Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Allen Raymond 2.0

With the help of technology I'm turning into some kind of advanced--if advanced is the right word--version of my father.

I refer, of course, to Dad's theory that if you're reading a book--usually a work of fiction--and you start to get a little bored, the best thing to do is to begin only reading the even numbered pages. This does two things: doubles the effective speed at which you are reading the work; gets you through the slow going. When it gets to be interesting again, you downshift back into subspace drive--if subspace drive is the right phrase--and begin reading normally again.

Me? I find watching the Mets--something I ordinarily love to do--so painful now that I've come up with a new approach. First, I tape a good portion of the game (this assumes you are sporting some version of a DVR cable box or Tivo). Second, when the game gets out of hand, I begin watching it at warp speed. In this case, that's the 4x fast forward button. Third, it should be noted that the game is not really what you watch at warp speed. No, what you watch is the graphic panel at the top of the screen that shows the score, the number of outs and the position of players on the bases. I say this last part laughingly because the Mets never have anybody on base anymore.

The beauty of this is that you start out watching the game normally. Then, as is their collective wont, as the opposing team (the Dodgers, up by 5 runs by the third inning tonight, being my current example) begins to add run upon run, you shift into warp speed.
Give her all you've got, Mr. Scott
Aye, aye, Captain.
In this mode, all you are confronted with is the simple upward ticking of the number in the opponent's scoring box, laid over the blur of fast-motion video. It's a bit abstract. Easier to remove yourself emotionally.

Update: Now 7-0, Dodgers.

And when the Mets are at the plate, you just watch the outs increase til the end of a given inning. If somebody happens to get on base, you jam your foot on the clampers and screech to a halt. Usually, if the Mets have somebody on first and, let's say, one out, the next thing that happens is a double play to end the inning. So then back to warp speed and before you know it, the game is over. And you're not even drunk, because you haven't had time.

(This last part increases your general next day effectiveness, but is scant consolation when you read about the damned thing in the sports section of The Times.)

And, if somehow the Mets do score (I'm not even talking about winning the game), you can see the important stuff. If they get ahead, you watch the rest of the game in subspace drive.

And there you are: Allen Raymond 2.0


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