Barry Bonds, roids and the art of sunflower seed shelling
August 15, 2007
Summer is coming to a close. Too bad we cant have it twice in a row.What a great summer it has been. I have been working so much I havent had time to pay much attention to anything else going on in the world, which was probably one of the best things about the summer. Most things going on in the world are worth ignoring, at least for a season. Gas prices did not skyrocket as predicted. I apologize to the big oil companies for being so skeptical. Maybe they are selling gas and oil to the government for the war surge to make up for what actually turned out to be a decrease in the price at the pumps for us common folk. Barry Bonds, ho-hum, broke Hank Aarons home run record. I fell asleep in front of the TV just before the historic crack of the bat, but woke up in time to see the re-play and the ten minute hoopla. Too bad it wasnt a splash hit. Come on Barry. Keep your eye on the ball next time.I was more impressed with his first two hits of the game. We know he can hit homers. Its nice to see him crack a few into the holes in the outfield and run the bases for real.But what impresses me more about Barry Bonds than his home run record is his ability to shell sunflower seeds in his mouth with his teeth and spit out the shells without spitting out the seeds. Now theres a talent. Talk about determination and attention to detail. Eye-hand coordination is one thing, but tongue-, tooth- and sunflower-seed coordination is quite another story all together. Especially when you have a mouthful of them. Hitting a fast ball takes concentration, but not the kind of Zen-like concentration required for shelling sunflower seeds with your teeth and separating the seed from the shell without looking.Look at the facts. A sunflower seed is smaller than a baseball. And a baseball bat is much larger than a tooth. Hitting a baseball has got to be much easier than shelling sunflower seeds with your teeth and tongue. In batting you at least have your eyes to help you.I know Barry doesnt have eyes in his mouth. Well. Maybe now he does. Human growth hormones can work wonders. Maybe he has more than one tongue now, too, who knows? And teeth the size of pliers. Keep your eyes on the guy. Before you know it there might just all of a sudden be two Barry Bonds. Oops! You cant have two guys playing left field. Hey, you! Get out of there. It wouldnt really change anything. We are already trying to figure out which one is the real Barry Bonds.Once you separate a sunflower seed from the shell, you then have to be able to tell them apart just by feel. According to some reports, Barrys hat size has gone up three sizes, which would account for extra brain cells for interpreting the sensations in his mouth. I bet if he stood barefoot on a dime he could tell you if it was heads or tails. Hes quick. He gets to those seeds and blows those shells out of his mouth like politicians blow smoke out of their back rooms. He could be growing fingers on his tongue for all we know, to help in the delicate process of shelling sunflower seeds. Maybe his tongue has become a conveyor belt with little fingernails on it. Has anyone looked at the inside of Barrys mouth lately? It could answer a lot of questions. Summer will end soon. Life is a circle. Like our mouths. Its easier to separate the shell of life from the substance, Lifes essence, when we keep them shut. Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, experienced ski instructor and commercial driver. He’s lived at Lake Tahoe for 25 years.