Those of you who read The Nate Way with any regularity may know that I have been umpiring baseball at the local little league parks here in Tampa. It’s decent side money, it keeps me out of the bars (for a few hours, anyway) and it can even be fun sometimes.

Last night, it wasn’t fun. Last night, I umpired one of the shittiest games it has ever been my displeasure to witness. The kids had no business being on a baseball field. If coordination smelled like crap, these kids would have reeked of rose petals. The umpire I worked with and I agreed that, if you gave us Jane Goodall, twelve chimps, and four years, we could literally teach monkeys to play better than those 13-year-old kids.

So, because I had nothing to do but stand in the field and look interested (read: do my best not to break out laughing at how god awful these teams were), I composed a mental list of a few of the politically correct phrases one often overhears at Little League parks and what those phrases really mean. And then (because it’s part of what I do here) I wrote them down.

"Look Alive, Guys"

Coaches often shout, “Look alive, guys” after a particularly bad play or before a crucial moment in the game (like when the tying run comes to the plate). The phrase, “Look alive guys” actually means, “Wake the fuck up and pull your heads out of your asses you wastes of oxygen” or, to be a little more literal, it can also mean, “You’re playing like dead people. Can’t you at least look alive?”

"Way to Make Something Happen"

I heard this one about twenty times yesterday. Whenever a batter gets on base because of an error (I counted thirty three of these last night, by the way), a coach will yell, “Way to make something happen.” This actually means, “You’re lucky the other team’s players are as uncoordinated as you are, you mentally handicapped chunk of hormones.”

"Walk it Off"

Whenever a player gets hurt, even if the injury is to the head or arm, some coach or fan will tell the injured player to walk it off. “Walk it off” actually means, “Quit being such a pansy.”

"You Got No Place to Put Him"

Whenever a pitcher has the bases loaded and he can’t find the strike zone, a coach will yell, “You got no place to put him”, which means, “Throw strikes, dammit!” There are a few other phrases that mean, “Throw strikes, dammit!” Those phrases are “center yourself”, “settle down” and “don’t try to do too much.” I can honestly say that no one yesterday was centered, settled or even attempted to try to do too much.

Last night’s game was easily the worst display of baseball I have ever seen. The highlights from this game included a chubby first baseman proudly telling me that he plays the tuba in the school band despite the fact that he’s asthmatic, a bag of skittles I got for free in the sixth inning and getting paid.

Fortunately for me, I got to hear a bunch of tired, politically correct clichés while daydreaming about teaching a chimp how to play shortstop. Thank God I have an imagination, or I may have actually killed myself last night.

And then it would have been impossible for me to look alive.