I think we can all agree that there’s nothing more disconcerting than watching an old man eat fruit on a subway train.
To be fair, I didn’t realize how disconcerting it was until about an hour ago, when I watched an old man eat fruit on a subway train. But, I assure you, DISCONCERTING.
“But why Justin? Why is it so disconcerting to watch an old man eat fruit on a subway train?”
Good question, mental composite of what I believe SCP readers to be. I’ll explain.
The old man eating fruit on a subway train manages to toe the line between disgusting stickiness and abject sadness almost perfectly. In the case of today’s gentleman, he had a plum in a plastic sandwich bag that he kept pulling out and putting back in between bites. A plum. It’s mid-October. Plums have been out of season for two months. That means he’s had it on his kitchen counter or in his fridge for weeks. And the sandwich bag wasn’t resealable. It was one of those old ones that just folds over. I don’t think they even sell those anymore. This man’s wife probably bought a large box of plastic sandwich bags in 1989 and this is one of them. Doesn’t that make you sad? He’s an old guy eating old fruit out of an old bag.
His teeth, which he’s baring more than necessary during every bite, are a bit yellower than they should be. And his hands are a little bit dirtier than need be, in the way that old man hands often are. And he’s just grabbing the wet, half eaten plum in his palm, taking a bite then putting back into the bag. Over and over and over again. He has no napkin. His slightly blackened hands must be so sticky. It’s disgusting.
Yet, I can’t look away. I sit and stare for the entire subway ride. It’s like performance art, only the performer doesn’t realize he’s on display. He just thinks he’s having a snack. A gross, old snack.
This week’s Scorecard includes a promo for SI.com’s “funniest person in sports” campaign. The magazine is teaming with Geico to present some sports based comedy on it’s extra mustard page. That’s fine. Two problems though. I’m on the extra mustard page right now and can’t find it anywhere. Secondly, the example of a funny video that’s given in the magazine is “Hunter Pence’s Hitter’s youth camp.” I read this three times before I realized it said hitter’s youth and not Hitler youth. Why, I wondered, is SI making light of the holocaust? They are not. I just don’t read well. Anyway, here’s that video. It’s kind of funny I guess. And Hunter Pence looks a bit Aryan.
It’s Anyone’s October by Tom Verducci
Verducci makes the point that the postseason is now a crapshoot. Every team has flaws which their opponents can take advantage of. This serves as the opening piece in a multi-article playoff preview.
Flaw of Averages by Ben Reiter
Reiter writes about the Braves, a team that has good pitching and power but also strikes out too much. The article itself is fine. I got tripped up by the formatting, though. SI inserts a sidebar article about Tigers’ starter Anibal Sanchez about 3 pages into the Braves article. But, it’s inserted at the end of a thought. So, I thought the Braves article was over. I moved on and read the Sanchez sidebar, then realized the Braves article was still going. That made the reading process less than smooth.
A Portrait of the Artist As A Tight End by Kelli Anderson
This is a fantastic profile of 49ers tight end Vernon Davis. I only knew him as the dick who got yelled at by Mike Singletary. It turns out, he’s a much more interesting, complex and respectable individual.
Right Turn by Lee Jenkins
Another great one. Jenkins writes about Cavs power forward Tristan Thompson, who, over the summer, has switched from shooting left handed to shooting right handed. His progress will be fascinating to watch. And for the record, I write and eat and throw with my right hand but swing a baseball bat, golf club and hockey stick from the left side. I also brush my teeth lefty for some reason.
League of Denial by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru
An adaption from the book of the same name, about the NFL’s failure to adequately address the concussion issue. I think the concussion issue is very similar to the steroid issue a few years ago. Journalists spend a lot of time and energy investigating the story. And other journalists spend even more time wringing their hands about what comes out. But, for fans, it’s a pretty cut and dry issue. Baseball players used steroids? That sucks. I hope they fix it. The NFL hasn’t done enough to protect players from concussions. That sucks. I hope they fix it.
Point After by Steve Rushin
This is a tough one for me. It’s a column that pays beautiful tribute to the art of great writing. But, it’s penned by someone whose writing I can barely stomach.