I’m Art Kumbalek and man oh manischewitz what a world, ain’a? So listen, I know that some of you’s regard me as more than just a run-of-the-focking-mill insightful essayist. You also lean on me as you would, say, a mentor, a spiritual counselor, your personal Solomon who shines the beacon of truth into crappy nooks and nasty crannies that you didn’t even know existed, what the fock.
So, how should you really feel about this Ryan Braun hullabaloo? Fock if I know, or care. What I do know is that when baseball’s specimen collector showed up in the Brewers locker room, unannounced, that late Saturday afternoon Oct. 1, 2011, and said to the left fielder, “Hi, I’m Dino. Time to wee-wee,” the collector not only could’ve collected a urine sample, but I’ll bet you a buck two-eighty he also could’ve bagged a feces sample from Mr. Braun. I know if that had been me to be unexpectedly sampled, I sure as heck would’ve shit my uniform pants right there on the spot, I kid you not.
And so as we enter the Dog Days that are August, I’m reminded of a personal little story:
Memory of a Thing Passed
A first date with this gal back then during my glorious school days served at Our Lady in Pain Because You Kids Are Going Straight To Hell But Not Soon Enough. There I be, to fetch the young lady from her house ’round about 8 o’clock in the nighttime. I’m walking over through the neighborhood and I figure what the hell, cut across the front yard, save some time and legwork.
Now, I did not know the family was in possession of some kind big focking dog-pet somewhere on the premises, no sir. Not until I was sitted on the family davenport in the front room (they called it the “living room”), getting grilled the third-degree heat from my date’s old man—a knob with a wimp-ass necktie-job, but who had two cars even back then, a big ol’ four-door Bonneville and a nice Skylark convertible for the wife—did I start to smell something not exactly kosher in accordance with permissible olfactory laws to be respected and upheld within a high school sophomore girl’s parent’s “living room.”
I was smelling dog shit (pardon my focking French), plain and simple. And freshly shat, to boot. And this canine BM-breeze was indeed blowing my date’s old man’s way, evidenced by the “what-the-fock” curly rippling his upper lip throughout his stump speech delivered to me—the speech all about the great year Denny McClain just had for the Tigers, plus the need for a needed sense of responsibility sorely needed amongst the teens of the day, our day, back then.
“I can’t listen to this crap anymore. What the heck is taking her so long?” I wondered, sotto focking voce. “How much padding does she really need to put in that bra, anyways?”
But Rover’s calling card was all over, upways, sideways down my cool Hush Puppies, the same Puppies that had tracked Rover’s name and number all across the family’s “living focking room” carpet.
As a student of history, I knew how steamed a coupled parent could get on account of anything other than soap tracked across the unforgiving cold-blooded carpet that lurked in every “living room.”
So, to beat a hasty retreat in order to shirk her old man’s ethereal upbraiding (on teen footwear and its necessary monitoring) before it assumed a palpably more physical form through elevating blood pressure, I feigned a forgotten emergency dental appointment that would unfortunately postpone my valiant attempt at relieving his daughter from the burden of her bra.
And now, as I head north toward the sunset of the winter of my graying days of age, blown in a chilled wind like an overripe wine cork floating kind of to and fro on an ocean or perhaps a wavy inland body of lake somewheres, it occurs to me that I have yet to cop a feel from a high school sophomore, public or parochial, and so shall it always be. The stuff of tragedy is this, and it can and will strike us all down at some point, or something like that; so, big focking deal.
Hey, you dream your “Brazil,” I’ll dream mine; and where the twain might meet, mark me down for a “Focking-A,” ’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so.