Volume 16, Issue 28 - July 10 - July 16, 2008

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Bay Reflections

2008’s Infamous Block Party Adventure

It’s amazing how much trouble a neighborhood softball game can cause

by Allen Delaney

Dear Block Party Member:

I want to thank you all for helping with our annual block party this summer. As you know, we’ve had some minor problems in the past. Over the years we’ve accidentally set fire to a soccer field, burned down a community center, destroyed a dried flower shop and ignited a lake.

This year, the county declared that we could hold our annual gathering only if there were no flammable devices present, including magnifying glasses. As you’re aware, we opted for a softball game, pitting the north side of the neighborhood against the south side, sort of recreating a historic war, so to speak.

I want to thank Ida Mae Finley, 72, for partaking in our tournament. She had a total of eight home runs thanks to her resourceful idea of carrying the bat with her as she rounded the bases. No one argues with a determined woman armed with a club.

After speaking with our insurance carrier, many, many times, I’m sorry to say they will not cover the damage to the neighborhood windows, or targets, as he called them, that Mike ‘The Mountain’ Morris broke when he was at bat. The upside was Mountain hit seven home runs. The downside? Look for higher association fees next year.

I’d also like to mention that I spoke to Petey Barnes the other day, and I’m happy to report he’s once again walking upright. It turns out that he and Mountain got their signals crossed. Petey thought he signaled for a high and inside pitch whereas Mountain thought he wanted a low fastball. It ended up being a sacrificed fly, or as Mountain called it, “One for the zipper.”

As for Jim Renders, I just want to say that bringing a keg of beer in a wheelbarrow full of ice was a thoughtful idea, but it would have been nice had he shared it with everyone. However, running bases and bringing it out to center field with him was a bit much. Next year this behavior will not be acceptable nor will his offer for the wives to join him in a seventh inning stretch.

And speaking of the wives, I would like to thank them for their support and for cheering us on. However, if this event takes place next year, please improve your cheers. Hit it long! Hit it hard! Get the mower, cut the yard! is not very inspirational.

In the fifth inning, the score was tied eight to eight. Herb Fitzhugh hit a grounder to third, which was picked up by a very playful stray dog. For those of you who were unconscious and missed some of the events after that, I’ll fill you in.

Frank Weston and his son Jimmy charged the dog from opposite sides and wound up head-butting one another.

Chuck Mason attempted a diving tackle, aiming for the dog’s rear legs but missed and crashed into Jim’s beer keg. (That ice came in handy, didn’t it, Chuck?)

Ida Mae marched onto the field, took aim and threw her bat at the dog as it darted in and around the melee. She missed and accidentally struck out Mountain. He went down harder than the guys at nickel beer night. Thankfully, Frank Weston, who just regained consciousness — but not for long — unwittingly cushioned Mountain’s fall.

The wives stayed out of the fray and continued to cheer us on with, Catch that dog! Catch him now! Otherwise, you’ll be puppy chow! The only person not involved in the skirmish was Jim Renders since he had fallen asleep next to his keg and wheelbarrow out in center field.

Once we gave up the chase, the only one disappointed was the dog. His fun was over so he simply dropped the ball on Jim’s snoring face and trotted away. We still haven’t told Jim how he got the black eye, and he still wants to know who hit him with the world’s most disgusting spitball.

Now that the injuries have healed, we’re looking forward to having a tiebreaker game in a fenced ballpark. See you next summer!


–A. Delaney, Block Party Captain

This is the fourth annual report by Bay Weekly’s contributing humorist Allen Delaney on the block party in his Calvert County neighborhood. Read the others at




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