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The unsanitary way I got interested in "MLB: The Show"

A delightful tale for children of all ages. Who doesn't love toys?

All-Star Game Red Carpet Show presented by Chevrolet
This man, seen here riding in elegance with a lovely lady in the back of a pickup truck, was on the cover of 2010's "MLB: The Show."
Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The newest edition of the baseball video game “MLB: The Show” comes out fairly soon.

For the last few years, when “The Show” comes out, I’ve writen a post here about how much I enjoy it. Partially as a baseball fan, but also as an adult, then nearing and now 50, who plays with children’s toys. Toys that cost $60 a year. One tends to think about such things, and wonder if they’re a ridiculous purchase.

(They’re going to have a Negro Leagues feature this year, with short documentaries about different players, followed by game scenarios where you can mash buttons corresponding to key games in those players’ careers. This is too awesome, and makes me think $60 is almost worth not putting that $60 towards, say, food.)

It’s struck me that, for some years now, I have provided free advertising, for a video game company that never gave me anything. So this year, I’m absolutely begging for a free copy. Or I won’t praise “The Show” again. I mean it! Heed my words, San Diego Studios, and despair!

Here we go, my total “The Show” sales pitch! It’s a story. Cuddle up, kids, it’s a story.

So one time my studio apartment bathroom ceiling started leaking.

In 2010, the future Mrs. James was staying over, and we heard this “drip...drip...drip” as we were going to sleep.

I checked the faucets. Kitchen, off, bathroom, off. Must be one of those weird old apartment wall pipe noises (the building is over 100 years old, and had been the first hotel in St. Paul with electricity). Go back to bed.

Dripdripdripdrip it was getting faster.

OK, it’s coming from the bathroom ceiling above my bathtub. Definitely some kind of pipe issue. I’ll call about it in the morning.

Then, a steady drizzle.

At this point, the paint above my bathtub has sagged like an inverted Metrodome roof, and there’s water slowly pouring out of it.

There’s no live-in manager on site, so I call the property owner. One Jeff DeLisle.

“How’d you get my number! It’s unlisted!”

“I have the internet, you can find anybody. This leak is a real problem.”

“Well, go up there and knock on the door of the room upstairs!”


I go upstairs, and knock on the door. Nothing. I can hear “Madden 2010” being played, loudly, so I bang on the door with more fervent insistency.

This guy answers. Some early-20s dude who looks like a roadie for a white funk band. He is baked out of his damn mind. Completely fried. I explain the situation. Repeatedly. It takes him a while to get it. He shows me his bathroom. It’s totally full of water, as is the carpet outside his bathroom door.

Apparently, he had a messy #2, and it required multiple wipes, and this clogged the toilet. So he just kept flushing and flushing. If you keep flushing, eventually it will all go into the flush hole, was his logic. The toilet flowed over. As they will.

I call the proprty owner again. I’m told, “well, go plunge his toilet!”

“With what? I don’t have a plunger.”

“The convenience store on the bottom floor is open until midnight. Go buy a plunger!”

Amazingly, the convenience store does have plungers (the immigrant cashier is quite amused by the tale), and I plunge this guy’s toilet, and call the owner. Because this poop water is still drizzling into my bathtub through the reversed Dome roof of ceiling paint.

“Tell him to dry it up. He can use towels. Or a hair dryer.”

(Totally baked guy wielding high-voltage hair dryer on standing water. Great idea.)

So I tell the upstairs guy. He says “OK.” Goes back to Madden. I notice the graphics look really good on his widescreen TV. I make a mental note of this.

I lay back down with Mrs. James and we drift to sleep, the ceiling drizzle having returned to dripdripdrip. It has slowed.

Until, CRASH


There’s rotted wood and drywall and brown water everywhere. The bathroom looks like somebody set off a shit grenade in the ceiling.

“Um, I’m going home,” Mrs. James says. “But call me and let me know how it works out.”

The DeLisle company still owns that building. (Jeff DeLisle retired. His son, Jeff Jr., is way worse. I don’t live there, anymore.) The convenience store is still there, although it isn’t open until midnight now.

That totally baked Madden flusher? Probably evicted, I dunno. Maybe runs a hedge fund, now. I have to say I was offended he didn’t offer me any of his stash — I did plunge his toilet. Proper ganja etiquette says you at least make the offer. I would have said “no thank you,” I’m really more of a beer guy than a weed guy, but it would have been polite. I’m plunging your poop, dude, and I’m with a girlfriend downstairs.

(Who, fortunately, has never cared about how fancy my life accoutrements have been... that’s something only some of my in-laws, on both sides, have been snotty doofi over.)

As it is, all I got was a glimpse of a cool-looking widescreen TV with Madden 2010 on it.

I’d kinda always wanted to buy a widescreen TV, and see how cool my DVD collection or a baseball video game looked on it.

So I bought one. And bought “The Show.” The DVDs looked cool. Still do. “The Show” looked cool. Still does.

Now, “The Show” people, can I get a comped copy? Free advertising! Post this link on your website! SEND ME A TOY!