Saturday, July 21, 2007
Back in 1987, when Budd Dwyer was placing his gun into an envelope and sneaking it into his press conference, when the Unabomber struck Salt Lake City and pissed off Karl Malone, and Los Lobos pretended to be Lou Diamond Phillips who pretended to be Richie Valens who ruled the airwaves and the silver screen with La Bamba, Kansas City Royals Outfielder Danny Tartabull blazed his way to the top by being a first time DONRUSS DIAMOND KING! How on Earth did a CUBAN not only become one of the ever so coveted DONRUSS KINGS and have his stunning portrait beautifully rendered by a third-rate homeless painter and slapped on a rare card inside a pack of gum-dusted semi-glossy rectangles, but also have a cameo as himself in an episode of SEINFELD, you ask?! I mean, this was BEFORE Sammy Sosa and the rest of the crazily-strong Cubans made it ok for us to accept foreigners in America's Pastime, right? Well, i have no idea. I dont even know who he is. Yet somehow, this bunk Jose Canseco and I have had an ongoing relationship for the past 3 years. And the entire time, i thought he was on MY side....
I was wrong...
Here's the whole story. In mid 2004, I was frantically searching numerous thrift stores in LA for cheap phones to smash and use in an art installation. Amongst the many failed attempts, I stumbled on something that instantly brought me back to my childhood. Under a phone i ended up not buying, i saw him lying there, lonely, yet grinning. A perfect expression painted on his face. It was a Donruss Diamond King Danny Tartabull card from 1987. In perfect condition. Now, i think i only collected baseball cards from 1987 to 1989, in which case, at age 13, i realized that BUYING pictures of DUDES in action poses probably isnt the coolest way to get girls' attention. However, during those 2 years, i think i DID manage to collect every possible card that existed. I had about a thousand Kirby Pucketts, and I loved getting Jim Abbot cards because i loved the fact that he was not only a one-handed freak, but he was BADASS enough to be a one-handed PITCHER in MLB. So of course, i had all of the cherished Donruss King cards. Including, though i don't remember him, DANNY TARTABULL.
At that point of seeing that illustrated Cuban staring back up at me from a thrift store shelf, begging me to relive my junior high days and put him in a hard plastic case so his natural enemy, dust, cant even harm his perfect visage. I obliged, but there was no way i was going to pay for him. The thought alone made me sick to my stomach. Why should i BUY something i already had? and more than that, why were they SELLING him? i cant imagine the scenario where someone would stumble across Danny and freak the fuck out because they now are ONE KING closer to completing their Donruss collection. There was also no way in god damn hell that i was going to ask how much he cost, because whatever it was...it would be too much. So I made a deal with Danny. If i escaped scott-free from that thrift store with him in my pocket, Danny would be my guardian angel from there on out. So, like Pierce Brosnan in the Thomas Crown Affair, I kidnapped him and placed him in a better home...my wallet.
I have kept Danny in my wallet since that day, practically BRAGGING to anyone who notices him that he PROTECTS me, and will until the day i die. I was happy that i had a painted Cuban angel in my pocket. It was my security blanket. I was invincble. I don't know when my invincibility stopped, but i just had some time to reflect on the past today and i realized something. Though i have not died, in the past 3 years since Danny and I reunited, i have been threatened to be sued by a major corporation, i have been rear-ended twice, i rear-ended a pregnant woman, got a handful of speeding tickets whole driving across country twice, had a girfriend cheat on me with a good friend, had a horrible detox from prescription drugs that i had been taking for 15 years, got surgury on my nasal passsages, lost a handful of teeth, gained 30 pounds, and lost a turtle to respiration difficulties, among other things.
These obstacles may be normal hinderances of a regular life, but i can't blame myself for any of my wrongdoings, because clearly none of them are my fault. So now, in retrospect, i blame KC ROYALS OUTFIELDER, CUBAN ASSHOLE, SON OF JOSE TARTABULL, GYPSY CURSE-SPREADING GOAT DANNY TARTABULL.
So, for the first time in 3 and a half years, Danny has been exorsised from my wallet and i am ready to start a new, DANNY-FREE life.
And for the first time in a while, i feel....CLENSED.