It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE GAME.
1. Will you people give it a rest? Stop accosting Red Sox players and coaches in elevators, at hotels and, worst of all, in restaurants and asking them for autographs. You’re better than that. Well, many of you are anyway. The Globe today put a spotlight on this irritating practice, and made it as plain as a Cleveland Browns helmet that prefacing one’s intrusion by saying “I don’t want to bug you but…” does not make it okay.
First, of all, you do want to bug them. You do. If you didn’t want to bug them, you would leave them alone.
Second, if “I don’t want to bug you but…” offered one absolution from the sin about to be committed, it would be most easily attained indulgence since the wrong side of the reformation. Think about the words that could follow that qualifier; it works for everybody.
Robbers: I don’t want to bug you but… I’m going to have to ask you to give me your wallet.
Vice Presidents: I don’t want to bug you but… I’m going to be keeping you in a secret prison for a while and hooking electrodes up to your private parts.
Atlanta Falcons Quarterbacks: I don’t want to bug you but… but I’m going to have to electrocute that dog.
Telemarketers: I don’t want to bug you but… I thought you should know about this amazing offer.
Pro Wrestlers: I don’t want to bug you but… would you mind if I hit you in the head with a chair?
Spammers: I don’t want to bug you but… have you ever wanted longer more powerful sexual experiences?
Supervillains: I don’t want to bug you but… I kind of need the Earth’s molten core for a personal project. You’re cool right?
Chinese manufacturers: I don’t want to bug you but… we’ve been inadvertently poisoning your children.
Negligent surgeons: I don’t want to bug you but… I should probably let you know that we amputated the wrong leg.
See anyone could use it for any nefarious reason, so let’s just agree that “I don’t want to bug you but…” should not be used ever.
So if you see a Red Sox star at a restaurant, don’t go up to him and say “I don’t want to bug you but… could I get your autograph?” If you really don’t want to bug him, either don’t go up at all, or just go up and as for a bite of his food.
According to National Public Radio, a San Diego couple has been doing a social experiment just going up to people in restaurants and asking for a bite of their food. The overwhelming majority of the time, not only do the diners consent, they offer up a bite with their own fork.
Why be a nuisance and ask for Doug Mirabelli’s autograph when you could get a bite of his chicken parm? And who needs David Ortiz’s signature when you could have some of his beans and rice off his very own fork, tainted with his very own saliva?
Asking for a taste is no big deal, and you should do it whenever you see a pro athlete or other celebrity out eating.
2. Remember those “Where’ Waldo?” books. Jose could usually find Waldo in the books even though he is pretty sure he has never found anyone named Waldo in real life. (Note: Waldo is in Kansas. It is a city with 48 residents.) Still, they were kind of fun. And it is in this spirit that Jose presents an actual KEYS TO THE GAME contest.
Jose will be hidden somewhere in Fenway Park tonight. If you are the first person to find him, Jose will send you an authentic, American-made, wash-and-wear, lead paint-free, low-carb KEYS TO THE GAME thong.
But how will you find Jose? It will be easy. He will be the guy in the Red Sox shirt. (Note: But seriously, you’ll know Jose when you see him.)
All you have to do is be the first person to come up to Jose and say “Jose give me a thong.”
At which point, whoever it is that you’ve talked to will give you a quizzical look and punch you in the face.
(Note: Members of the Melendez family and “real life friends of Jose are ineligible for this contest. If you guys want a KEYS thong that bad, just ask.)
3. There is no KEY 3 today.
Jose isn’t writing one. It’s not that he couldn’t write one if he needed to, but he just doesn’t see a need. The Red Sox have clinched a playoff spot, there are six games remaining in the regular season, and Jose just thinks it makes more sense to pace himself. Sure, Dan Shaughnessy is going to quote Warren Zevon and bring up Earl Weaver’s 1969 Orioles to make the case for why Jose should be closing out this KEYS with his best stuff, but Jose doesn’t buy it.
All of this “you can rest in November stuff,” is nonsense. Who rests in November? Pulling together Thanksgiving is a ton of work, and then it’s a madhouse straight on to Christmas, then forward to Greek Christmas. Maybe, you can rest in February, if it’s not so miserable out weather-wise that you have to shovel every day.
So why wouldn’t Jose rest the last week of the season with a playoff spot clinched? Really, complain all you want about Jose’s competitive fires, but he’s not writing a third KEY today.
I’m Jose Melendez, and those are my KEYS TO THE GAME.