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Ryan Waning Ryan Waning
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Waning Moments

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I began writing a column under this title for the Maine Campus in 2002 and have never quite been able to shake the name. With a handle like mine, there aren't a lot of cleverly-turned phrases or pop culture references available, so if you think you may have read something similarly named a handful and a half years ago, you probably did.

It was me. If you haven't stopped reading already, I'm glad.

I promise the same level of judgement and snark from my safe spot behind the keyboard and make no apologies for any of it. Unless you really shake your fist at the man and write a letter to the editor. Then, in about a week, you'll receive the form letter I've prepared in anticipation of that inevitability.

(Editor's note: He's not kidding. He really has a form letter, one riddled with old-timey cursewords and awash in metaphysical complexity. I'm as surprised as you are.)

This week, I'm thinking about the Sox.

Tim Wakefield, speaking on behalf of the Red Sox Foundation, wants members of Red Sox Nation to donate their old clunker-junker cars and trucks to them so they can do something for kids. Not that I'm against raising money for children's charities, but aren't they Red Sox one of the richest sports franchises in the history of global sports? Do they really need the rusted-out Mercury Topaz that's slowly rotting in the back 40 to put them over the top? Maybe David Ortiz can donate one of his earrings and we can all sit on our jalopy fortunes a little bit longer.

Speaking of kids - no one likes rain delays, but there isn't a more offensive waste of broadcast time than NESN's Red Sox Kids Clubhouse. It's the worst. Imagine being at some social event with a broad mix of people, but you somehow get cornered and are forced to be part of conversation with a kid and a professional athlete. How could it get worse? What if you could only watch? Oh, I'm sure the chatter would get so varied and fascinating that other interesting people would start filtering over, standing in awe of their exchange.

Or, back here in reality, anyone within earshot would rather dry-hump a medium sized cactus than be part of it. One of two things has happened here either NESN took someone's bad focus group research to heart to a troubling degree or there's some sort of 'They Live' thing going on here. There are no other possible reasons. And judging by how much John Henry resembles a space alien in a wig and sunglasses, the latter has a bit more weight than I'd like to admit. Because they're listening. OBEY.

I love the ACE Ticket commercials where they show people opening up gifts and being surprised by someone giving them tickets to the game. My favorite one is the old man who bursts into tears and holds the tickets up while his son yells in the background, 'We're going to the game, Pop.' Why is the guy crying? Because the tickets are for tomorrow and Clay Buchholz is starting. I feel you, old man; I join you in your sadness. Cry your dusty tears for all of us in the Nation.

It's long enough into the new season now that if you're one of those people who is still pining for Don Orsillo to return to the NESN Red Sox broadcasts, I feel bad for you. You're like a kid waiting, looking out the window for his never-shows-up father on the Sunday morning he swore up and down you were going to the fair when he called you last month. No amount of you wanting it is going to change anything.

Think of it like Don was a puppy you fostered - a puppy with a great baritone, amazing rapport with his color man and a love of thrown pizza. He knows you love him and that you miss him. He misses you too, but he's living in his forever home now. Let him get comfortable with his new family. The one that didn't fire him for no reason whatsoever.

(Ryan Waning is a stand-up comedian and co-host/producer of the 'Downtown with Rich Kimball' radio show, airing from 3-6 p.m. Monday through Friday on AM 620 The Pulse and on


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