|Hey "butter, butter, butter...schwing!"|
Soon enough I regained full consciousness and realized that this little fellow was actually a small token of love from Tuffy a/k/a "She Who Must Be Obeyed." False alarm. Move along. Monkey's dead, shows over I thought. I laughed off my temporary panic and then enjoyed devouring the little devil biscuit and washing it down with a Screwdriver. If God had not meant for us to like bread and meat, He would not have made pigs so tasty. Actually, he tasted very good as far as I could tell in my condition but in a few days I forgot about all about the incident and the biscuit. Such is the fog of drink.
That was until early 2004. By then I had completed my probation and kicked vodka to the curb. I had a regular job and Tuffy was no longer on my ass all the time. Funny how that works: Drink less=wife likes you more. I guess that might not be great if your wife is a Biggest Loser "two-bagger" but in my case its alright. Good actually.
Well, given that I had time to actually relax and read the newspaper in the morning I recall one morning reading that a group had been chosen to bring a AA baseball franchise back to the Gump (we had not had a team since the 1980s) and we were going to have a new stadium right downtown in the old Southern Railway building which had once housed Yankee prisoners of war. I read they were soliciting team names and that the person with the winning idea would win a years supply of bratwurst. I was engaged. I was all in.
I was awash with ideas. The Riverrats, Grays, Senators, Gumps, Sliders, Gump Busters, Marchers, Dexters, Pork Chops, etc. But nothing had that ring to it. I was a fan of the old Rebels and the newer "Wings" but those names were dated or taken. My sobriety had robbed me of my creativity and I wanted that bratwurst.
I knew I would have to leave the wagon to come up with inspiration since we have not yet legalized weed in Alabama.
So, truth be told, I visited the master mixologist known throughout the Gump only as "Reggie" or "Reg." (In his world last names are for chumps). Knowing I was not in drinking shape I asked Reg to pour me a "light one." "I don't weigh 'em," said Reggie. "Just pour me a half a drink then," I suggested. He smiled and said without a pause, "I flunked fractions." After the vodka displaced all the water he handed me what could accurately be described as a pentadruple and I began the process of freeing brain cells to help me come up with a name---the name. Word to the wise: One Reggie, Two Reggie's, Three Reggies: Floor.
I have been cursed to have a total recall of bad evenings in the past. You know, those horrible times when your body is completely drunk and useless but your brain is recording all your buffoonery for posterity. However, on this occasion I was blessed with welcome amnesia. But somehow, when I gathered my wits my phone had on the screen--for some unknown and unknowable reason--the picture of the 2002 biscuit that had almost scared me out of my wits. My drinking buddy--whose name will be changed to protect the ignorant--was still railing on about how a minor league team was doomed to failure in Montgomery and that he would bet me $100 they would leave under the cover of midnight in three years. He had apparently found the angry biscuit photo and was laughing, why they will probably come up with some lame name like "Cornbread" or "Biscuits" or some other stupid name.
Well, it sunk in for a minute and I made the bet. Then, when I was able, I sent in my idea for a team name to the new ownership, an idea born of a love for baseball and vodka, not really hoping it would be selected but knowing only that it was original as hell.
I am back on the wagon now and well, the rest is history as they say. Here was the mascot selected:
|A perfect match down to the butter pat tongue|
Yes, there were scoffers. "The dumbest minor league team name in history," some said. But they sold more merchandise than any other minor league team in history and remain the best AA franchise in the country. While the credit goes to Dickson & Meyers who are terrific owners, I'd like to think that I had a little to do with what has become one of the most popular team names and most appropriate name for a team from the Gump: The Biscuits! By the way, the food at the ballpark is great all you Lunch in the Gumpers.
[Ed. Note: I am pretty sure this is an April Fool's joke. The Carp was not recognized by the Biscuits front office as the originator of the name of the team. And, if he had unlimited access to Bratwurst, he would have exploded long ago. Nice picture though.]