We hitched our way to Phoenix by sunset, and we were so hot and disgusting Dr. Sheila sprung for one of those sleeping berth rooms on the Sunset Limited just so we could shower and sleep on our way to Houston. The room had a pull-down and pull-out bed and was about as big as a walk-in closet, so with the swaying of the train the bathroom door kept popping open and I caught a glimpse of her maroon panties when she was undressing in there. Hopefully more on that later.
After I’d changed into shorts and an “Arizona is for Lovers” T-shirt I picked up at the train station gift shop, we found our way to the “dining” car to feast on roast beef sandwiches, chips and pickles. I saw that Dr. Sheila had her notepad along, and sure enough, the second we sat across from each other at a tiny table, she had it flipped open.
“Pretty strange to have your five-year-old self abducted in the desert, wasn’t it?”
I gave her short answers, because I really just wanted to eat dinner and drink my Fresca and not get into any psychobaloney. And I had figured she was with me on this, because she had every chance to call the cops on Sherman and didn’t because she was afraid of “scrambling” the future up. I have to say that in her orange Alvan Adams Phoenix Suns sweatshirt she looked awful cute, but she’d have no interest in a patient anyway, so why bother?
DR. GROSSINGER’S REPORT:
I’ve decided to soften my initial approach with Carlton. Perhaps it is from spending time with his young self over the last few weeks, but I’m shocked to discover that I now find the older Mr. Gip a pleasant companion. The constant travel and trying times we’ve been through have certainly created an odd, fascinating bond.
I can’t believe the way Dr. Sheila eats her pickle, slicing it with a knife and fork like it’s flank steak. What a freak. On the other hand, her question about Little Me getting abducted did make me feel strange. As I sat there chewing my sandwich I started flashing on a memory, one I’d forgotten about or blocked or something. An older guy was holding my hand and letting go, and it was super hot out and I had to go to the bathroom and started crying. Was it at Fenway Park, or somewhere else?…
Whatever. I smelled perfume in the train car just then and thought it was some lady at the table behind me but it wasn’t. Sheila was wearing it. And she was looking at me more funny than usual.
Two train stewards walked by just now, talking about the Pittsburgh Pirates crushing the Phillies in a game I imagine they had wagered on, and for a brief moment I suddenly recalled looking at an album of old baseball cards with my mother on a rainy day in my childhood. Or perhaps it was my grandmother. A few names come to mind…Vaughn, Kiner, Law…Were those Pirates, I wonder?
Sheila took off her glasses to wipe her face with a napkin. I think she was sweating. “We need to…discuss this further, Carlton,” she said. “Much further. In a more…private place.” She stuck her glasses back on. ‘This is quite difficult for me—”
I grabbed her wrist and a startled breath popped out of her.
Good Lord, he’s taken my hand! Carlton has asserted himself, and I must admit my heart is racing. What should I do now?
She started to take off her glasses again, but I shook my head. “Uh-uh. Leave those on.” She nodded, downed her cup of ice water and wiped her mouth with the napkin that was in her lap. Without looking at each other we got up the same time and went back down to the sleeper car, leaving our unfinished chip bags on the table.
Games of the Day
(from notes compiled on napkins by Rudy and Tubbs, Amtrak stewards)
at PIRATES 21-24-2, PHILLIES 7-9-0
at PIRATES 6-9-0, PHILLIES 5-13-0
Steelers beat the Eagles by two touchdowns in the opener. Bill Robinson rushes for 5-for-6 with three homers, eight RBIs off Worst Starter in the League Larry Christenson (2-8, 8.43, 142 hits and 24 homers in 94 innings). Bucs fall behind 4-1 in nightcap thanks to a big Schmidt smash, then score five in the 5th off Second Worst Starter in the League Randy Lerch (1-6, 8.37, 74 hits in 47 innings) Pittsburgh back in first!
at REDS 4-8-0, EXPOS 0-7-0
at REDS 14-15-2, EXPOS 7-9-1
Meet our new second place team, and just one game off the pace. The opener sees a Billingham-Sarmiento-Murray combo shutout, before the Bengals maul the Alouettes in Game 2. Dressen has a nice day: homer to kick off the scoring in the first game, grand slam and double later. Cincy is now outhomering the Red Sox, 109-105 as they head into Philly for another big series.
at DODGERS 3-4-0, CARDS 0-4-1
St. Louis gets swept in the Ravine in three tight pitching duels. Rau over Rasmussen in this one, Garvey providing all runs with a 6th inning bleacher shot with two aboard.
at ASTROS 4-9-0, CUBS 1-7-0
After a nice Cub win yesterday, they become the first team to drop 50, getting wiped out by Joe Niekro and an early tater by Bob Watson.
ORIOLES 5-10-2, at YANKEES 4-6-1
ORIOLES 6-13-1, at YANKEES 5-11-0
I don’t know where to start. Or end. Look for a more complete humorous analysis of this double travesty at a later date, after I’ve recovered. For now I’ll say that the Yanks have lost five absolutely hideous games in a row after surging back into the race. Today Catfish and Tidrow serve up six Bird Bombs in the twinbill, three of them by Ken Singleton, and blow two late leads in the process to let Baltimore hop over them into third.
INDIANS 6-16-1, at RED SOX 5-16-2 (14 innings)
at RED SOX 10-15-0, INDIANS 2-7-3
Doubles by Kuiper and Norris off Jenkins in the 9th sends the opener into many, many extras before a Bell triple and Thornton single off Willoughby wins it, the fourth Red Sox loss in a row. Kern goes four relief innings and leaves the bases filled twice. Dwight Evans also gets knocked out for ten games but it has no effect on the nightcap, your typical Boston bloodbath with Carbo collecting a double, two singles and 3-run homer in five trips.
TWINS 16-18-0, at ROYALS 3-6-3
at ROYALS 8-11-2, TWINS 4-9-0
The suddenly atrocious Splittorff is left in for the entire beating in Game 1 to save the pen, but Bird and Mingori rebound nicely to salvage the split. A Mayberry error with two gone in the 6th of the opener leads to a flood of unearned runs as Craig Kusick knocks out two homers and drives in six.
WHITE SOX 4-8-1, at RANGERS 1-2-2
Quietly…calmly…Chicago is winning regularly and inching back to .500. Zisk and Gamble with clutch white socks. Steve Stone’s third straight victory after ten straight opening losses is a two-hitter, all you need to know.
UPDATED RUN DIFFERENTIAL!
+56 Los Angeles
+41 St. Louis
+36 New York
+34 Kansas City
American League through Sunday, June 29
National League through Sunday, June 29