First of all, I just want to tell you that my sister and I (lifelong Royals fans, thanks to our KC sports-crazy father) have become HUGE fans of the blog! Keep up the good work! For my question, I would like to know whether, as the top blogger/relief pitching prospect in the Royals organization, have you had a chance to visit Kansas City and sample our wonderful barbecue?? If not, WHEN you get called up, can my sister and I take you and Mrs. Disco out to dinner? It would make our year! Can’t wait to see you and your fantastic calves in KC!
Jessie F., Kansas City, MO
I have been to Kansas City, Jessie. And I have had the opportunity to try out the wonderful barbecue. So does this mean your offer for dinner is off the table?
After my first season in 2006 in the Royals Organization, I made a trip in September down to see “The K” and check out the city. I wanted to know what I had to look forward to, and I’m very glad I went. The only bad part about my trip was the fact I’m convinced MCI Airport is equally as far from Kauffman as where I was living in Chicago was from Kauffman. I spent a decent amount of money on my flight so I wouldn’t have to drive eight hours, yet when I landed, I had to rent a car and drive eight hours to get to the field. What city planner planned that one out? I’m convinced in the event the Indian Subcontinent breaks off and falls into the sea, all one-billion natives will be able to move to Kansas City and the airport will still be far enough out of town to not interrupt the new developments. I guess that’s a good thing; the more Royals fans, the merrier.
Mrs. Disco has also been to KC, though it was a very brief stop. On our way from Double-A Arkansas on the drive to Omaha (yes, after the famous poop story) we drove through KC and needed gas. So we went on a bit of a detour and drove by the field so I could see the renovations and she could see “The K” for the first time. It was after midnight, but turns out there were workers still there and one gate was open, so we went in to see the field in the pitch dark. We were so nervous we would get caught, we brought a copy of the Royals Gameday Magazine (my edition is, of course, the only one sold out) which had an article mentioning us and a picture of me as faux-ID. As in, “Sorry, yeah we probably shouldn’t be in here this late, but we hope to be here for real in the near future, look, I’m an employee…etc, look at me. Would you not arrest us if I signed this copy for you?”
But since you offered dinner only if we hadn’t been to KC before, it looks like I’m going to have to wait and have one of the transplants from India take me and Mrs. Disco out…but frankly, we’re not big fans of curry.
Please rank the following one-on-one contests with hypothetical opponents in order of increasing awesomeness. “Awesomeness” can be defined any way you like and assume your opponents are in their prime and that you are having a “good day.”
You pitching against Roy Hobbs
…playing chess against Bobby Fischer
…versus Forrest Gump at ping pong
…bowling against The Dude, Jeff Lebowski
…wrestling an alligator
…versus Marlon Brando and Sean Connery at Celebrity Jeopardy!
…boxing Ivan Drago
…in a stare-down with the “I Like Turtles” kid
…cooking against Iron Chef Chinese Chen Kenichi
…versus Jimmy from “The Wizard” at Super Mario Brothers 3
Jimmy M., Ann Arbor, Mich.
Jimmy, my answer in order of decreasing “awesomness”, with details on how the outcome comes about, as you have requested. Also, I would like to note I appreciate you recognizing that even with my opponents in their “prime” you had the foresight to recognize they would not be having a good day while at my mercy.
1. Disco v. Roy Hobbs
Fastball, sinks low and away at the knees, called strike. Roy yells “cut” and begins berating at the umpire for going “off script”. Before he knows it, I quick pitch another fastball, this one right down Broadway and he has no time to get the bat up to his shoulder, let alone back off it. Strike two. Roy steps out of the box and looks at the director and his agent and puts his hands up. They do the same in return. He steps back in the left handed batter’s box realizing he’s just going to have to hit a bomb off me on his own accord. I can tell he’s got “auto-swing” on so I throw a nasty slider that starts out over the heart of the plate. He takes a hellacious cut as the slider breaks directly into his groin. I match the single-greatest feat in my pitching career (I did this once in college on one other occasion, seriously, I have) by striking a player out and hitting him in the testicles at the same time. Annnnnnnd scene.
2. Disco v. The Dude
The Dude, known as a prolific member of a bowling team, has never actually bowled. It’s a little known fact that, while Donny rolled often, the Dude never actually bowls. In his first attempt at the sport, he abides to a strict diet of gutter balls. I, on the other hand, can throw a bowling ball 78mph and break 120 pins en route to a 300 game. Bummer man, 300-0 Disco.
3. Disco v. Turtles Kid
Two hours into the stare-down, a turtle begins to walk by. I reach to try to grab it and despite how slow my arm moves when close to the ground, the turtle walks slowly enough I’m able to catch it. I then proceed to throw the turtle slightly faster than it was crawling, and the boy, who seems to really like turtles, begins to cry. His tear ducts flood his eyes and force them to dispel the water with a quick blink. Disco wins in 2:02:24.
4. Disco v. Alligator
As a submariner, underwater battles are my specialty. Shallow water isn’t ideal for me, but regardless, one well-placed torpedo to the mouth is more than the alligator can chew. Disco in a TKO.
5. Disco v. Brando, Connor, et al
Jeopardy round categories: Blog Hilarity, Donuts, Shower Temps, “Eau” Two Counts, Lady Gaga, and Meatballs
Disco: $22,000 Brando: $3,000 Connor: $0.
Double Jeopardy round categories: Chess Masters, “Lo” Arm Slots, Donna Summer, Yoga “in structures”, Submarines, and Taming Cougars
Disco: $63,000 Brando: $2,000 Connor: $4,000.
Final Jeopardy: Unclogging Toilets
Disco: $1,200,001 Brando: $0 Connor: $0.
6. Disco v. Forrest Gump
Match begins with no warm ups, so Gump has no idea what he’s in store for. He serves first and I take a hellacious swing of my own, returning the ball at 78mph. Gump swings twice and misses both times only to see the ball yet to get to his side of the table. The insanely slow return baffles him for the balance of the match and his incredibly impressive quick return skills doom him. 21-0 Disco.
7. Disco v. Ivan Drago
One swift ground-up underhanded uppercut accidentally to the groin knocks Drago out. Disco, KO in fir
8. Disco v. Bobby Fischer
With an unfaltering sense of confidence after coming off a defeat of the kid who played the kid in “Searching for Bobby Fischer”, Max Pomeranc, I stroll into the match with no doubts of my superiority (I did actually beat Max Pomeranc in a national tournament in San Jose, CA in the mid 90s). The match begins, and no one can find Fischer. His clock ticks. Seconds before time expires, he runs into the room, hair disheveled and unkempt, he plays pawn to queen’s four. Disco smiles, plays knight to king’s bishop’s six, which surprises Fischer and causes him to pause, which causes his clock to run out. Disco wins.
9. Disco v. Chef Kenichi
The secret ingredient is chicken which is right up my alley, seeing as I eat it two meals per day. Three if you include it’s eggs. When the starting bell goes off, I use my engineering, problem solver skills to realize the letters to Chef Chen Kenichi spell Chief Hen Chicken. I then use my skills as a psychology minor to implant in the Chef’s head the thought that his long lost mother was actually a chicken and she named him accordingly to discreetly keep her legacy. He proceeds to cook a delicious meal, but refuses to use the chicken and I defeat him with my grilled chicken with Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce. 30-0, Iron Chef DQ’d for not using the ingredient.
10. Disco v. Jimmy
Jimmy would ask me a fan mail question, most likely in an effort to stump me, and I would give a number of perfect responses in which I go undefeated. The streak doesn’t change. Sorry Jimmy, but I win, 10-nil. Good thing your names are the same, ecause I suck at video games and would hate to go 9-1.
Times are rough, any good real estate or investment tips?
Lacy J., San Mateo, CA
In a roundabout way, here’s my answer. Lots of people think $.50 and .50¢ mean the same thing. Look at that sentence, let it marinate and then prepare to get upset about it the rest of your life. If you don’t believe me, just give it time and I guarantee if you truly grasp the difference, you will find signs or advertisements somewhere which confuse the two. Take a few weeks ago when I walked into Home Depot. I checked out, paid my bill, and then found they had small caribeeners on display at the counter on sale for .89¢. I handed the lady behind the counter a penny and said, I would like one of these caribeeners. She looked at me like I was crazy, and I only added to her stance when I said, “keep the change” and smiled. I didn’t want to make a scene or get charged with petty theft, so I let things be and returned the caribeener. I didn’t want it, but I also don’t like spare pennies jingling in my pocket.
“Home depot?” you say, “Really?” Oh yeah. Whether it’s .08¢ copies advertised at Kinkos or that “Life Alert” commercial which advertises service for .50¢ per day, big companies spending big bucks don’t even realize the mistake. It is all over grocery stores, TV, and print media; it’s commonplace.
So, to your question…I say find some property or a building for sale that wants around 50¢ per square foot. Wear a nice suit and sunglasses and walk in like you are a big deal and slam a contract on the table offering .99¢ per square foot. I assume you know where I’m going with this, but once you purchase the property, sell it immediately for half of what the original owner was asking and you are rich. Quick example: 1 million square foot warehouse property on sale for 50¢ per square foot. Agree to .99¢ per square foot and once the owner stops celebrating, pay him $9,900. Turn around tomorrow and sell it for 25¢ per square foot, or $250,000. Profit: $240,100, or 2425%. Let’s just hope AIG keeps reverse splitting before it gets back down below $1.00 again or else everyone may start to learn what a decimal really means. If this scares you, hedge my strategy by shorting AIG.
*Disclaimer: Don’t tell anyone you got this idea from me. And also, most importantly, don’t do it. That would be really mean.
**But if you do pull it off, please email me the numbers and every time I see .xx¢ displayed, I will no longer be upset, I will think of you.
***All I ask is 100% of your profit.