The War of the World Series of All Your Baseball


When the alien invaders came,
they ordered us to play this game,
to see how we stacked up against the galaxy.
Like Calvinball hang-gliding aimed
at ice-canoe inside a flame,
there really is no adequate analogy.

Our first team turned to gelatin while fighting Newton’s laws;
they gave us exoskeletons to compensate for flaws.
The next team’s lungs were frozen when their oxygen congealed;
they gave us warmer clothing for an even playing field.
Our next team’s sorely missed inside a super-sized black hole;
but failure of existence isn’t counted as a goal.
They grounded our space-shuttlecock for throttling at max-Q,
and laughed at our rebuttal, mocking weakness of the crew.
Then sudden cell-erasure put our skull bones out of joint.
The next game we lost Asia, but we almost scored a point.
They gave us many chances, then they told us where we stood:
despite all their enhancements, our whole species was no good.
A tackle left us mute or slurred, and just like Stephen Hawking
we had to get computer nerds to synthesise our talking,

and we said:

Maybe we will watch, but we won’t play sport.
We just want to be judged on our own Merritt Island spaceport.
So maybe we could talk before we die out.
We didn’t build antennas to make contact sports team tryouts.

The umpire slapped our station with its integrated truss,
Said, ‘humans, all your baseball inning are belong to us!
You can’t defeat the shogunate of sports tycooniverse;
you’d barely beat the Vogons with your weak and puny verse.
We helped to make you stronger but you never even tried;
you won’t survive much longer if you shun what we provide.
You think that we’re subhuman since our sport is pretty rough,
but we’re far better than you, man, we are strong and we are tough.
We earned our football scholarships with sweat and not a tear
and you think you can stall it with your brains, but it is clear
that only abs like rocks and bulging arms will give you worth
and soon enough the jocks will multiply and rule the Earth.’
And at the Earth’s last launch pad, the last geeks around to man it
imagined that these staunch lads really came from other planets.

They said:

Maybe we will watch, but we won’t play sport.
We just want to be judged on our own Merritt Island spaceport.
So maybe we should talk before we die out.
We didn’t build antennas to make contact sports team tryouts.

We only want acceptance and it’s clear we won’t achieve it;
but we can stop objectin’ since we have a way to leave it.

Maybe we will watch, but we won’t play sport.
We just want to be judged on our own Merritt Island spaceport.
I wish that we could talk before we blast off;
we didn’t build this ship to reach this guy’s idea of cast-off.

I admit, I wrote this purely to make a merit/Merritt Island pun, which I thought of on the way home last night, and started writing about this morning. Merritt Island is the site of Kennedy Space Center, where all NASA manned space missions since 1968 launched from.

This is the first poem of NaPoWriMo that I have written entirely in one day, though perhaps I should have given it a bit more time. The umpire stanza was a bit rushed since I was trying (unsuccessfully) to finish it before midnight, but at that point I could hardly have finished anything else. The title is also hastily slapped together from the first three things that came to mind. This is another one that has a tune in my head, hence the repeating chorus (which I might add a few more times, if I can get the two big stanzas to have an even number of couplets.) Some day I’ll stop writing mediocre songs and get back to writing good poetry, but today is not that day, although I don’t think the tune interfered too much with this one. I added a reference to speech synthesis so that it will make sense if I get my robot choir to sing this.

Be glad I didn’t write another King of Spain parody; according to wikipedia, Merritt Island was the King of Spain’s before he gave it to a nobleman named Merritt.

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