Easily Does It

Beneath the warmth of Mallorca’s summer orb, it would be easy to languish in idle-otry. Yet I diligently persist in improvements to my skill settings!

Por ejemplo, I was recently involved in a “pick-me-up” basketball match. The opposing squads were comprised of German tourists, local fishermen, some street urchins, and even our local priest, Father Delarojas.

As we arranged ourselves for the bounding in of the ball, a pickpocket from the other team asked, “¡Dios mio! You have a priest in your midst?”

“When you play basketball as we do, it helps to have God on your side,” I joked.

Words of augury! We lost the match 21-19, and the final point scored when the good Father tangled the ball in his vestments, leading to an unholy turnover.

Though it was a friendly game (I took part in my flip-floppers, after all), it still hurt like an Andrew Bynum elbow to the fuselage.

“This is a tragedy!” I cried, thrusting my fists heavenwards, then casting an accusatory glare at the holy man.

“Father Delarojas did his best, Rudy,” demurred one of my opponents.

“And yet we lost,” I lamented. Is it my fate to lose ALL matches, from pavilion’s playoffs to the playground’s pettiness?

But such self-pity is only cause for shame! Thus, I chastised myself and swore (gently!) to do what it takes to become worthy of joining a basketball champion.

And now, I find that I am a member of the Dallas Mavericks.

That was easy!

Top foto from here
bottom from the Oregonian.


"¿Qué Coño?" is Spanish for "What the Fernandez?"

At this siting is a survey of the people for the "¿Qué coño?" (or in English, the less graceful "WTF?") Play of the YearMy entrance to this match was enabled by the following outrage against the gods of the parquet:

What I find most odd is that I do not recall the pavilion playing this organ-grinding music. But no matter— Cast, toss, or otherwise sling a vote today. And remember, a vote for me is a vote for yo mismo!
(And gracias for the levity, Dave.)


Fly Like a Spanish Eagle!

As I swoop through the ether, behold who shrinks from my unspeakable velocity . . . my own mate, Marcus Camby!


How I Made Nic Batum a Man!

De aquí.
Amid the great excitements of last glorious match against the Spurs of San Antonio, a near-miracle happened.

Before viewing evidence of this below, let me first state this: 

I deserve —and seize— all credits for Nic Batum’s coolnesses under pressurization!

And now, the explainings: Acting on my invitation, Batum visited my home isle of Mallorca this past summer.

After a pleasant day spent on beaches and fishing crafts, I sensed that Batum was slightly unimpressed with the sights. Upon my inquiry, Batum responded, “Mallorca is great! But I weesh for something more . . . wild and colorful.”

Nodding, I later made arrangements for the two of us to dine at a tavern where Mallorca’s scarred and sea-toughened fishermen gather. While tapas were being served at our rough oaken table, I winked at the waiter. He silently laid a gigantic, razor-sharp dagger beside Nic’s plate and departed.

The Frenchman’s eyes widened. “What does this mean?” he asked, testing the blade of the dagger gingerly.

Observe,” I replied. “These fishermen have been drinking, as is their wont. But now they quarrel over the matter of who is the finer author: Miguel de Cervantes or Alexandre Dumas. I can only pray they will not attempt to settle their dispute here.”

But of course, it is Dumas—” Batum began.

Silence!” I hissed, pointing. “And look!

Seeing my cue, a swarthy seaman leapt to his feet. Wielding a medieval-looking mace, he cried, “Whoever says that Don Quixote written by Cervantes is not superior in every respect to the tripe written by Alexandre Dumas —e.g., The Three Musketeers— is a liar and a thief!

You should have cast eyes upon Batum’s face! Seizing the moment, I thrust the dagger into his hand and whispered, “Prepare to defend yourself!” 

And with that, I slunk from the astounded Batum and exited the tavern before my restrained laughter suffocated me!

And THAT, mi amigos, is how the prodigiously lanky Nic Batum was properly shriven and became a man. (Those who are still chary of my contributions, please view this taping at the 1:50 point!)

Gracias, animart1!


Hell = A Spaniard with a Basketball

In the cut-and-thrust of a match, basketball players conduct themselves in varied fashions. Some mutter oaths, complaints, and blasphemies; others mumble prayers, kiss medallions, or make the sign of the cross.

But some wax loquacious!

Por ejemplo, the always truculent Tyson Chandler. In last night’s match, the Dallas Maverick proved himself a faulty theoretician and a trippingly fast speaker.

You see, time was nearly elapsed at the ending of el primer período! 

I hoisted the basketball with care even as Chandler cried, out, “You’ll miss! For a ball must move either in the place where it is or in the place where it is not. Now, a ball cannot be in motion in the place where it is stationary, and cannot be in motion in the place where it is not. Therefore, you have not shot the ball at all!

Perhaps,” I responded, even as I coaxed the ball toward the hoop with elegant bodily linguistics. “But watch! Even as the basketball soars away, it will magically land in your diabolical visage. I say this knowing full well that the spheroid cannot be in a place in which it is not, and yet—”

¡PUM! The basket was made, the goal was counted, and the masses surged in their ecstasies!
—and yet it is now most assuredly in your face!” I shouted at Chandler’s departing form. Ah, how his shoulders slumped, mi amigos!

And as he departed, Chandler cried out, “All it takes to create Hell on the court is a Spaniard and a basketball.”

Even now, I do not know if my opponent viewed my philosophical point with clear eyes. If not, he might choose to don three-goggles. As the Wall Street Journal, I am their procreator! (After Nate McMillan said, "they must be bifocals, because guys are blowing past us" perhaps I should not be so proud!)

In any event, I cannot prescribe tres puntos gafas for Tyson Chandler. Peering down myopically, his eyes fogged with pride and fear, the three-point goggles are beyond his range.
Fotos from the Oregonian,
bottom fotografía from the WSJ.


¡Champú en la ropa interior!

In all immodesty, I must share that my lanky frame has always been blessed with a measure of coordinations. Por ejemplo, there is the occasion of my first attempt playing at golf.

On my home island of Mallorca, golf is thought of as a womanly sport (and rightly so!) by the scarred and weatherbeaten fishermen. So it was not until my adult years that I swung a club not intended to batter a fish’s brain matter. I remember being led onto a course by a comely golf instructor tightly clad in the synthetic fibers.

She instructed, “You see that green area about 400 yards from here? Try hitting the ball onto it.”

I did so. After trudging to the green area, I inquired, “Now what?

Here eyebrows lifted. “Now you hit the ball into that hole.”

¡Santo vaca! I laughed in surprise, gesturing back to where I had struck the ball. “Why didn’t you tell me that back there?”

Perhaps she had assumed that because I am a Spaniard, time-efficiency is of disinterest to me. So I hope the mujer de golf viewed my time-efficient heroics in our recent match against the most reviled Denver Nuggets. 

As you can see in the película, the sands of time were slipping away when I catapulted the ball of destiny skywards.

¡Pum— tres puntero!

And after Brandon Roy hoisted his own heroic deed, we entered overtiming, and emerged victorious-ing!
These moments of conquest are almost enough to wash away a recent, bitter memory of mine. No, not the departure of Joel Pryzbilla, although that gritty giant is already missed. Nor the arrival of the silent ebon colossus known as Gerald Wallace. No mi amigo, I refer to the incident following our winnings against the New Orleans Hornets.

In a fit of excitement following the match, Patty Mills committed an act most felonious. While I showered the grimes of competetition from my torso, the antipodean dwarf filled my underwear with shampoo. Shampoo!

Most worse, the substance was some vile Australian cleanser that rendered my undergarment useless. (But even as I drove homewards without it, I smiled at Patty’s defense of the move: “No worries, mate… I was just trying to put some roo in your ’do!”)
Top foto from Yardbarker.com,
Brandon Roy by Rick Bowmer for AP.


Lascivious Seating Arrangements

As a child lounging on Mallorca's sun-kissed sands, I received a fine education. Por ejemplo, I oft overheard grizzled fishermen tell the tale of Bernadino de Mendoza’s ambassadorial appointment to England.

It was the late 1500s, and Mendoza was shocked to attend an English church where women and men sat together in the pews. After the Spaniard vented his outrage to an English nobleman, the Englishman retorted:

Such an seating arrangement would only be unthinkable in Spain. For there, men cannot rid themselves of lascivious thoughts even in the holiest of places!

Ah, how the fishermen chortled!

For my part, I sometimes wonder how we players must carefully attend to a diagramming while choreographed undulations of the most intriguing sorts play out on the parquet. Is it unseemly to do the sidelong glancing? Perhaps.

Naturalamente, my mates and I are prohibited from interluding with these whirling sylphs. So why do they bat their lashes and call my name? Why, one non-ingenuous ingenue even chucked me under my bestubbled chin!

But chuck me not, Sirens of the hardwood. For there are countless tales warning of the danger of our heart’s desires. 

Has no Blazer Dancer heard of Tithonus? He was a Trojan prince who the goddess Eos fell in love with. Besotted by the handsome youth, Eos begged Zeus to give Tithonus eternal life.

Her wish granted, Eos realized the error— she had failed to ask for eternal YOUTH as well! And so over the years, Tithonus transformed into an increasingly decrepit hobgoblin until the gods finally took pity on him.

Adición: I asked two Blazer Dancers if they knew of Tithonus. They stared in wonderment, until one of them spoke: “Isn’t that something? He still can’t speak English!


Stroking My War-Beard, I Throw Another Clipper into the Blaze!

As the horn of victory was blown, I surveyed the scene. Fetid smoke rose from the Los Angeles Clippers’ bench, and airborne cinders of destruction danced in the spotlights.

Oh, how the mighty beard of Baron Davis dripped with its owners bitter tears! Nearby, Eric Gordon’s globular head, a near-perfect reflection of a basketball’s outline, suffered partial deflation. And the ginger citadel known as Blake Griffin was caked with remorse ... and some of those brightly-colored streamers that descend from the pavilion’s rafters after a foe is vanquished!

Thus did I behold my handiworkings and fiercely smile a fearsome smile. Patty Mills approached deferentially, bowing and whispering, “The carnage is complete. There is no further insult you can lay upon them. See how even now they drag bodies from the parquet? And among those who live and breathe, none dare meet your gaze.”

SILENCIO!” I bellowed as the pint-sized native of Oceania cowered. “‘There is no further insult’ possible? Dios mio, have you never heard of replays of the instant?

No worries, mate!” Patty brightly responded.
Foto from the Oregonian.


Loosen the Hamstrings of Your Gullibility

The following image may strain your credulousness, so please stretch it out before reading further.

Finished? Then I say to you that this foto is transmitted unto you by a most respectable correspondent; that is, a correspondent who is far from credulous himself, and who has no interest in deceiving others, to wit:


That said, behold the the fate of a backboarding that foolishly stood in my path during a match for team España!
It is my most fervent desire to replicate this accomplishment in tonight’s match against the Nets of New Jersey. 

And if THIS individual is residing beneath the shards of falling plexiglass . . . ah, life would be sweet, ¿no?

Foto via.


Plural Nouns and Houston Fans

Upon my arrival in Portland two years past, LaMarcus Aldridge took me on a motor-coach tour of the region. Already homesick, the cockles of my Mallorcan heart were warmed upon spying a host of water vessels anchored  on the Willamette River.

Look, LaMarcus,” I cried. “A school of ships!

LaMarcus smiled indulgently, and informed me that a grouping of ships was called a “fleet.”

Sensing he was pulling wool over my orbs, I asked, “Then what is a fleet of sheep called?

A flock,” he replied.

And a flock of attractive women?

LaMarcus paused. “A bevy!” he exclaimed. He continued on, relating that a bevy of wolves is a pack, but that a pack of cards is not a bevy. Further, he said that a pack of thieves (or sports agents) is called a gang, and a gang of angels is called a host, while a host of porpoises is termed a shoal. A host of cows is a herd, and a herd of children is called a troop, and a troop of partridges is termed a covey, and a covey of stars is called a galaxy, and a galaxy of ruffians is called a horde, and a horde of rubbish is called a heap, and a heap of bulls is called a drove, and a drove of drunks is called a mob, and a mob of whales is called a school (“Back to school?” I wondered), and a school of worship is called a congregation, and a congregation of engineers is called a corps, and a corps of robbers is called a band, and a band of locusts is called a crowd, and a crowd of NBA players is called an elite.

“Ah, finally a word I recognize!” I cried in relief. 

But I could not resist one more question. “And what is a grouping of fans from Houston be called?

IDIOTS!” LaMarcus responded, driving onwards.

A tip of the beret to
Charles William Bardeen.
Top foto from


On the Propriety of Manhandling

Fans of American-style basketballings are under the influence of the most violent, most insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions. As a Spaniard, I respect this! 

I have heard these enthusiasts swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal, and exhausting condition continuously until death do them part. And again, this I applaud.

Foto from the Oregonian
But I prefer NOT to hear these words while my exotic regions are in their clutches!