A most amazing thing occurred today at the rounders match. I find myself flush and giddy at the simple joy of this new idea.
Our side was taking it badly. Our batsmen were dragging themselves around the pitch, always one step behind their opponents. As usual, the ne’er-do-wells from Trenton were taunting us.
We stood repeatedly and belted out our fury with words I shan’t record. As the beer and whiskey flowed, the home crowd were soon blind drunk. I began to notice a rippling effect in the heads bobbing up and down, much like the ripples in a river.
I decided to make a funny of it. After explaining my plan to my seatmates, I caught the attention of the bowler. I gave the signal, and the man at the head of our bench leapt into the air and crouched down again, followed by the second and third and so on. When we had finished, we started over. The bowler regarded us as if we had brain sickness, then began to snicker. Well, would you believe his next five tosses retired the side?
Those around us found the joke smashing. Before long, whole tiers had gotten into the act, and the movement made its way round the park, silencing those poltroons from Trenton.
Then came the exquisite sensation, which I have been fortunate to experience often, when inspiration presents itself like lightning. I realized that this human oscillation—I have named it the Wave—will function perfectly as a Jew alarm.
When one of the Hebraic horde is spotted on the street, a passerby need only leap into the air with arms raised, calling attention to himself; another Christian will notice and understand, and shall perform his own leap; after him another, and so forth. Thus rolls the Wave up the street until all good men are alerted to the Semite’s presence.
Good God but I am excited! My mechanical Jew alarm, which vexed me no end, seems such a clumsy thing now. I realize I was not seeing the forest for the trees—the human body is the greatest Jew-detecting machine of all. The Supreme Intelligence never closes a door without opening a window.
Do I know who invented it? Jesus Christ in a sidecar, who do you think you’re talking to? Do I …? What are you, new in town? You’re from Canada? Where in Canada? Don’t tell me I’ve never heard of it, answer me. Ah, hell, of course I’ve heard of Hamilton. The Tiger-Cats, sure. I sent Hamilton a fullback on my own nickel. Of course, no one knew about the bum leg.
The Wave? Hold on, bub, we haven’t started yet. Two hundred flat. That’s the price. It’s not like it’s lining my pockets. Players keep coming in here asking for bonuses. Where am I gonna get it? Out of my ass? George Connor used to play for bread money and he’d wash my Buick to pay for a tooth-pulling. Today these cacksuckers want cars just for doing their jobs, even when they lose.
Now take this down. The Wave: I invented it. November 10, 1946. Against the Cardinals at home. Hard sleet, and cold that’d freeze the balls off a brass monkey. Bill Osmanski got a cleat to the eye—no penalty. That kind of day.
But here’s Sid Luckman on third and goal. Drags four linemen 10 yards. Breaks two fingers and still holds on. Touchdown. Crowd goes nuts. Well, Old Man Wrigley nearly has a coronary. He thinks those fans’ll bring his bleachers down. He marches onto the field and says any damages are coming out of my pocket.
You imagine that? More worried about his seats than a win. I call him everything but a white man, doesn’t faze him. I’m damned if I’m gonna pay that cacksucker. So here’s the genius part: I get the crowd to cheer one section at a time. Soon they’re standing and sitting on their own, all the way around the stadium.
Did we win? Sure, why not. But that was the Wave. Something new for the sport, and I dodged that bastard Wrigley. Hell of a scoop, no?
Proof? I said it, that’s your proof. WGN had a man on it, and the Tribune did a sidebar. How should I know where it is? You think I keep every scrap of paper?
Oh, what? You’re gonna argue? You wanna argue, it’s gonna cost you. What’d we say, two-fifty? That gets you five with Halas. You go long with your bullshit, that’s extra. Don’t whine, boy. Now you got a story. You call my guy over there, call up Arch Ward at the Trib and see if it isn’t true.
Dead? Ah, go crap in your hat. Don’t tell me what funerals I’ve been to.
The Kingdom of Spain
Who but the most exuberant of nations, the hottest of the blooded, the craziest in the hands and feet, who else could unleash such a kinetic revolucion upon the sporting lovers of the world? Spain! Your answer is Spain! Your search is finished! Waaaaave!
It begins in the heart and bursts out of the body! It rolls and trundles through the crowd of young radicals! Only the lack of will to present our hands to God can stop it, and lack of will is not Spain. Our will is fantastic! We rise, we present our hands, we make our fingers long long long—that is the Wave! That is Spain! We will never touch God, but we will attempt it until we die!
And then we lower ourselves. The Wave moves on. Spain lies in wait. The Wave is joy, but when it pulls back, we enter a wistful period. We inhale; we sigh; maybe we eat, for Spain gets hungry. We think about our insides: our loves and our ghosts. If it is necessary, we weep.
But we do not weep forever. No. Because—aiiiiiee! The Wave! It returns! The time for looking inside is over! Lift, jump, reach, splay! Spain did not invent the Wave—Spain is the Wave. La Onda es España.
Wave with me and think of Spain, and we will be close friends.