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New York Mets Play in Flushing

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  • cohensmilk1
    New York Mets Play in Flushing How many angels can stand on the tip of a pin? - Thomas Aquinas As a child, I remember going to watch the New York Mets play
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2007
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      New York Mets Play in Flushing

      "How many angels can stand on the tip of a pin?"
      - Thomas Aquinas

      As a child, I remember going to watch the New York
      Mets play at the fabled Polo Grounds in upper Manhattan
      during their second miserable season in 1963. In that
      game, Ron Hunt of the Metropolitans beat the Cincinnati
      Reds 10-9 on a hotly contested 250-foot foul-ball home
      run down the right field line which soared out of the
      stadium, landing somewhere near the Harlem River. During
      that season the mets would win just 51 games while
      losing 111, but on that day I would witness a rare

      Even as an eleven-year-old, I still remember watching a
      film of Met's manager Casey Stengel berating one player
      and complimenting another. He faced rookie hitting phenom
      Ed Kranepool and said, "In ten years you got a chance of
      turning into a superstar." He then turned to Marvelous Marv
      Throneberry and without hesitation, remarked, "And you! In
      ten years you got a chance to become 40."

      Yesterday, in their final game of the season, I watched in
      horror as Mets pitchers give up seven runs in the first
      inning to end their chances at post-season play. The game
      was over before the first Met even came to up bat, which
      diverted even the most devoted fan's thoughts from baseball
      to other pursuits.

      While watching the contest, I had two odd thoughts.
      First, I imagined the founding fathers of that small
      Long Island community called Flushing debating among
      themselves what name they would give their new home
      town. "Shall we call it New Yorkburg or Utopia-land?
      Smithville or Jonesville?" No. In their wisdom, they
      decided to name the land in which their children lived
      after the action of a toilet. Flushing. That was odd
      thought number one of mine.

      Thought number two was how many cows I could fit into
      the stands at Shea Stadium. I'll tell you why I had
      this second odd fantasy in a moment.

      Shea stadium was filled with 55,000 people which got
      me wondering. In the best Abbott and Costello tradition,
      Moo's on first. If you've never seen their routine:


      Back to the bovines. I calculated that one cow could
      occupy the space taken by three seats if she sat still
      while drinking her $8 cup of beer. A few thousand cows
      could roam the outfield, while thousands more would
      stand in foul territory. God bless the miserable tasks
      that major league grounds crew might have to perform.

      Here's why the imagery of cows and the word flushing
      simultaneously came to mind.

      Yesterday's New York Times (September 30, 2007) reported
      that America is experiencing a 21.7 million-pound meat
      recall because people nationwide are coming down with
      E. coli disease. Ah, now you see the flushing reference.
      Perhaps we could rename the New York Mets home city:

      E. coli is caused by a strain of bacterium in the colons
      of cows. Imagine that. I understand that if E. coli is in
      meat, enough ketchup or steak sauce can mask the taste.
      If E. coli is in milk, simply add Ovaltine or chocolate

      E. coli bacteria can cause bloody diarrhea and repeated
      discomforting toilet visits which results in dehydration.
      Take heart. Suffering usually lasts for only 168 hourse
      or so, and it ain't pleasant. E. coli infections have
      killed infants or the elderly.

      Let's get back to Shea Stadium and the cows. The
      21.7 million pounds of beef that have been recalled either
      came from Paul Bunyan's ox, Babe, or from lots of smaller
      cows. One slaughtered cow results in about 750 pounds
      of hamburger. We will not count the udder or anus. Those
      not-so-prime cuts get to be ground into food for your
      dogs and cats.

      The math. Divide 21.7 million pounds by 750 pounds
      per cow and we arrive at just over 28,000 cows.

      Imagine the day that 28,000 cows were slaughtered.

      That represents a line of cows about 53 miles long.
      If we crammed in two cows per seat, that just might work
      to fill Shea Stadium. Of course, some would have to

      News of the Mets made page-1 of the Sunday New York
      Times while news of the nationwide E-coli meat recall
      was buried on page-34 of the Times Metro section. We
      New Yorkers do have our priorities, after all.

      Eat a burger today and you can get E. coli too. I'll
      sign the note for your boss at work or teacher in school,
      but it might result in a rather long letter.

      With the Mets on the wrong side of their ultimate 8-1 slaughter,
      I turned on the New York Jets football game and watched them
      play to a very boring 0-0 halftime tie against the Buffalo Bills.
      My mind began to wander. How many cows could I fit into a
      football stadium? Buffalo stadium would be an ironic place for
      cows. Rich's stadium was named for its owner who made his own
      fortune by developing Rich's non-dairy coffee creamer.

      And then I wondered, what would a Buddhist wonder?
      How many cow spirits can fit upon a (baseball) diamond?
      Perhaps 28,000...

      Robert Cohen
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