...tenth, eleventh...Oh yeah, Twelfth Night!

Twelfth Night marks the last of the twelve days of Christmas (no, you heathen, they don't lead up to Christmas--that's Advent). Earlier today, the UPS guy delivers the last box of the twelve gifts your true love gives to you--hopefully charged to his card rather than yours. Your next move is to figure out what your going to do with twelve drummers drumming (as opposed to twelve lords aleaping--if the Brits want to get rid of them that bad, they can ship them to the Falklands).

In civilized places, there's a major blowout involving the Wassail bowl, shoe, canteen cup--whatever holds liquids--while the rosca de reyes or king cake is being baked for tomorrow (which probably explains how beans, coins, Baby Jesus figures, or whatnot end up in them--next year, keep Uncle Julio the heck away from the Wassail bowl or at least brace him and disarm him of the tequila bottle). Tonight before you hit the rack, don't forget to put one shoe filled with hay out for the Wise Men's camels, donkeys, water buffaloes, riding iguanas, or what have you. For tomorrow is Epiphany, Dia de Reyes, or Fastnacht.

In the less civilized places like were my folks come from, there is Berchtenlaufen. This is when several hundred young guys run through the streets cracking whips and ringing bells to chase evil spirits out of town--apparently said spirits are still hungover from the preceding twelve days of festivities. In even less civilized places, such activities mean your team won the championship.

Also, it's bad luck to leave Christmas decorations up after Twelfth Night (this is an update from Candlemas--2 February). A bosun's mate and his family I know seem to live to a rather different calendar. About All Saints, the lights go up and, a week after Easter, they come down. I must admit through, for those five months, the turkey, manger, and rabbit in their front yard make for one heck of a landmark when you're trying to give someone directions (people going from one end of Quantico to the other have been detoured via the Naval Weapons base just so it could be used).

It's also the name of a pretty decent play by some guy named Shakespeare.

Over the Fence

I received another letter from Homer Smute, the world's oldest minor league baseball player, the other day.


The problem with living in the fast lane is you know what you did because of the bills, alimony, palimony, child support, community service, fines and jail time. But you can't remember the fun you had doing it.

I got to admit that Mitch Groengras. the Busters' grounds keeper is no quitter. To keep the grass down, the management let people run their cows on the field. Of course, Mitch had to go around with a shovel before games. But the cows didn't keep the grass short enough, so they tried sheep. Well, this got the grass down to about the right level, but Mitch had to come in twice as early with his shovel before games. Tim Molesight, our Left fielder, told me this morning over coffee at Karina's Good 'nough Cafe that Mitch told management yesterday he'd start paying one of the farmers out of his own pocket to cut the grass with his tractor.

The only problem with turning your cap into a "rally cap" is not only is your team losing, but now you look stupid too.

As team logos go, the Stump Busters' ain't one of the most uplifting. Let's face it, a tree stump, no matter what you do to it, just don't sing.

Now the Washington Wild Things (Washington, PA) has one of the best I've seen.

Note: Homer asked me to put in a link to their website: http://www.washingtonwildthings.com/

I don't know how much longer the team can keep going. The younger guys keep leaving to go someplace where they got a better chance of advancement, like Dundalk.

Remember the Catholic Writers Conference Online

26 February to 5 March 2010.

Free registration at: http://www.catholicwritersconference.com/

5 January 2010: Feast of St. Convoyon, George Washington weds Martha Dandridge Custis 1759, Benedict Arnold commanding British naval forces burns Richmond, VA 1781, Alfred Dreyfus sentenced to Devil's Island 1895, Richard Nixon orders development of Space Shuttle 1972.

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