And the Mets Fans Can Cheer, Let’s Go Matz!

If ever a man was born to play on a certain sports team, it is Steven Jakob Matz.

When the New York Mets take the field tonight in Queens, N.Y., hosting game four of the National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the 24-year-old rookie left-hander will be on the pitching mound.

Let’s Go Mets! is the cheer that fans have chanted for their squad since the days of Shea Stadium, where the team became the really Amazing Mets in 1969, coming from last place the season prior to World Series champion.

Let’s Go Matz! can be the cheer for the pitcher who grew up in Stony Brook, some 40 miles east of Shea and its replacement Citi Field. He attended Ward Melville High School. That’s where I went, by the way. In fact, a few weeks ago I received a Facebook message from a guy I grew up with who told me that the Matz family lives on his block, which ran into the street I grew up on. Let’s Got Matz!

Solid rookie on the hometown hill. (From

Solid rookie on the hometown hill. (From

I can imagine how worked up all those kids were down there when Matz played for the Patriots. His bio says he pitched and played first base, and won the Yastrzemski Award as the best player in Suffolk County after his senior year. Yes, Yaz — Carl Yastrzemski, hall of famer for his MVP career with the Boston Red Sox — grew up amid the potato fields of Eastern Long Island. After that, his hometown Mets picked him in the second round of the 2009 draft, and smartly got him to agree to a bonus of $895,000 on baseball’s signing deadline day, when he was poised to attend Coastal Carolina’s college orientation the very next day.

And Matz can mash with his bad, too. (From

And Matz can mash with his bad, too. (From

The kid can pitch, too, nothing funny about it. He’s overcome the infamous Tommy John surgery on is pitching arm while in the minors. He made his major-league debut against the Cincinnati Reds in late June, beating them with his arm and bat. Yes, at the plate, the pitcher drove in four runs. After that, he’s won against the Dodgers in Los Angeles and vs. the Yankees in a Subway Series game at Citi Field. Despite two bouts with a stiff back, the Long Island kid compiled a record of 4-0 with an ERA of 2.27.

His parents and grandparents are avid Mets fans. Have been for forever. Loads of people are out there in Stony Brook. His father, Ron Matz, is a service manager at a Suffolk County jeep dealership. His mother, Lori Matz, work in administration at a neighboring high school. Middle-class Mets fans. Loads of people are on Long Island.

Let’s Go Matz. Let’s Go Mets. Made for each other.

By the way, Mr. Matz will have to accomplish some things to become the most famous person from that neighborhood. Comedian Kevin James grew up down the block, albeit with a different last name not quite made for show biz.

Here’s the link to Matz’s bio and photgraphs.

Here’s the link to Matz’s statistics.

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Out of Commission…for today

Well it turns out that some fella has a biostats and medical informatics exam this morning, and had to shirk his writing duties on Friday AND today.

Monorail Cat

So there’s a cat for you. I promise I’ll get my act together soon, and in the meantime, I’ll leave you with that cat, as well as a pic of Miles Davis hitting the speedbag.

Miles Davis hitting the speedbag!

Miles Davis hitting the speedbag!

And I’ll go find a funny pic from the archives for you, out of penance.

Here we go… it’s a random pic of Alison Brie (from Community… of the greatest sitcoms of all time) hugging a random green monkey thing.

Like green monster monkeys that are just looking for someone to hug!

Like green monster monkeys that are just looking for someone to hug!

We might as well add the first pic in the blog’s history…. Outerbridge Horsey VII, chillin’ with his homedogs.

Outerbridge Horsey VII, posing with animals

Outerbridge Horsey VII, posing with animals

OK fine, and a pickle!

Oh look, a dancing pickle!

Oh look, a dancing pickle!

I’ll get my act in gear soon folks, I promise promise promise! Let’s hope this week gets off to a good start…. for all of us!

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Sparkly Shoes, Twinkletoes and Blimps, Plus People Who Watch Other People Eat Hot Dogs in FNITN 112

Hello all! I have returned from a vacation back to the keyboard and ready to enjoy all the funny names I can rest my eyes upon (not that I took my eyes off funny names on my trip). Let’s get right to it!

We got a special treat right off the bat here, with our Baseball guru Rob having sent in this lovely link to awesome Baseball nicknames from the 1940s. The list includes everyone’s favorite, Twinkletoes Selkirk, among some other doozies. My personal favorite may well be Blimp Hayes, who was presumably so named because he was thought to the be the future of transportation.

Google suggests these are Twinkletoes, and why not.

Google suggests these are Twinkletoes, and why not.

Not to forget Rabbit McNair, Dizzy Trout, Stormy Weather Weatherly, Bob Suitcase Seeds, and Cookie Lavagetto, among the dozens of amazing ball-smashers on that list.  Thanks Rob!

Meanwhile, our man Dave has been reading his gossip rags at the barbershop again, and with that brings us the news that Joey Chestnutt and Neslie Ricasa, who were engaged to be married, are now no longer engaged.  Joey is of course the world’s #2 ranked hot dog eater, which brings to mind the question – who is ranking hot dog eaters out there? If you know this clearly passionate hot dog eating watcher, please write in. We’re very curious.

Meanwhile in personal experience land, we recently got to ride on the Councilman Hyman Pill memorial escalator coming out of public transport in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and it was a very pleasant (if vaguely urine smelling) experience. Mostly pleasant because that’s quite an amazing name, and because a subway escalator is an even more amazing thing to have memorialized in your honor.

Pleasingly, I found this LIFE Magazine snippet showing Mr. Pill at work from 1948. Fantastic stuff.

I have to try this egg trick to enliven any dull proceedings.

I have to try this egg trick to enliven any dull proceedings. (click to make the image larger)



And we wrap up with a tale of good coffee from Dave, our brave Michigan local news observer.

He tells us of Dianne Hoffmeyer, who did something awesome – buying Tim Hortons orders for 2 people who insulted her weight while standing in line at the coffee shop.

Happy weekend, everyone! Enjoy your Timbits out there!

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Sweet Poppa Pigmeat

Pigmeat Markham - World's Greatest ClownWhen you read “pigmeat,” you probably think of bacon–the breakfast meat or Kevin. But today’s funny name is no strip nor link nor patty; today we discover comedian, singer, actor, and dancer Dewey “Pigmeat” Markham (April 18, 1904 – December 13, 1981). And yes, there is “ham” in his last name. Can you ever have too much pork?

Born in North Carolina (a state famous for pulled pork), his nickname came from a stage routine, in which he declared himself to be “Sweet Poppa Pigmeat.”

Incidentally, if you were wondering what his Bacon number was (the degrees of separation from his movie career to Kevin Bacon’s), it’s 3.

Pigmeat began his career in traveling music and burlesque shows, running away from home at the age of just 14. He took up with a white showman referred to as “Mr. Booker” who “came over to us before the show with a can of Stein’s burnt-cork and showed us how to put it on in front of the mirror.” After working in a “gully” (girly) show, he toured across the South with carnivals and medicine shows. 

According to Last Man in Blackface: The World of Pigmeat Markham by Kliph Nesteroff:

Pigmeat adopted a variety of monikers, including David Markham, Dewey Markham, Dewey Alamo, Black Rock or Rock Markham. “Pigmeat,” it has been said, was slang for “young stuff” – as in “jail bait.” He settled on the handle after performing in Gonzelle White’s Traveling Show. The name Pigmeat was…the name of a character in one of the comic skits. Markham took it with him when he left; and he took it into the big time.

The “big time” included becoming one of The Apollo’s most frequent performers. In the 1940s, he started making film appearances.

In the 1950’s, Pigmeat performed his “Heyeah (here) come da judge” signature routine on Ed Sullivan’s show. Mocking the formal courtroom atmosphere, Pigmeat would sit at a judge’s bench (in a black graduation cap-and-gown), and pass down “judgments” on criminals. Frustrated with the accused, he would often lean over the bench and smack them with an inflated bladder-balloon.


I know. That sounds super crazy.

“It’s a real bladder,” Pigmeat explained. “Someone at a slaughterhouse picks them up for me. I tried many things, but this is the only thing that gives me that real good sound when it crashes on someone’s head.”

Pigmeat’s daughter Kathy admitted, “He would bring several bladders home, soak them in water overnight, grease them up with Vaseline. [He] had a pump contraption that inflated the prepared bladder.” (


Pigmeat’s most famous routine was “discovered” by the general public after Sammy Davis, Jr. performed it as a guest on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In television show. Soon his routine’s entry line become a catchphrase on the show, as did his phrase “Look that up in your Funk and Wagnalls.” Ironically, most white audiences had been unfamiliar with Pigmeat until then, as he had almost exclusively performed on the “chitlin’ circuit” of vaudeville, theatres, and night clubs. Chitlins=pig intestines=more pork. My apologies to any vegetarians.

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Benjamin Disraeli, an Unlikely Love Story

Let’s distract ourselves then with a story about a widow. The year is 1838 in London, England. Mary Anne Lewis, a plain woman, who often scandalized people with her uninhibited comments, ditsy remarks, outlandish furniture, and bizarre clothing choices.

Her husband, Wyndham Lewis, a member of the House of Commons, died when she was 45. He left her a small fortune and a large home in London, making her attractive to fortune hunters.

In steps Benjamin Disraeli, in his late 30’s, and in need of an infusion of cash to grease his political ambitions after his benefactor, Wyndham Lewis died.

Ambitious politician and romance writer.

Benjamin Disraeli, ambitious politician and romance writer.

When Disraeli first approached Mary Anne, he was unimpressed by anything but her fortune. She was twelve years his senior, by that time in her early 50’s. But something about his manner caught her attention.

When he asked her to marry him, she knew he didn’t love her. And asked they wait one year so she could gauge his character and disposition.  She was far more shrewd than anyone credited her. At the end of the year she agreed to marry him.

In answer to some lady's pale complexion, "I wish you could see my Dizzy in his bath!"

Mary Anne Disraeli in answer to a comment on some lady’s pale complexion, “I wish you could see my Dizzy in his bath!”

While she may not have known which came first, “the Greeks or the Romans,” she understood the most important thing in marriage—the art of handling men.

Mary Anne adored her husband. Her frivolous patter when he came home at night helped him to relax, and in turn, home became his haven. She helped him edit the books he wrote—some were romance novels, listened to his daily news from parliament, became his helpmate, confidant, advisor.

Whatever he undertook, Mary Anne did not believe he could fail.

With the decay of the Ottoman Empire and the incursion by the Russians and other countries to take over the region, Disraeli arranged for Britain to purchase a portion of the Suez Canal Company in Ottoman-controlled Egypt. When he made terms favorable to England at the Congress of Berlin to maintain peace in the Balkans, Russia’s political power weakened—the move made Disraeli a top statesman in Europe.

He rose from the House of Commons to Prime Minister of England during the reign of Queen Victoria.

Queen Victoria, one of Disraeli’s close friends, wanted to ennoble him. He did not want to leave the House of Commons, so Mary Anne was raised to the Viscountess of Beaconsfield. (Hmm, fields of bacon, oh wait that’s beacons.) After her passing, he accepted the title, which was retired upon his death. At least we still have beacons.

Disraeli was Mary Anne’s staunchest supporter. No one dared insult her within his hearing because he would defend her passionately.

He used to joke with his wife saying he had only married her for her money. To which Mary Anne would always reply, “But if you had to do it again, you’d do it for love.”

They were happily married thirty years until the time of her death. I’m sure the romance novels probably helped.

In the words of author Leland Foster Wood, “Success in marriage is much more than a matter of finding the right person; it is also a matter of being the right person.”

Tracy – Fannie Cranium’s Guide to Irreverent Wisdom

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