Editor's Note: The following story is a complete work of fiction. There is not one element in it that is true, though the pitcher whose name is used in the story actually did win 24 games in 1964. Other than that, nothing else is true. That's what fiction means -- it's all completely made up. When I’m King of the World I’m going to buy a big chair – kind of like a throne. Then, after it’s delivered to my palace I'm going to sit in my big chair, a recliner, and relax. Then I’ll reach down, between my legs and ease the seat back… She’s blinding, I’m flying Right behind the rear-view mirror now Got the feeling, power steering Pistons popping, ain’t no stopping now! Panama, Panamahahaha Panama, Panama! So when I’m King of the World and I am sitting in my big bleeping chair – a reclining throne – I’d wear a silk shirt and extra-large pair of sweatpants because I’m a tall drink of water and I like to breathe free and easy. Plus, sometimes I get what they call "swamp ass," which can be a little uncomfortable. When it’s hot and humid it's tough rolling around in my shorts, as one can imagine. That’s no good because when I’m riding in my coupe with the jamz bumping, I like to keep it tight. But I get sweaty, as I stated. Sweat, of course, is the production and evaporation of a watery fluid, consisting mainly of sodium chloride (which is the main constituent of "table salt") in solution, that is excreted by the sweat glands in the skin of mammals. Sweat also contains the chemicals or odorants 2-methylphenol and 4-methylphenol. But when I think of salt and sweat I think of Cool Hand Luke, the epic 1967 American film directed by Stuart Rosenberg – also famous for The Amityville Horror, and The Pope of Greenwich Village – and staring salad dressing/spaghetti sauce benefactor, Paul Newman. Newman's concoctions remind me of the time back in 1967 at the Winter Meetings at the Royal Sonesta Beach Resort in Key Biscayne when we were sitting in the lounge drinking Cuerevo and talking about the team's top prospects in '68. That's when Ruly came ambling in with that big grin of his and invited the gang to The Sand Dollar, a little bistro tucked behind the dunes bordering Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. Those guys all drove in the same car, leaving me to follow in my rented Chevrolet Chevelle. A couple of times those guys sped out of sight when they pressed on the accelerator just as the light switched from yellow to red. I suppose they were having car trouble because they had stopped and then suddenly sped up… then the taillights went out and it was if they were driving in a ghost car. Cars didn’t have computers in those days, nor did they have digital clocks or radios. We had to be able to tell time by knowing the multiplication tables, like “five times three equals 15” and so on. In my Chevrolet Chevelle, named for Frenchman Louis Chevrolet in 1878 in La Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland when we were still embroiled in our Restoration following the bloody Civil War, I kept a folding map so I found them after driving around for a little bit. But thinking of Chevrolet caused me to think about the Civil War. It was Ambrose Burnside, famous for the plumage that spread from the hair near his ear down his cheeks, who told U.S. Grant in Appomattox in 1865 to "take what they give you, Uly. Let’s get out of here and back to the Sawmill Inn. I saw some birds there that look like a sure thing. Ol’ Braxton Bragg once told me he spent a week there one night and didn’t even have to buy anyone a drink." So we got to the Sand Dollar and had a nice table on the deck near the waitresses' post. Ruly had the salmon because he was concerned about getting his Omega-3 fatty acids. This was back in 1967, mind you. It wasn’t until recently that the importance of Omega-3 in the diet was popularized, but there we were at the Sand Dollar in '67 and Ruly was having salmon with a green-leaf salad and extra-virgin olive oil instead of salad dressing. I had the peppercorn ranch on a nice arugula salad and a delectable piece of white fish. Larry Jackson, the hard-throwing righty from Idaho who won 24 games for the Cubs in 1964, came along too. Ruly liked to call Larry “Don” when he'd had a few, and by then he was already waist deep into some 30-year old Glenfiddich that he drank after sipping a club soda. After three hours or so of eating, drinking and gabbing about that sonofabitch Kennedy and the upcoming election, the tab finally came and Ruly snatched it away from Pope, whose hands always recoiled as if he were touching something hot or trying to sneak a piece of limburger out of a mouse trap. That's the way Pope was whenever someone else attempted to grab the check. It was as if he suddenly became a Thalidomide baby. But after nodding off during his fourth scan of the bill, Ruly came to, focused his black-framed eyes on Larry and shouted as if he were an antebellum preacher trying to fend off Mephistopheles. "Don, you dirty son of a bitch, did you really need to order the calamari to go with the grouper with the pinot noir? That’s two bleeping fishes and a wine that doesn’t match. And why are you drinking that bleepy wine for." Only he didn't say bleeping and bleepy. I'm trying to clean this up so tenderhearted folks can read it and won't feel like they did something bad. Anyway, Larry and I just sat there quietly hoping Ruly's rage would pass the way his big, overhand curve passed by all those opponent's bats during that 24-win season for the Northsiders in '64. But Ruly wasn't finished. "And you, fat boy," he said, bearing down on me, which was an odd thing to say seeing as I am 6-foot-1 and weighed 155 dripping wet during those days. "You put him up to this didn’t you? He’s the reason we couldn’t ditch your ass back on Crandon Boulevard isn’t he? You bitches are working together aren’t you?" That’s when Ruly pulled out the small revolver he kept in his boot and shot Larry just below his right eye. Killed ‘em. Needless to say, Ruly sobered up really fast. He also diagramed a quick plan to get rid of Larry that made it looked like he had been in that situation before. It was kind of like the caper Denzel Washington came up with in the movie Training Day just before Ethan Hawke shoved a shotgun into Dr. Dre's throat. Either way, I was stationed at the door and told not to let anyone in the joint, while Ruly and Pope took care of what was left of Larry… and just like that – 15 minutes later – they came strolling out of the kitchen with a big Chinese takeout box. Next thing I knew I was back in my Chevelle and heading south into Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. About 20 minutes into the drive we came upon a man standing in the middle of the road made of sand and crushed seashells. He was wearing a dinner jacket and black leather gloves and his body language emitted an ardor that was bathed in austerity. We got out of the car and the man ushered us without a word to a bluff behind a sprawling, three-storey Cape covered in a canopy of palm and southern pine trees. As soon as we were out on the bluff, the man finally spoke: "Get to it, guys, but this is it. I don’t want you back here anymore. Do you hear me, Ruly? This is it." Ruly didn’t say anything. Instead he elbowed past the man in the dinner jacket and said: "Donny was a good bowler, and a good man. He was one of us. He was a man who loved the outdoors. And bowling. And as a surfer, he explored the beaches of Southern California from La Jolla to Leo Carillo and up to Pismo. He died, as so many young men of his generation, before his time. In your wisdom, Lord, you took him. As you took so many bright flowering young men at Ke Song, at Lon Doc, and Hill 364. These young men gave their lives, as did Donny. Donny who loved bowling. "And so, Don, in accordance with what we think your dying wishes might well have been, we commit your mortal remains to the bosom of the Pacific, which you loved so well. "Good night, sweet prince." That’s when I felt a felt a rap on the back of my skull and blacked out… When I’m King of The World I’d make sure I had a lot of money so I could buy a lot of neat things… If I were King of The World You I would make it so that a team either won or lost a hockey game without that silly shootout or 4-on-4 stuff in overtime… If I were King of The World I’d give every single person that reached the age of 18 exactly one hand grenade. I bet you're saying, "Yep, he's really gone off his big bleeping chair this time. Just think what would happen to the housing market, let alone health care!" If I were King of The World I’d buy everyone a Kevlar suit so the shrapnel from the hand grenades wouldn’t hurt anyone… When I’m King of The World I’ll ban the designated hitter rule and outlaw artificial turf and night time World Series games... If I were King of The World I’d hire a personal chef and get really nice suits made by a good tailor. No more off-the-rack blazers for me!