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Decline and Fall

The descent of Western Civilization from its state of earthly pre-eminence can be dated from the pagan celebrations that regularly engulfed the plates of home in the early stages of the twenty-first century Anno Domini. These were bacchanalia whose sheer offensiveness to long-established standards of morals and tastes crested with the actions of the False Idol of Nieuwenhuis going yard within the sacred grounds of Our Lady of Cholula [1]. It wasn’t so much the deed that was executed off the iconic wooden bat that touched off such momentous impact as it was the untoward merriment that ensued in its wake.

An expositor of all that was good and decent spoke out against the Nieuwenhuis idolators [2], declaring that their exuberant secular embraces, repeated vertical motions of the feet and offering of baked goods to the face of the Nieuwenhuis itself ran counter to the spirit of social acceptability. This, the expositor foretold, portended “another indication of the ongoing decline of Western Civilization”.

For his steadfast foretelling, the expositor of all that was good and decent was mocked and rebuked, yet within less than two solar days, those who would perpetrate the offensive bacchanalia received their comeuppance, first from an unforgiving atmospheric disturbance that lengthily delayed their next opportunity to perform their native rituals; then from an endemic torpor that transformed their heretofore iconic wooden bats into hauntingly familiar piles of dust; and finally from the karmic fates that would not allow the idolators’ Joyousness of Gee — in which the first among bases was at last ideally attended to by he who could play the first among bases far better than he could the leftest among fields [3] — to go nine unabated innings.

One did not need to be an expositor of all that was good and decent to predict that the mythic monstrosity known as Freeman of the Peach Patch would itself go yard [4] well beyond the standard time frames of routine. Those who rallied around the False Idol of Nieuwenhuis were left to burn with the fury of a thousand bottles of hot sauce as the denizens of the House of Ted replicated essentially the same form of idolatry that had appeared to the former celebrants so innocent and uplifting not two solar days earlier.

Our Lady of Cholula wept [5]. The False Idol of Nieuwenhuis was rendered impotent. The Joyousness of Gee was devastatingly curtailed [6]. His prophecy having arrived on the edge of accuracy, the expositor smirked the smirk of the chronically self-righteous [7]. All concerned were condemned to play and play again as the second solar day continued as if the first one had never ended. An offering of fresh young aces would be made to appease the gods, yet the gods were said to be determined to once more disturb the atmosphere with the grimmest of clouds, the most raucous of thunder and delays that might lengthen well into a third solar day before all could be said and done. Western Civilization thus sagged until it slumped on the verge of no longer standing straight.

Only the promise of perseverance on the part of the fresh young aces and, perhaps, an encore presentation of Mets Yearbook: 1978 could save the idolators now.