer, Mr. Muhammed Ali. Indeed, like many Scranton/Wilkes-Barre baseball loyalists, I hoped the Yankee brass would think twice, and not rush Derek Jeter back home to play in New York City. Let him stay in Lackawanna County for another game or two, injured short stop ankles are nothing to fool with.

Inevitably, as opposites Romulus & Remus were paired, yesterday the Scranton Times-Tribune headline-page featured “Chaos grips Egypt,” and directly alongside the Associated Press article, was a column about Derek Jeter, on assignment at PNC Field. In one-inch letters, Mr. Jeter was described as a “SOCIAL BUTTERFLY,” and I could not help think about the Wilkes-Barre dead man, Vaughan Kemp, sleeping with caterpillars. I learned from Joe Healey that Kemp was, “a pretty nice fellow, most the time,” he was known to intercede for those weaker, those subject to “bullying” in a very scary neighborhood. No “social butterfly” by any stretch, and shots that hit Vaughan Kemp stung much worse worse than a bee, and billions of U.S. stinger-dollars perpetually fly into Egyptian “chaos” where 54 supporters of President Morsi were killed by “security forces.” In aftermath of Mr. Kemp’s slaying, the Wilkes-Barre Police Department said “all people who were at the scene of the shooting and party were identified and interviewed, though no suspects were in custody as of Sunday afternoon.” Too bad Vaughan Kemp’s party-killers did not opt to attend PNC Field on Sunday and watch SS Derek Jeter rehabilitate his ankle? I would be forced to “pick on” Hosni Mubarak instead of Times-Tribune sports-columnist, Donnie Collins.

To pretend I stand apart from Bread & Circus, U.S.A. would be blatant hypocrisy. Full disclosure, just 35 years ago, I had near sexual impulses to attend Baltimore Oriole baseball games at Camden Yards. On Sunday, I spoke about such passion for a return to Baltimore with my pleasant Taylor Borough neighbor, Jim. Like a typical baby-boomer, lost in past, I spoke about 1979, and having bought a “scalper” ticket for the 6th game of the World Series, pitting Orioles and Omar Moreno’s Pittsburgh Pirates. During Jimmy Carter’s last presidential days, the scalper ticket cost merely $50, and I sat alone, like an Emperor, merely a couple rows behind the Oriole dugout. O yea – like columnist Donnie Collin’s mentioned above, ALL I CARED ABOUT was pitcher Jim Palmer’s ability to mow down the Pirates, become World Series champions. To hell with rising gasoline cost at pumps, radicals’ seizure of hostages in Iran, one a Scranton local, Olyphant native, Michael Metrinko. Hell – I had a dockworker job at Roadway Express, single, made big bucks, and it was party time in Baltimore, 33rd Street. Who cared about cartels, Reagan & Khomeini?

Boring my neighbor Jim to death, beyond reason & civility, I continued yapping, said, “Yup, Jim Palmer and the Birds lost the sixth game very ugly, and Pittsburgh won the World Series!” Jim was quite happy that my depressing story was over. He and two sons were on way to PNC Field, they had three tickets purchased from “a good buddy” who sold the trio for “only $125.” Jim was ecstatic, kids would see Derek Jeter play ball – he worked at P&G Mehoopany plant, made over $17 an hour, did lots of overtime, and unlike me, he kept pace with car & house mortgage payments. Before leaving for the ballgame, Jim explained how he almost opted for attendance at the (same day) Kid Rock, Uncle Cracker, and Kool & Gang concert, staged less than a mile uphill from PNC Field, the scenic outdoor “Toyota Pavilion,” Montage Mountain. Jim said, “Yea, the decision was a no-brainer, Chuck, and my kids ain’t into Kid Rock stuff anymore.” We shook hands, bid adieu, Jim mentioned he’s “at least glad to know Jim Palmer wasn’t a wuss, didn’t hang-up-cleats, and started doing profitable Hanes underwear commercials.” My, there must be life after MLB and Arab Springs, I thought, as Jim’s family drove away in a leased Jeep Cherokee, 2010.

The naked struggle of sinful people in P.N.C. Field paradise? In this morning Scranton Times-Tribune, the front page covered a story about a Scranton CVS store which was hit by armed robbery. Reportedly, two men covered in black entered the CVS at 2:15 A.M. Scranton cops said the robbers “demanded Oxycontin, dilaudid,” and a few other prescription drug “goodies.’ Quite a Bread & Circus-fan since Ike’s days, I recalled the film “Lenny,” luscious actress Valerie Perrine, and how comedian Lenny Bruce loved dilaudid. In contrast to Mr. Bruce’s cleverly hidden drug acquisition techniques, Scranton Times-Tribune described those who knocked-over the CVS store as a “drug-hungry duo and pill thieves.” Ouch – was I reading The Taliban Morning Gazette? To his credit, Yankee short stop Derek Jeter stays off even popular “Performance Enhancing Drugs,” and his ankle condition allegedly IMPROVES day by day. Shall soon return to the safe side of Bronx streets?

I am uncertain about everywhere on American scene, and my local world is getting very weird. I experience no more desires to depart madness and attend unaffordable Oriole games at Camden Yards. Doubtless, I’d do myself and the scourged Scranton economy a financial favor by watching Derek Jeter play baseball at PNC Field, Moosic, Pennsylvania. Such is one activity where a workingman like me can perform civic duty, buy hot dogs outrageously over-priced cups of beer, and maybe a famous slice of Revello’s Old Forge Pizza. One must support the local Chapter of United Bread & Circuses Against Super-Star Murder! I am sincerely pleased neighbor Jim and family went to see Derek Jeter, and co-worker Joe Healey shall view the slain Vaughan Kemp’s body at a Wilkes-Barre corpse house later this week. I am confident the Egyptian political chaos shall calm down, and wish they soon get another US approved dictatorial regime, long before Senator McCain’s primal “boots” march into Cairo.

anna benson

Anna Benson

However chided, Scranton Times-Tribune sports-columnist, Donnie Collins, is correct, precisely on-target. Indeed, at present, I crave “Bread & Circuses,” and in fact, there’s evidence of green tomatoes popping-out of my seven plants growing in my backyard. I trust there are no tomato-hungry “duos” in Taylor tonight, and come August, my family veggie harvest shall be safe. I feel terrific about myself, and before too long, I hope the Baltimore Orioles make a hostile move on the NY Yankees, and win World Series, November 2013, when it’s too damned cold to watch baseball, and nation’s eyes are fixed upon football. In fact, I feel so good this evening, I shall send an email with a juicy attachment to my Atlanta, Georgia, friend, Professor Gary Corseri. Let me explain? Mr. Corseri’s quite concerned about the Egyptian chaos, but he is somewhat flawed (retro) and does not give a hoot about MLB. However, I know he’s a film fan, he likes watching TCM, and sort of like Tolstoy’s Count Vronsky, Gary appreciates observing wholesome female physiques. Professor liked Liz Taylor’s legs, her 6-pack abdomen.

So in order to both help Gary’s flagging morale on where our Rulers are headed in Egypt, and introduce him to amorous aspects of MLB wives, I plan to humanitarian-email him a recent article about “hottie,” Anna Benson, ex-wife of Baltimore Oriole pitcher, Mr. Kris Benson. Unfortunately, Anna too was NOT in attendance at PNC Field spectacular Derek Jeter event over the 4th weekend. Instead, Anna Benson was preoccupied and arrested in Mr. Corseri’s hometown, Atlanta, Georgia! To help maintain a place in the Bread & Circus sun, Anna raided her husband Kris’s plush apartment, wearing a bullet-proof vest. She’s charged with armed felony assault and trespassing.

charles orloskiOnce on the “outside,” I trust Anna Benson shall keep her “A-game” out of Pennsylvania-based CVS stores. And unless Scranton/Wilkes-Barre turns “lonely hearts to her,” there will be no re-hab appearances for Anna at PNC Field, but take heart – one can still gawk at her incredible non-Topps baseball playing-card picture, available on the N.S.A.-monitored World Wide Web. Ms. Benson’s phallic-symbol pic can get Jeter’s ankle & other political parts in motion way before MLB’s Home Run Derby and Trans Pacific Partnership hits home, and subsequently, our fallen wallets.

Charles Orloski

Sunday, 14 July 2013

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