Beefin’ Up With Bug Spray

On The Back Page With Daryl Gay September 2011

Daryl Gay | September 10, 2011

So I hear Major League Baseball may have a little problem. Surprise, surprise. Part of the surprise is likely that you’re reading about it on the back page of GON. But this one is unlike any other MLB mess you’ve heard tell of. Because the hitters making the big bucks are now allegedly getting their chemical enhancement from… our bucks.

Yeah, seems from what the talking heads on the tube are saying, you can pump up like Hercules Jr. simply by ingesting a derivative of the velvet found in a buck’s antlers. In its final form, the wonder chemical is a spray. Squirt a dose under your tongue and, PRESTO!, you’re now Arnold Whateverhisnameis that I won’t even attempt to spell. Governor of California. Wonder if he’s tried this stuff…

OK. So I have questions.

1) How do the sellers perform the extraction? I can’t exactly see a pan-handling buck on the street corner offering up velvet for sale, no matter how hard up he is for a meal.

“Yo, dude, give a buck a buck? Ain’t et in a week, man. Tell you what, I’ll deal a handful of velvet if you won’t tell the baseball cops…”

Do you scrape it off gently or just jump in and whack the whole rack off? Does the whitetail stand idly by counting both his toes during the process? Or does the extractee have to be roped, hog-tied and gagged to prevent him hightailing it to Tibet and/or cussin’ blisters on the extractor? What does he get out of it besides instantaneous weight loss and a large bald spot?

And some other things you never thought about… (Or, if you have, put this magazine down and call your psychiatrist immediately.)

2) What in the name of chitlins does this conglomeration taste like? Although I can and will eat just about anything, that’s not wiggling, I’m a little apprehensive about man-made sprays containing who-knows-what that was unceremoniously stolen from a disgruntled buck! Let me give you a reason why…

Heard of post-nasal drip? Well, with my schnoz, when things go to dripping, I have pre- and current- to go along with post-. Stuff starts running and doesn’t know when to quit. So when the cool mornings of deer season finally arrive, I place a small plastic bottle of nasal spray in one of my shirt pockets, using it once every couple of hours to head off movement. (As in dragging a sleeved forearm across my mustache!) Trouble is, my hunting shirts usually have two pockets. One brisk mid-November morning several years ago, I was hunting a scrape line and drizzling my favorite doe-in-heat scent here and there on the way in through the darkness. Upon arrival at my stand, I dropped that plastic bottle… into the other shirt pocket.

Couple of minutes later and, yeah, you guessed it: Good ol’ Tinks 69, right up the smeller! I will have to admit that it does clear your sinuses. And esophagus. And lungs. Of air. ALL air. You can’t even get a good wheeze in, and forget coughing. Try this once and you’ll never take breath for granted again, guaranteed. All in all, I can’t figure what a buck sees in this stuff. If his nose is that much better than mine, as the biologists expound, a stiff whiff would blow his brains out his ears.

On the other hand, guess he’s not exactly pumping his head slam full of it like some folks we know.

When oxygen and assorted other good stuff finally did return, along with what little’s left of my senses, the thought popped up that possibly we should still try the other spray. But what if there was some type of chemical reaction between the two, some sort of fusion that welded my tonsils together? No, best to head off any possible side effects. And that gets us to another point…

3) Other than halfway choking the life out of you, what adverse effects will result from one little squirt between your tongue and palate? One prediction is that spitting on the field, a hallowed baseball tradition, will increase a thousand-fold. Look for puddles at first base, and we ain’t talking rain shower. Too, ever see a buck phlegm and sniff, tilting his head back, curling his lips and rolling his tongue in and out? Well, you may soon be seeing a second baseman or two doing it also.

Further, I’m curious about other behavioral changes. Say your squirtee just used his newfound vigor to rap a double to the gap, pulls in safe standing at second… then wanders out toward third to paw out a scrape. Odds are he’s going to be tagged out, and all kinds of interesting things will happen from there. His manager’s going to nut-up, along with several thousand fans, and the game will have to be delayed because the opposing players have fallen at their positions after losing their collective breath laughing. Hopefully, as soon as the squirtee is taken to a padded room the game will resume.

Then there’s this whole other issue about fitting batting helmets over the basket rack growing out of No. 11’s head. And if No. 11 is a 10-pointer and No. 12’s only an 8-pointer, does that mean No. 11 should be in the starting lineup in No. 12’s place?

I’m confused.

Word is the resulting antler-velvet derivatives defy testing for other banned substances, that there’s no way doctors can determine if Player A or Player B is cheating. May I suggest some possibilities?

Does he have a 20-inch inside spread under his cap? Are his G2s poking through the spot where that little button on top is supposed to be? Does he do an unusual amount of grunting? If Player A is a catcher, does he possess the ability to take a pitch, leap from home plate OVER the pitcher and tag a base-stealing runner out at second without throwing the ball?

OK, OK, just a few things that were crammed into my cranium. I’m done. Let’s leave it at this: Note to MLB: don’t be messin’ with our bucks…      

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