Patrick Swayze and baseball: Media Roundup

Oh. My. God.

Patrick Swayze is smoking.

This is a fucking National Emergency worthy of media attention. Please be sure to react in Shock and Awe and allow your jaws to drop in horror.

In case you were unaware, the dirty dancer extraordinaire has recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. SmokerThe first photos of him from his latest chemo   treatment show him with a cigarette dangling out of his mouth.

We all should be appropriately chagrined that he is not respecting our wishes that he be saintly and holy as we honor his pancreas by stalking him post-chemotherapy.

There is a tabloid picture decrying his smoking, and then on the TV guide channel last night, some pretty, blond talking head with no credentials whatsoever proclaimed: It is a fact that smoking causes pancreatic cancer, and there he is smoking!

Um, who cares. His body, his choice, people.

I just formally quit smoking a couple of months ago. I relapsed and smoked 2 half cigarettes this week. And hated it, it was gross. I will never be one of those reformed, OH MY GOD, HOW CAN YOU SMOKE! SMOKING IS THE MOST DISGUSTING THING EVER people. Why? Because I don’t give a fuck what people do to their own bodies. If Patrick Swayze wants to smoke after getting pumped full of toxic chemicals to destroy a disease that could kill him, if he wants to smoke to relieve the pain, then so be it. I do not care.  If Patrick Swayze wants to walk around with a dildo on his head, I do not care. Really, I don’t. Why? Because it’s his body, his goddamned choice.

This brings me to another shock-and-awe story that I read over the weekend on an ill-fated ski trip. Ill-fated because I thought it would be a good idea to get on this contraption unfortunately named the “magic carpet,” which conjures up all sorts of inappropriate images, as you can imagine. Immediately upon my stepping onto the magic carpet, I fell backwards, hit my head, strained my neck, got my skis entangled into a snow fence, and realized why I adhere to this tenet: I prefer sensible footwear. I turned my skis in and instead ate cookies at the hotel.

The aforementioned story was in USA Today, that bastion of journalistic excellence. There on the front page was a story proclaiming Moral Outrage at what some major league baseball teams are now doing to attract people to the stands: All You Can Eat tickets. For anywhere between $40-65-100 bucks, people can buy a ticket and get seats and all-you-can-eat-and/or-drink passes, and apparently gorge and binge drink themselves silly.

As someone who has been forcibly sat through a number of games at both County Stadium and the new Miller Park in Milwaukee County, I think this is a great idea. Why? Because a fucking bratwurst or hot dog or pint of beer costs like $9 each. It’s a rip off. If you are expected to sit through, I am sorry, what I perceive to be the world’s most boringest game ever, A) because it is slow moving B) because it lasts for-goddamned-ever and C) because it goes on during the hottest months ever, then you’re gonna need to be fed and watered, and we all know that food and drink at any venue is ridiculously expensive. Also, the only way to manage a game of baseball with obnoxious co-workers, and all of Milwaukee County is to get drunk. So, bring it on, I say.

As you can imagine, the story was not as enthusiastic as I just detailed.

Oh NO. America has an Obesity Epidemic. Americans eat too much. What will happen if they actually have the option of eating 15 hot dogs during a 9-inning stretch? What will happen if they can eat 4 things of nachos unchecked? The story detailed long lines with no one checking how much food consumption was happening. It detailed rampant eating contests, dribbles of cheese running down chins, fat bellies, pitchers of beer. It delighted in talking of gluttony, and quoted nutrition experts who said that people consuming 4 hot dogs and three beers during one game were eating enough to bring on Cardiac Arrest! Oh, the HORROR!

Are you fucking kidding me?

We are a nation of Buffet Restaurants. We are a nation of All-You-Can ____ insert whatever you can think. We are a nation of promotions and gimmicks. This is what we do. I do not understand the outrage over this story. Are you kidding me? Yes, there will be some people who will eat 15 hot dogs during a game. Who cares. They eat 15 hot dogs. Then there will be fatties like me, who do the same thing they do whenever they go to a buffet, thinking Ah Ha! I will get my money’s worth this time! We eat one plate and then we are tragically full.

Why? Because no fucking restaurant, baseball team, entrepreneur or organization is going to offer a deal that benefits the consumer more than it benefits the business. DUH! We are also a nation of capitalists. So the absolute Moral Outrage that BASEBALL TEAMS ARE CONTRIBUTING TO THE OBESITY EPIDEMIC is asinine if we just look at the economics of it. The fatties will never put buffets or baseball teams out of business because we can’t outeat their profits.

And beyond that, there is the matter of personal choice. If a team wants to offer a deal where consumers can buy a ticket that is linked to an all-you-can-eat seat, then so be it. If Patrick Swayze wants to smoke while he has cancer, then So Fucking Be It. We are also the nation of the free. Which means we can do whatever the fuck we want with our bodies, including smoking cancer sticks and eating nitrate filled fat dogs, all with gluttonous, cancerous reckless abandon, and we should have the right to do so without the naysaying nanny state interfering.



  1. Jana said,

    March 13, 2008 at 9:30 am

    You crack me up. I love the things you write.

  2. Lindsay said,

    March 13, 2008 at 10:09 am

    A friend of mine, several years ago, had a friend of hers die from colon cancer. It was a horrible shock because he was so young (mid-30s), and it was already in very late stages when they found it. So the prognosis wasn’t good from the start, and everyone was on eggshells.

    One weekend, about a month before he died, my friend went to go visit him (he lived in a different town); they were sitting outside, and she was having a cigarette – being careful to not blow the smoke in his direction. He’d quit years ago, but said, “Hey, can i have a cigarette?”

    She looked at him kinda sidelong and in an “ooh, that sounds like a bad idea” sort of way. He rolled his eyes and said, “Oh, come ON. It’s not like i’m going to stick it up my ass or anything.” Whereupon my friend (who, like me, has the sense of humor of your average 14 year old boy) busted up laughing and handed him a smoke.

    So for real – if i get diagnosed with cancer and they tell me i have 3 months to live? I’ll smoke if i damn well please.

  3. Sandy said,

    March 13, 2008 at 10:09 am

    Let the guy alone. He maybe figuring he might die from this anyway, why not hava smoke. Doesn’t bother me none unless he comes to my house and blows the smoke in my face.

    And you are right about the all you can eat thing. I went to only a few Philly’s games…damn the stuff is expensive!!! DH and his cousin usually go on dollar dog days so at least they get to eat something somewhat cheaply…but DH also takes his dad to a game for Father’s Day so they usually spend a fortune for refreshments.

    God forbid anyone be able to eat and drink ALL THEY WANT!!!!

  4. Rachel said,

    March 13, 2008 at 10:21 am

    I find it highly ironic that people who engage in food-eating competitions are usually of average weights. And these people have to continually train at this in the competition off-time, so it isn’t as if it’s a one-day affair. If all-you-can-eat contributes so much to the obesity epidemic, why aren’t these people super morbidly obese?

  5. thoughtracer said,

    March 13, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Exactly, Rachel. I went to an eating competition once, accidentally. It was for the Chinese New Year, at a bar, and the contestants ate egg rolls. There was puking involved. The winner ate like 25 egg rolls in three minutes. He apparently engages in regular eating contests. He’s an average weight college age kid.

  6. hotsauce said,

    March 13, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    HAA! i’m sorry, i’m laughing, and that’s terrible of me because cancer’s involved, but when i held the mouse over this title on the RSS feed, the only part of this post that popped up was “Oh. My. God. Patrick Swayze is smoking.” i read “smoking” as in “smoking hot,” and i was very, very confused since it was coming from you and from what i’ve read in the past you’re not exactly the type to gush about middle aged movie stars from the 80s.

    as for the bball game thing, i agree, woop dee doo. at yankee stadium it’s $9 or $10 for a beer if i remember right, so it’s not like a $40 “all you can drink/eat” thing would make a person pass out. 3 beers — 1 every three innings — and a pretzel and you’re just about even. my mom could do that.

  7. Meowser said,

    March 13, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    I just want to let you know, I’ve been following your family saga and you’ve been in my thoughts, even if I didn’t post anything there. If I had, it would have been more along the lines of, “What they said,” because people said such awesome things and I had nothing else to add.

    Anyway, regarding this post…yeah. I saw a special VH1 did on Warren Zevon when he was dying of cancer, and at one point he slipped out for a cigarette and the interviewer commented that he thought Zevon had quit years ago. Zevon replied, “What would YOU do if you had a month to live?” I mean, seriously, dude, if you have a terminal illness you should be able to smoke CRACK if you want it, with a heroin chaser, and people should not say word one about it unless they want to trade places with you on the spot.

    Swayze is probably perfectly aware of what his prognosis is, and it’s probably not good at all. The chemo he is having is likely palliative (for symptom control), so all this “how can he ruin his chances to live by smoking” stuff is so much fourth-grade crap. Adults are supposed to be more sophisticated than that, at least enough so to know that you can’t tell everything by looking.

    Baseball? LOVE it. But I am a total dork. I actually can write pages about a guy’s pickoff move and how it’s a borderline balk. But yeesh, the handwringing about AYCE seats? Have any of these people ever had to pay for ballpark food lately? That shit is EXPENSIVE. You can get sushi down the street from most of these places cheaper than ONE hot dog, some garlic fries, and a beer. And chances are if someone eats 15 hot dogs at the ballpark they’re NOT going to be having dinner that night on top of it. (Fifteen hot dogs? Yikes. I couldn’t eat FOUR.) If this is going to be the bulk of your eating for a single day, it’s maybe not a bad deal. Nobody eats like that every day.

  8. thoughtracer said,

    March 13, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    Ha hotsauce! Patrick Swayze with a dildo on his head on the magic carpet. That would be closer to my version of “smoking … hot.” Maybe.

    Thanks Meowser for your thoughts. As for baseball … some people love it. And that’s cool. I prefer hockey. Why? Because what other sport condones bloodlust? Let’s just put it out there people. I want to see someone get smashed in the face with a stick. And so does the rest of North America. This is an acceptable family event. You can take your child to an ice arena and see grown toothless men beat each other on skates. That, my friends, is democracy in action.

  9. CJ_in_VA said,

    March 13, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    My grandfather smoked for nearly 55 years before he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died within three months of his diagnosis. I was a little shocked one day when he said, “All I really want is a cig.” He smoked for 55 years and then BOOM – cancer comes along and everyone expected him to just quit cold turkey, no looking back. The man wanted a cigarette. Looking back, I wish I would have scored one for him.

  10. Sage said,

    March 13, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Given how monstrously slim Swayze’s chances are of surviving pancreatic cancer – roughly 3% of the 7,400 pancreatic cancer patients diagnosed each year live more than 5 years after diagnosis – I’d say let him have whatever slim pleasures he’s still able to enjoy. @$$hats. ‘Scuse me.

    Also, IMO, people who pay money to go to pro baseball games probably aren’t terribly concerned with the obesity epidemicomg!

  11. Froth said,

    March 13, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    I feel the need to point out that cricket is duller than baseball. Baseball, unless I have been grossly misinformed, does not take three days.
    Back on topic: your body, your choice. Eat what you like. Smoke if you want. Accept that if you smoke there are attendant risks, and don’t come on all ‘poor me’ if you get unlucky, and I have no quarrel with you.
    Nobody is going to die from eating lots of hotdogs at a baseball game. There’s nutritional concern and then there’s ingrained panic. This is ingrained, unthinking panic. Honestly, people. The human body is designed to survive on what it can get. It’s not so fragile that too many hot dogs will break it irreperably!

  12. Twistie said,

    March 13, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    My mother-in-law continued smoking after she was diagnosed with lung cancer. Why wouldn’t she? It was so advanced by the time they caught it there was no chance of survival. Besides, to her dying day she swore sideways that fifty years of smoking had nothing to do with her cancer. She was sure it was because she was a Nagasaki survivor.

    As much as I hate cigarettes and avoid them as much as humanly possible, I would never try to tell someone that (s)he has no business smoking unless it’s specifically forbidden in the area where they’ve just lit up. If you’re an adult, it’s up to you what you put into your own body. Healthy or un, it’s up to you. My disapproval does not constitute a requirement on your part to change your mind. If it did, France would have eaten its last round of escargot. As it is, France is going to keep downing snails in garlic butter and it’s not up to me to tell them I think it’s gross.

    oh, and Meowser? I saw that documentary. Warren Zevon is one of my great musical heroes. I’m with you. If he wanted to smoke crack at that point, I’d have left him to it with my blessings. Hell, after all the good times he gave me and having seen what lung cancer is like since both my mother-in-law and my father died of it, I’d have handed him the freaking pipe if it made things easier for him.

    If it helps Patrick Swayze to have a smoke now and again, he’s more than welcome to it, so far as I’m concerned.

  13. N said,

    March 13, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    Sorry to make a sort of off-topic comment here, but YAY for County Stadium! Miller Park is new and cool and all, but it’s just not as nostalgic.

  14. summercannibal said,

    March 13, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    Oh, now I miss Warren Zevon again.

  15. phuonglili said,

    March 13, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    Congratulation! both of your blog, and this post are high ranked in
    “The top blogs of the day” report

  16. Orodemniades said,

    March 14, 2008 at 4:02 am

    “We eat one plate and then we are tragically full.”

    Omg so true!!! That’s why I avoid AYCE places, I just feel like I’m wasting money.

  17. Sasha said,

    March 19, 2008 at 1:37 am

    I was a pack and a half a day smoker and quit smoking in one 30-minute treatment with laser therapy. I went to a company called Freedom Laser Therapy that provides a pain free low-level laser procedure which helps alleviate nicotine withdrawal symptoms. The staff at Freedom Laser Therapy is dedicated and passionate about helping smokers end their nicotine addiction.

    I would really recommend laser therapy to help you quit smoking. Go to their locations page to find a Freedom Laser Therapy clinic or a local quit smoking laser therapy I was a pack and a half a day smoker and quit smoking in one 30-minute treatment with laser therapy. I went to a company called Freedom Laser Therapy that provides a pain free low-level laser procedure which helps alleviate nicotine withdrawal symptoms. The staff at Freedom Laser Therapy is dedicated and passionate about helping smokers end their nicotine addiction.

    I would really recommend laser therapy to help you quit smoking. Go to their locations page to find a Freedom Laser Therapy clinic or a local quit smoking laser therapy practitioner in your area.

  18. bonnie said,

    April 5, 2008 at 2:00 am

    why do you hate him i love him

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