I really try to avoid watching baseball, baseball highlights, commentary, or anything to do with baseball—until the World Series. However, with 162 games in the regular season, it’s really hard to do. And we are only halfway done . . .so there I am, watching SportsCenter, when something “baseball” caught my eye. It was the towel full of shaving cream that caught a player’s face! Because he did a GOOD thing?!
Yes, folks, the 3 Stooges philosophy of showing love by embarrassing the other guy (nyuk, nyuk, nyuk) is alive and well in male baseball. Oh, it is definitely a male thing: little girls did not think the 3 Stooges were funny—my brother loved them; my sister and I went, “ewwww.” Besides, shaving cream in the face would ruin our mascara! I must say, however, I am fascinated by the male characteristic of blurring the line between embarrassing and rewarding. So, during game 86 of their season, Brewers shortstop, Cody Ransom, gets a towel full of shaving cream shoved in his face for hitting a grand slam homerun—effectively putting his team ahead for their ultimate win!
What is this all about? Wikipedia says, “The pieing tradition (it used to be pie in the face, not shaving cream in a towel) is to embarrass and humiliate the victim . . .it has extended beyond game-winning hits to any outstanding performance. It started with AJ Burnett (formerly of the New York Yankees) pieing teammates who drive in or score the winning run of a walk-off win (a game won by a hit by the last batter). A towel is filled with whipped cream or shaving cream.”
That’s why men “roast” each other—it’s a show of appreciation. I say in my speeches, “Women will head all the nations of the world, and all the Fortune 500 companies, and we will STILL not roast each other.” Part of it is we don’t have the ability to “shake it off,” and not take it with us into the next moment of time. We would be well-served to develop this skill! That’s why I wrote Necessary Roughness! We NEED some of that. We need to respect the finality of the moment before, and move on. BUT, I doubt we will ever love humiliation. We will not turn everything into a game—for points—the way men do. Even sports commentary shows are turned into a competition. Around the Horn is the self-proclaimed “show that scores the argument.” The host arbitrarily assigns points to conversation he approves of, and uses the “mute button” to silence the pundit he doesn’t like right now. This is equivalent to the noogie on the top of the skull! Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk! The more embarrassed the mute victim is, the better the other guys like it!
At Rotary Club meetings, they used to collect “fines” from guys who had good things happen: “My kid’s team won the Little League Tournament!” “Great, Bob, that’s five dollars in the pot from you!” What is that? I wonder why they still do that, now that women have been allowed to join Rotary. Actually, they do it. And I suspect that’s the reason a lot of women never did take advantage of the “privilege” of joining a Rotary. I’ve witnessed women not being really comfortable at those meetings. We prefer other meetings, full of women who never did like the Stooges . . .nor did they ever give “noogies” . . .nor do they think it’s funny. We do it OUR way—appreciate each other till we move each other to tears . . .gulp, sigh . . .a good meeting!
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