|This is a rather avante garde picture someone came up with of former St. Lous Carnials' pitcher Joaquin Andujar.|
Note: This is a reprint to kill time as I'm working on my dad's family's genalogy. I did really well with the sibs, their spouses, and their children. It's the next generation that is throwing me for a bit of a loop. i'm having trouble locating all the children's names. I'm not sure where they dreamed up some of their kids' names, unless they used the Scrabble letter method, whereby they plucked out x number of Scrabble tiles without peeeking and forced themselves to combine the letters in the best way they could to form a name.
I mentioned in an earlier post that my brother was in a hip hop group whose number one local hit was "People Who Throw Glass Houses Shouldn't Get Stoned." I didn't mention the name of the group, They called themselves Feverish Pitch and the Useless Dominican Infield. (None were actually of Dominican descent, which is unfortunate. A bit of Dominican blood might possibly have added a bit of rhythm and musicality to a group otherwise largely devoid of both.)
The band, and I use the term band loosely in this case, wore various part of baseball uniforms as their band costumes. One guy just wore a jersey with sliding pants under it. One guy wore a specially made "Shoeless Joe Jackson" uniform. My brother wore baseball pants but was shirtless, with cleats tied together and hanging around his neck. Another guy wore an over-sized jersey with the neck buttoned around his waist and a "wife-beater" type T-shirt. I hope he was wearing at least boxers under the jersey, but I could not say for certain that such was the case.The last guy wore a custom- made "Joaquin Andujar" uniform.
The sad thing was that their name and their uniforms were the best thing about them as a band. My brother's not a bad singer , and he has some guitar skills as well, but he couldn't play and sing everyone else's part at the same time as his own. Shoeless Joe Jackson played a recorder when he wasn't singing, but he was not terribly talented at either. The bass player (the sliding pants guy) played only in the key of A, which made things a bit dissonant when the song was in a different key. (Matthew said it was their "trademark sound." I would've looked for a new trademark had it been up to me.) The keyboard player --the guy who wore wife-beaters, played keyboards decently, but could not have sung on key had his very life depended on it. This did not stop him from singing -- quite loudly and into the microphone. "Joaquin Andujar" banged irrhythmically on a drum set as he loudly blurted out near-obscenities (he couldn't use bona fide obscenities because school events were their primary venues) in what sounded like an exceedingly poor stereotypical imitation of a person with Tourette syndrome.
These guys made quite a lot of money playing for various school-related dances primarily because they were cute. Had they not had such an odd name, however -- Feverish Pitch and the Useless Dominican Infield -- no one would have remembered them when the time came for the hiring of a band. They were all baseball players. My brother was the starting rotation pitcher who played shortstop when he wasn't pitching. The rest were infielders. My brother supposedly once pitched a complete game with a 103-degree fever. That's where the "Feverish Pitch" came from. I think I actually coined the"Useless Dominican Infield" part of the name, though I haven't a clue as to what I was thinking of when I called them that. They were too stupid to know when they were being insulted, and voila!; a name for their "band" was born.
I heard that Feverish Pitch and the Useless Dominican Infield is planning a reuinion gig for sometime during Christmas vacation of this year. I plan to have other plans for whenever this reunion gig is scheduled, and I highly recommend that any readers with any sense of musical discernment whatsoever do the same. I've recommended to my brother than he hold this reunion concert nowhere near our medical school. It doesn't say anywhere in the handbook both of us were given that a student can be thrown out of medical school for being a member of a really pathetic band, but if I were he, I would not take the risk.
Speaking of family and rather odd names, you may remember that my Aunt Cristelle, my father's youngest sister, and her her husband Mendel had a baby last year, whom they named Blitzen Manx. My dad just calls the child Mutt. One of the more memorable things about the whole fiasco was that Cristelle had planned to give birth in an ash grove on a bed of rose petals. My dad said it was not happening if he had to fly himself (he has no pilot training) in a twin-engine Cessna to the Isle of Man to drop-kick Cristelle's butt in the direction of the nearest maternity ward on the Isle of Man, where they lived and still live. My Uncle Michael, who grew up more closely with Cristelle because they were only a year and change apart in age, said not to worry, because he knew all about Cristelle's tolerance, or lack thereof, for pain. He said that the "bed of roses" delivery would last about as long as the first real contraction, at which time Cristelle would be screaming for an epidural or a Caesarean or whatever it took to put her out of her misery. Uncle Michael was absolutely right. Blitzen Manx was born by Caesarean delivery after short and epidural-controlled labor. He was, after all, born on a bed of roses, as my mom had purchased a bedsheet printed with roses. She had it sterilized and sealed, and sent it Special Delivery to the Isle of Man in time for Blitzen Manx's birth.
Yesterday Cristelle, with Mendel by her side, gave birth to their second child -- this one a girl. She was born by planned Caesarean delivery on a similar "bed of roses" sheet that my mom had purchased, and had sterilized, essentially hermetically sealed, and sent via express delivery to the Isle of Man. My new little cousin weighed in at eight pounds, twelve ounces and measured twenty-one-and-one-half inches in length, though I tend to agree with my mom that a baby's precise length is pretty arbitrary and that it all depends upon just how far a nurse feels like stretching a baby on a given day. Still, that's a decent-sized baby that didn't have a donkey's chances in the Kentucky Derby of being delivered vaginally. Rousseau woman tend to have babies with rather large heads. My mom is not a Rousseau, so Matthew and I had normal-sized heads.
Anyway, what you have been waiting for with bated breath is this baby's name. How does a set of parents go about topping Blitzen Manx as a name? They'd clearly set the bar precariously high for themselves this time, though I think they cleared it with inches to spare. This baby is named Antarctica Meringue. They have no explanation as to the significance of the name or how they arrived at it. My dad said such is typical, as there's seldom any logic to anything they do. My dad refuses to call this baby by either of her given names. He was going to call her Cindy, Jan,or Marcia, he said, because of the hours the baby's mom used to sit in front of a TV watching The Brady Bunch reruns, until I reminded him of the "Cindy" character's doll's name -- Kitty Carry-all. He said that's the baby's new name as far as he's concerned.
Both mother and baby, in addition to father and eighteen-month-old brother, who must be treated with care to avoid having his pushed nose severely out of joint, are so far thriving. My Uncle Michael's wife, Aunt Joanne, has a little time off, and has caught a plane over to London and then on to the Isle of Man to help with the chores and logistical realities of caring for two babies at once after the mother has just undergone major surgery. She'll be there for about three weeks, after which my Uncle Steve and Aunt Heather will show up for a week. Following that, my parents will arrive for another ten days or so. By that time, Cristelle and Mendel will be so sick of relatives that they will be thrilled to be on their own even if it means both babies scream their heads off non-stop.
I wish I could visit the babies.
Post-script: Cristelle hears her own drummer, and she doesn't even march all that steadily to the beat her personal drummer pounds out. BYU wasn't right for her, so she moved in with an aunt and uncle in Massachusetts and enrolled in a college there, where she became a practicing Wiccan. She met Mendel through her college's Wiccan society. They married about ten years ago and have been happily living the non-Mormon life since then.