Thursday, September 07, 2006

I Was the Jackie Robinson of Gay Softball

NARRATOR: For the last forty years, a shadow has fallen across gay softball. The shadow of discrimination. Ever since its inception, a group of players have been banned from homosexual softball – just because they were heterosexual. That is, until one man, Dick Straight, and one gay team, the New York Toilet, decided to challenge convention.

FX: Ballpark sounds: Ball hitting bat, cheers, whoops, applause.

OUTFIELDER: I got it, Mary!

FOOD VENDOR: Get your coquilles St. Jacques! Coquilles St. Jacques. I slaved for hours over them.

NARRATOR: In its early days, gay softball was played by effeminate men, often in Capri pants. Most players had only rudimentary skills, and many didn’t even know the rules of the game.

PLAYER #1: I hit you with the ball. You’re out.

PLAYER #2: What do you mean, I’m out? Nobody’s supposed to know that!

NARRATOR: But while they were light on talent, they really knew how to throw a post-game party…

FX: It’s Rainin’ Men plays under sounds of players singing along, snorting coke, etc.

PLAYER #1: Honey, could you get me another popper?

NARRATOR: But after a while, gay people started to take softball more seriously. Organized leagues developed, and they attracted sponsors such as Oscar’s Cock Rings and Ye Olde Tavern and Glory Hole. There was even a World Series of Gay Softball, held in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, the week after the Little League World Series.

FX: Crowd applause. Sounds of jubilant winners’ clubhouse.

PLAYER (being interviewed): You know, that’s why we play this game. To get a ring. Amethyst, preferably. Not too tacky, you know, like those Bud Selig monstrosities, honey, they’re so Vegas…

NARRATOR: Not all teams were successful, however. For example, the New York Toilet finished in last place for twenty-eight straight years. Its long-time sponsor, Tidy Bowl, pulled out of its agreement, and the Toilet’s owner and general manager, Evan St. Croix, was at his wits’ end.

ST. CROIX (to team): May I have your attention, ladies? You call yourselves gay softball players? You haven’t won a game since Boy George was a boy. And this clubhouse! What a dump! You have no pride in the Toilet uniform. Why, you even got beat by those bull-dykes, Pandora’s Jocks.

TEAM CAPTAIN: Bitch, bitch, bitch! Evan, if you don’t think we can play, why don’t you go out and sign a bunch of butch closet-cases? Better yet, why not sign a ... hetero!

DICK STRAIGHT: Excuse me. Are you Evan St. Croix?

ST. CROIX: Yeah. Who are you?

STRAIGHT: My name’s Dick Straight. I hear you could use some players.
ST. CROIX: You got any?

STRAIGHT: Well, I can hit, run, throw, play second, short, third, and the outfield, and pitch.

ST. CROIX: Fast-pitch?

STRAIGHT: Fast-pitch, slow-pitch, high-arc. You name it. Scouts say I got the good face. And the good ass. (beat) That's just scout talk.

ST. CROIX: Great! You’re just what we need. But sorry, I can’t use you.

STRAIGHT: Why not?

ST. CROIX: You’re straight.

STRAIGHT: How could you tell?

ST. CROIX: The gaydar gun. Never fails. (pause) Son, the gay softball world just ain’t ready for a heterosexual player.

STRAIGHT: But Mr. St. Croix --.

ST. CROIX: Stick to your own kind.

STRAIGHT: My own kind!? You mean straight people? Are you kidding! You’ve seen them. Keg parties, ugly T-shirts, sponsors like Uncle Bob’s Grease Monkeys. (pause) I’m better than that. I need to prove that I can play with the best.

ST. CROIX: Well, son, you’ve got the wrong team. There’s a reason we’re called the New York Toilet. We bottom for everybody, so to speak.

STRAIGHT: Please, give me tryout. I’m good. I can help you win!

ST. CROIX: (pause) You’re a pitcher, right?

STRAIGHT: Yeah.

ST. CROIX: Let’s see what you got. (to another player) Stuart, step in there and take some swings against this … what’s your name, kid?

STRAIGHT: Straight, sir. Dick Straight.

FX: Players laugh.

PLAYER: Honey, I’ll bet it is.

STUART: O.K., big guy, show me your arm.

FX: Sound of pitch whirring by at supersonic speeds, Stuart grunting and missing.

PLAYERS: Whoa! Did you see that?

PLAYER #1: (to Stuart) Hit it, Stuart.

STUART: Hit it? I can’t even see it!

FX: Another pitch whirls by and Stuart misses it.

ST. CROIX: Kid, you’ve got a hell of an arm there. Why don’t you take a few swings?

STRAIGHT: Sure, Mr. St. Croix.

ST. CROIX: (to another player) Roger, can you toss him a few?

ROGER: Alright. But I’ve got a brunch in half an hour. (to Straight) Are you ready, Miss Thing?

STRAIGHT: You bet.

FX: Sound of pitch being thrown, ball hitting bat and being smacked into the stratosphere.

PLAYERS: Aaaahhh!

STUART: Did you see that? That ball cleared Splash, went straight over Rawhide and landed on the Roxy.

ST. CROIX: Straight, come into my office. I want to have a talk with you.

FX: Transition to St. Croix’s office.

ST. CROIX: Look, Straight. I not only need a hetero man who can play, I need a hetero man who has the courage not to fight back … against catty remarks and vicious sarcasm. Are you that man?

STRAIGHT: Mr. St. Croix, I swear that I will turn the other cheek.

ST. CROIX: Uh, in our league, that may not be the best idea. But I get your point. You’re on. Let me handle the press. They can be brutal.

STRAIGHT: Whatever you say.

FX: Straight’s footsteps as he leaves the locker room.

ANNOUNCER: Hello there, gay softball fans. The latest standings show the Boston Red Hankies atop the Jeff Stryker Division, followed by the Chicago Lube, the Cherry Grovers, the Baltimore Barebackers and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. In the ChiChi Larue Division, the San Francisco Fabulous is in first place, followed by the Omaha Crank, The Kansas City Closet Cases, the Detroit Divas and in last place the New York Toilet. Now, the dish around the National Gay Softball League is that in a desperate attempt to revive the sagging fortunes of his club, Evan St. Croix has signed a – are you ready? – straight man to play for the Toilet. Right now, St. Croix and the pioneer player, Dick Straight, are holding a press conference…

FX: Press hubbub. Reporters shouting, Evan, Evan!

REPORTER: Damon Sashay, The Advocate. Mr. Straight, is it true that you are going to try to cross the sexual-orientation line of gay softball?

STRAIGHT: Uh, no comment.

REPORTER #2: Brent Mange, OhMyGod magazine. Dick, do you hit right-handed or left-handed?

STRAIGHT: Oh, I swing both ways.

REPORTER #2: Oh my God! This is bigger than when Liza dumped David Gest!

NARRATOR: All of America was agog when they found out Straight would try to integrate gay softball. There was an outcry from homo- and heterosexuals alike. But not even Evan St. Croix could imagine that one of the biggest obstacles would come from within his own locker room…

FX: Locker room sounds.

STUART (to Lance): Look who’s here, Lance. The guy Evan hired to take your place as our pitcher…

STRAIGHT: Hi, Stuart. Hi, Lance.

LANCE: Stuart, do you, like, smell something funny? Like Old Spice?

Lance and Stuart laugh.

STRAIGHT: Did I say the wrong thing?

FX: Sounds of Straight’s footsteps as he walks away.

STUART: If looks could kill.

LANCE: Honey, if that bitch thinks he can get strut in here and take my job, he doesn’t know Stuart Little.

NARRATOR: Even as Dick Straight helped his team to their first-ever winning streak, his teammates shunned him. When he hit a home run, there was nobody to greet him at home plate. They even refused to let him join the post-game shower orgy.

FX: Shower orgy sounds: running water, loud club music, sexual congress.

NARRATOR: But the worst abuse would come from opposition players.

FX: Ballpark sounds.

ANNOUNCER: It’s the top of the sixth. Toilet one, Divas nothing on Straight’s first inning homer. Dick’s on first, Stuart Little at the plate. Here’s the windup and the pitch. It’s a ground ball to short. To second for one and over to first for the double play. But Straight is down. The Diva second baseman bitch-slapped him! Oh, it was fierce! He’s getting up. But instead of cheering him, the home town crowd is taunting him.

LEATHER-LUNGED FAN: Breeder! Breeder!

NARRATOR: Not even the cruel vitriol from fans of his own team stopped Dick Straight. His slugging and pitching helped the Toilet beat the Chicago Lube and win their first Gay World Series.

FX: Ballpark sounds.

NARRATOR: Long after Dick Straight retired, his influence was felt. His success fueled competition, and gay softball players got bigger, tougher and more butch.

FX: Ballpark. St. Croix, Aspiring Ballplayers.

ST. CROIX: Welcome to the New York Toilet tryout camp. What’s your name, fella?

JARED: Jared Storm.

ST. CROIX: Listen, kid. You’ve got some talent. But you’re not going to cut it here.

JARED: Why not, Mr. St. Croix?

ST. CROIX: Look at you – manicured, salon cut, Dolce & Gabbana. You probably use moisturizer.

JARED: Twice a day, sir.

ST. CROIX: Son, this is the big boys’ league. There’s no room for metrosexuals here. Take a hike.

NARRATOR: And so it would be up to Jared Storm to become the first metrosexual to play gay softball. But that’s a story for another time…

ANNOUNCER: Hey, gay kids, if you’d like to learn how not to throw like Liza Minnelli, swing a bat like Quentin Crisp or run the bases like Jerry Lewis, order the new instructional video, Gay Softball Fundamentals, directed by Pedro Almodovar. Order now!

END

1 comment:

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