TV and the Twilight (Strike) Zone

by Stephen Jones

I watched in disbelief.
I can’t get no relief –
From an umpire whose eyesight
Is worse than a badger’s.

Here quoth the baseball,
Its wings made of leather:
“Balls are strikes and
Strikes are balls. Evermore.”

It was then, in my chair,
That I yawned tired air.
I dropped the remote,
And the room did darken . . .

.     And a carny voice did harken:
.     “Hur-ray! Hur-ray!
.     An instant baseball fan solution –
.     Coming soon, to your television.

.     “Fans – are you tired of bad calls?
.     Does the umpire need a vision check?
.     Do you think the strike zone
.     Moves around too much?

.     “Well then, have no fear –
.     The solution, it’s right here.
.     It’s called ‘Auto-Strike’ –
.     The new e-lec-tronic game in town.

.     “So, say goodbye to tradition
.     And the curse of bad vision.
.     ‘Auto-Strike’ will cure
.     Each and every umpire call!”

.     (Disclaimer: The Salem’s Lot Nine
.     Will now miss its boo-and-hiss time
.     And the ever-popular fan favorite –
.     Burning umpires at the stake.)

Here quoth the baseball,
Its wings made of leather:
“Balls are strikes and
Strikes are balls. Evermore.”

I shifted in my chair,
Of the game unaware,
And continued my reverie
Of balls, strikes . . . and late-night TV.

.      Laughter came from off-screen,
.     From an audience of the dream,
.     And there was a smirking host
.     Who thought he was being clever:

.     “Just to be clear . . . the ball is scanned,
.     Just like cereal or a country ham
.     Off a bar code at a grocery store?
.     And what would happen then,

.     “If it didn’t correctly scan in?
.     This is baseball, not a market,
.     And you just can’t call out:
.     ‘Hey . . . price check, aisle four.’”

Here quoth the baseball,
Its wings made of leather:
“Balls are strikes and
Strikes are balls. Evermore.”

It was almost 2:00 am when I awoke.
An infomercial was spewing smoke
About saving me time and money . . .
And dreams replacing reality.

.     “Yessir, yessir . . . get it now, get it here.
.     From those folks who brought you
.     ‘The Pocket Baseball’ and ‘One-Pitch Wonder’,
.     And the ever-popular ‘One That Got Away’.”

Even as I arose and shook my head
And stumbled off to bed,
The sonorous voice behind me said:

“Balls are strikes and
Strikes are balls. Evermore.”

 


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