Archive for: May 2015

Wolverines Embrace Failure

By Coma News Daily Staff

A month into the season and still with no wins, the Coma Middle School Wolverines baseball players faced a tough decision.

“We had two choices: Finish the season possibly winless, or make the second half a completely different story,” said Coach Jax Owen.

The black and blue decided on the former.

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Pitcher Ethan Davis’ 20-hit performance April 17 at home against Barnesville was definitely not what the doctor ordered. The 15-0 shutout loss, Owen said, pretty much cemented the attitude of the team. Not only did it finally put double digits in the loss column, it also served as a springboard to the rest of the ‘Rines’ losing season.

Since an 0-9 start, the Wolverines have won none of their last eight, playing more and more like the team the players and coaches have come to expect.

“The majority of those first nine games came down to us beating ourselves (rather) than teams flat-out beating us,” said team mom Sadie Cracker. “But since then the teams have gotten a lot better so now it’s definitely them beating us.”

Cracker added that some of the early-season struggles probably were due to Owen being a new coach and implementing a new system.

Owens agreed that the players didn’t have a lot of faith in his system of playing more small ball and manufacturing runs with team speed and simple execution.

Meanwhile, simple changes in approach by the players did nothing to improve results, Owens said.

“I kept thinking it would get to a point where players started buying into the team,” Owen’s said. “No dice.”

Starting 0-9 was no fun, said Davis, who just turned 13. But it turned out that finishing 0-17 was even less fun.

The only surprise to him was the hopeless record eventually translated into a more relaxed and enjoyable brand of baseball.

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“We knew coming into the season there was some high expectations because people assumed we were capable of so much more,” said Davis. “But once reality set in, we started to relax and the entire atmosphere changed. I laughed a lot in those last games.”

A shell-shocked Owen said he has drawn a lot of support from assistant coach Robert McGuiness. McGuiness, a fomer Scottish National Football (soccer) League player has never coached baseball but was well versed in the art of losing.

“Without knowing all of the various rules of this strange sport it was not always clear exactly how we were losing but I’m told that teams made some great plays against us and started to create their own breaks,” McGuiness said.

Owen said the team hopes to rebuild and develop sky-high expectations by the start of next season.

“I think we have the talent level to make a run, a deep run, I really do,” Owen said. “I have no idea why I think that, but I do.”

‘Jean Racers’ Host First Meet

by Coma News Staff

In what organizers called a first-of-its-kind event, the inaugural Jean Racers track meet took place near Coma High School yesterday afternoon.  Featuring athletes who compete in foot races wearing a variety of popular jeans, the event was organized by Coma physician, Dr. Jimmy and included nearly six participants.

“This is the future of organized sports,” Dr. Jimmy said about the event. “Jean racing combines humanity’s passion for foot racing with the undying desire to have denim close to one’s skin at all times.”

The new organization is officially called the JRL or Jean Racing League.  Competitors can choose to compete in a wide range of races.  Races are between 40 meters and 100 meters.  Racers may participate in as many races as they like but must wear the specified jean style of each race.  For example, yesterday’s first event was the 50-meter baggy jean sprint.  It was followed by the 75-meter skinny-jean race, which ended prematurely after all four participants collapsed half-way through the contest. Instead of medals, JRL race winners are awarded stylish leather belts.

The event featured six male participants ranging in age from 13 to 54 years old.  It was held on Jefferson Street, near Coma High School.  Several events had to be re-run due to car interference.  Dr. Jimmy said that while the event wasn’t perfect, he was encouraged by what he called a “promising start.”

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Dr. Jimmy prepares for race at yesterday’s inaugural Jean Racing League event.

“While I don’t think it’s ‘Olympics-ready’ right now, I don’t have to stretch my imagination very far to see it going in that direction in the near future,” Dr. Jimmy said. “Unlike traditional track and field sprinting, you don’t need a giant stadium or fancy running clothes.  Just show up in some amazing Wranglers or Levis and you’re racing.”

The league’s next event is planned for next Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m. and will take place on Sixth Street, site of the former Grape Hut.  The event is open to all ages and participants can register on the day of the event.  Planned races for next week include:

– 50 meter Boot Cut

– 40 meter Boot Cut (no belt)

– 75 meter Wranglers

– 50 meter Baggy Jeans

– 63 meter Levi Classic (by invitation only)

– 20 meter Skinny Jean (NEW!)

– 100 meter Bell Bottom

– 100 meter Relaxed-Fit Relay

 

A participant warms up for a race.

A participant warms up for a race.

Dust in the Wind is not all We Are

The following is one in a series of intermittent excerpts from Coma residents’ blogs published by Coma News as a community service

 

By Sadie Cracker

It’s poker night at Bear’s Biker bar and five or six of the regulars are sitting around the table drinking beer and deciding whether to hold or fold. My Dad is there– in and out from losing his mind to Alzheimer’s disease.

Today he thought my name was Janice which is apparently the name of a woman he met before he married my mom. He said, “Oh Janice, I should’ve married you.”

And I wonder if there’s always someone better when you are married because marriage is hard. It’s hard to remember the times you ripped off each others clothes when you are busy ripping off a diaper. It’s hard to remember times you stood in the rain and laughed when you are knee deep in house payments. It’s impossible to remember laying in bed all day together when you’re up all night with a child.

I have friends who are single who want to be married and loved.

I have friends who are dating who are desperate to get engaged.

I have friends who are married who want to run away.

On stage at the bar Charlie the Coma Librian sings a Tracy Chapman tune, “I’d always hoped for better but maybe together you and me find that if you got no plans and ain’t going nowhere take a fast car and keep on driving.”

And Dad stands up “I got a royal flush!”

Bear looks at his cards “Stan, you’ve got three 3’s and a four and then nothing. Where the hell is your 5th card!?!”

Dad, “That’s a royal flush, baby. I win.”

And maybe that’s where we are. Winning is just a matter of seeing it a little differently when it’s not a real royal flush. To be happy where ever we are.

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Sometimes I want to get a fast car like Kerouac where I run away. I take a fast car and keep on driving. Toward the sun. Toward the ocean where I’m a bartender at a seedy seaside bar and at 2am I hike up my skirt and run toward the dark ocean laughing all the way until my feet touch the water. Ahead of me is rolling waves and endless stars. Behind me is the last of the drunk crowd trying an uncoordinated coupling to keep them away from one more night in an empty bed, alone.

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I’m not stuck with anything and I’m just serving a beer. Where I take a fast car and keep on driving and write fluid poetry about the road and all it’s possibilities.

I am not a mom who is under the thumb of everyone’s needs. Where I am not taking care of an old man losing his mind.

It’s me at a seaside bar where I am sleeping in till noon and touching the sea with my toes just after 2am.

“Sadie. Get up here.” Charlie the Coma Librarian yells. In this bar he’s a warrior poet. His music matters. It keeps the crowd busy.

“Okay, Stan. You win this time.” Bear concedes and pushes a bunch of chips toward my father.

And we go on.

I walk to the stage and Charlie hands me a guitar and he starts to strum. I know the tune and I remember that I am happy right here. Right now. Because this is what I have.

“All we are is dust in the wind….” Charlie winks at me and we play the music together.

‘Booze Shed’ to Loving Home

By Coma News Daily Staff

Dr. Jimmy has put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into his backyard “booze shed,” and the thought of giving it up is almost too hard for him to talk about.

But Dr. Jimmy knows he can’t continue the upkeep of the 65-square foot outbuilding, with its mahogany bar and five taps, neon beer signs and five flat screen TVs.

He’s recently seperated from his wife–Dee Collins–started moving into A Home for Those Guys, and she wants it gone. Yesterday.

They plan to give away the converted shed in an essay contest. They’re looking for someone who can express in 1,000 words or less how much they would love the shed and its Bellagio Casino-themed decor.

“That Las Vegas casino is the most magical place on Earth so I spent a lot of time and money trying to capture a little of that happiness and bring it back here to Coma,”  Dr. Jimmy said.

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Dr. Jimmy hopes to receive 5,000 entries at $200 apiece. That’s $1 million—enough to pay off Dee’s mortgage, buy a retirement place for him and set aside some money for  Dee’s adult education classes.

“We love this shed so much–mainly for providing an escape from each other and a place for Jimmy to sleep most nights,” said Collins. “This is a way to give somebody an opportunity who might not ever have the chance to own a shed.”

Dr. Jimmy added: “If somebody who’s really deserving could get this, I’ll feel good about it.”

Dr. Jimmy and Collins will read all the submissions and pick the top 25. As a screenwriter, she’ll keep an eye out for grammar, composition, effectiveness of the introduction and conclusion.

He’ll be reading for content, looking for someone whose passion is sheds, casinos and drinking.

They’ll give the 25 essays to a three-member panel—a bartender, a garbage collector and a used car dealer—who will select the winner and two runners-up.

Throughout the process, Collins said she’s had to be mindful of how tough this is on her husband. She’s well aware of everything he’ll leave behind when he walks away from the booze shed.

‘A LABOR OF LOVE’

Dr. Jimmy began renovating what had been a garden shed nearly 10 years ago–almost immediately after getting married.

He made the renovation of the shed his full-time project. Every imitation Rococo decoration was put together with his hands. He bought stools from Diamonds, a beloved local dive bar, when it closed down five years ago.

The shed is a style described as Louisiana lowland.

“I don’t think anyone else could understand what it is like to bring something so beautiful into the world,” Dr. Jimmy said.

Swimming With The Dolphins Not What You Think It Is

Special Guest Editorial by Coma Mayor Dave Anderson

I recently returned from a two-day vacation in exotic Hawaii.  I enjoy getting away on short vacations whenever I can.  Last year I traveled to Spain for several hours and the chance to get away from the day-to-day routines and spend an afternoon in a foreign land is a great way to re-charge my battery.

This was my first trip to Hawaii (pronounced Huh-Why-Ee) and I was particularly excited about one of our planned excursions; swimming with dolphins. For me, this was to be the highlight of my trip. The idea of spending a couple hours in the pool with some of my all-time favorite former Miami Dolphins football players was very exciting and I looked forward to it like a child might look forward to Christmas morning.

So you can imagine my tremendous disappointment when upon my arrival I noticed a lagoon-style pool littered with actual dolphins.  Not ‘Dolphins.’  Apparently this is a popular activity for visitors to this foreign land. Well it would be nice if the people in charge made it clear in their advertising that no current or former NFL players and Miami Dolphins were involved in this excursion.  Nowhere in their literature or website does it state such a thing.  It is misleading.

I thought I would get a chance to have a splash fight with hall-of-famer and former Dolphin Larry Csonka. But I didn't because the stupid thing didn't include any Miami Dolphins. Just real dolphins.

I thought I would get a chance to have a splash fight with hall-of-famer and former Dolphin Larry Csonka. But I didn’t because the stupid thing didn’t include any Miami Dolphins. Just real dolphins.

Instead of frolicking in the pool with the likes of Bob Griese, Larry Csonka or Dan Marino, I’m stuck petting the dorsal fin of a water mammal and smiling for photographs with Flipper.  There were no chicken fights with all-time Dolphins greats like Mercury Morris or Nick Buoniconti.  No games of Marco Polo with Mark Duper or Larry Little.  Not even a chance to pants a guy like Paul Warfield.  Just hanging out in a pool of water that was likely full of wild animal droppings

The lesson in all of this is simple; do your homework, read the fine print and don’t get suckered in to a tourist trap/scam like I did.  I hope by sharing this story that others will avoid the mistake I made.

 

 

Coma Schools Add a Ton of Fun

By Coma News Daily Staff

Coma students waiting for the bus last week wondered why the ground was shaking and why they heard thunder on a clear morning.

Then they realized it was just Desert Rose, the M1A1 main battle tank that Coma Schools recently purchased to replace its broken school bus, coming to pick them up.

“This vehicle really is about peace of mind,” Town Council member Natalie Peters said about the vehicle, which she pushed the schools to buy.
“No bears will be eating kids on the way to school in this town.”

The tank, which is painted school bus yellow and says “Coma  Public Schools” along the barrel of its main gun, was somewhat hot, cramped and loud, according to students. But it also was safe.

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Meet ‘Rose,’ the latest transportation option for Coma school children recently purchased by the Town Council.

“I thought I was having a heart attack,” local retiree Stan Bargmeyer said about the first time heard Rose coming through his neighborhood. “Then I saw this metal beast blast through my back fence and tear across the yard.”

School officials said they are still tweaking Rose’s route schedule but “most likely” will stick to using roads in town.

Asked about some residents’ complaints regarding the increased militarization of the school system, Coma Mayor Dave Anderson said Rose was not a real fighting vehicle because she lacked armor-piercing rounds.

“Our students with learning disabilities and special needs should especially benefit from this educational resource,” Anderson said.

He noted that the state’s only other armored school bus was more than an hour away in the state capital.

“By that time probably any bear-related damage will be done. ”  he said.

How To Anything: Become A Brain Surgeon

Coma News Daily intern Stan Bargemeyer teaches you how-to anything as a service of Coma News Daily.

Surgeons make really good money.  Did you know that everything you need to do to become a professional surgeon can be done at home? Follow the simple steps below to launch you career as a successful brain surgeon.

1. Assemble the following items; A stethoscope and books.

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2. Read a bunch of books about surgery and the human brain and stuff like that.  A lot of these books can probably be found at the library or something.

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3. That’s pretty much it! Put on your stethoscope and you’re ready to operate on someone’s brain.