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The Feast of Joe the Superlative

Today, February 13, we celebrate President’s Day, which by government conspiracy was relocated to the third Monday in February and opened up to all Presidents, due to the secret machinations of the Van Buren descendents. We also, coincidentally, celebrate the latest in our universally beloved, if intermittently scheduled, feast days.


Joe the Superlative

Life: Little is known of Joe Charboneau before he marched onto the field at Spartanburg in the middle of a game and hit a double with the palm of his open hand. After that his legend quickly grew: it was rumored that he was the offspring of a god and a bear, that he could knock birds unconscious with by shouting, and that in his one-bedroom apartment he housed shrine displaying a grisly collection of teeth he had collected in the bar-room brawls that punctuated his adolescence. On each stop on his journey, he fathered countless children, headlined dozens of separate bands, and invented a new drink, the Super Joe, which was a mixture of Budweiser, Miller Hi-Life, Schlitz, a mentholated cigarette, and a slice of sous-vide-cooked bacon.

After the rise, came the fall. Every father teaches their son about Charboneau fixing his own broken nose with whiskey and a pair of pliers, but not many knew about the failed medical practice he set up based on the same principles. Nor did the fledgling SJBL (Super Joe Baseball League) succeed, with its risky combination of baseball, moonshine and bare-knuckle boxing. Eventually, an older, weary Joe Charboneau said goodbye to the country and game he loved, traveled to Luxembourg, overthrew the government and has ruled there quietly ever since.

Spiritual Exercise: Consider the fact that aesthetics and utility are often inversely proportional to each other, and that the use of an object will decrease its overall usefulness, as well as its beauty. On the contrary, any attempt to preserve an object in its original, perfect state will in fact rob that object of its identity: that is, without use, it will no longer be that thing at all. Consider this maxim as it applies to the 1988 Starting Lineup action figure you have kept in its box and, in so doing, wasted it. Think of the hours you could have played with it.

Having done this, consider drinking several Keystone lights, falling in the middle of your yard, and raising a singly unsteady middle finger to the universe that defies you. Hurt your back doing so.

A Prayer for Joe Charboneau

Joe Charboneau!

You twisted the bottle cap of the world
With your eye.
Or maybe you were the eye.
Metaphors are tough sometimes.

Only someone truly cunning
Could don a mask
Identical to one’s own face.
You made yourself a paradox:
two things at once,
With one name.
You divided baseball by zero,
And blinked yourself away.

Sometimes life feels like one big test
That we fail over and over.
It’s a little demoralizing,
When you think about it.
Until you realize
You only have to pass it