Once upon a time, in 1903, there was a Stay-At-Home dad, Bukowski Kornbluth, who lived in the derided Mustard House within the hamlet of Croton Falls, NY, forty miles north of the original Yankee stadium known as Hilltop Park in Washington Heights. This was before it became a cocaine pickup haven for suburban kids in the eighties throughout Westchester Country, who required more stimulation that what the leafy suburbs and colonial house-populated streets offered, knowing that the only thing getting blown on a regular basis, there, were leaves.
Every day, Bukowski Kornbluth would stare at his newborn son Arthur and bemoan, “I can’t believe Hasbro rejected my game Condiment Land and chose Candy Land, those anti-Semite bastards.”
Before, Bukowski Kornbluth had worked as a shoeshine boy outside of Grand Central, making enough to live off Hebrew National dogs. But that was it. Now he was developing a stomach ulcer at ripe old age of 25, and was married to an Irish nurse, Chloe Duffy, whom he got pregnant by mistake (because pulling out on time was physically impossible, knowing that Bukowski Kornbluth blew his load in 1.1 seconds flat).
After Chole Duffy’s prominent fireman lieutenant dad died, she inherited some money and made a down payment on the Mustard House, while using her collection of rare Irish whiskies that her father collected (tracing all the way back to Rob Roy times) for collateral because Bukowski Kornbluth was still so broke, his Hebrew name was under judicial review.
Even during his shoe-shining days, Bukowski had dreams of becoming a professional songwriter, because growing up in a cramped tenement on the Lower East Side with nine other siblings, it was the radio which filled him with dreamy, big city success wonder. This made going to sleep still hungry again a tad more tolerable, knowing that his dad’s career as a pickle sales rep for Kosher Dill Delights wasn’t getting them a townhouse on Park Avenue anytime soon, either.
Now, more than anything, Bukowski Kornbluth wanted to write a better song than ‘The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous’, to take him out of his Mustard House jail so he could finally enjoy some bright lights and big city success for himself.
But one day, things changed when Bukowski had the radio on at home to hear the Yankees play, after he started throwing Cracker Jacks at his newborn son Arthur because he was hungover from drinking too many Rob Roys alone; because his nurse wife worked nights and he was stuck at home with his son again on Shabbat, with nowhere else to go but down self-pity lane (which was getting tiresome and beyond boring at this point in his life).
Growing up in the Lower East Side, Bukowski Kornbluth was a solid stick ball hitter, which earned him the nickname Yard Blaster (which certainly beat the nickname his putz prone, younger brother earned on those same streets, Trips on Curbs).
What if, instead of writing songs about ex-loves and depleted dreams, Bukowski Kornbluth could refocus his attention on baseball and dreams of being a big shot at the ball game for a much cheerier, less depressingly dreary change of pace?
Bukowski Kornbluth continues to pelt his son with more Cracker Jacks, yelling, “Duck! Cracker Jack attack!” Then an idea ẻmerges, and Bukowski Kornbluth says, “I finally got it this time, kid. I’ll write a song about going to the ballgame for anything except more fucking hotdogs, to remind me of this damn Mustard House.
“But what if the object of universal interest I focus my song on is Cracker Jacks?
“Old Bet, the famous circus elephant, was buried ín nearby Sommers outside the famed Elephant Hotel, so I’ll write about grabbing some peanuts at the ball game in his honor, too. There’s no reason why I can’t write a hit song about America’s favorite pastime and pigging out at the ball game. It’s a home run, kid.
“Where can I find a pencil? Arthur, give me those crayons, if you haven’t eaten them up already.
“Despite me being miserable about being an unemployed Stay At Home Dad out in the sticks, it doesn’t mean I love you any less, Arthur. But Stay At Home Dads can’t survive unless they have something grander to aim for in life besides being a loving, proud dad; and this is my last shot to hit one out of the park, kid.
“Never stop swinging hard for the fences, Arthur. You’re an all-American slugger like Daddy. I can feel it in you just by the way you made me partially deaf from smacking me in the ear with your rattle, once.”
Bukowski Kornbluth wrote ‘Take Me Out To The Ball Game’ as his son Arthur finally got to sleep in a pool of his own Cracker Jack vomit. One year later, Bukowski Kornbluth got introduced at Yankee Stadium (then known as Hilltop Stadium) and waved his Yankee hat to all the adoring fans in attendance, raining down hollering praise for the man who wrote the official father/son bonding anthem for baseball games in America.
Now his son Arthur pulls on his dad’s leg as the cheers grow even more vociferous for the Do It All Dad done good, and says, “I got a Honus Wagner rookie card, Dad.”
Bukowski Kornbluth says, “Stop ruining the moment, kid. They just sell you the cards for free gum.”
Arthur says, “I think it will be worth something someday, Dad. Also, can you remind why can’t I stomach the idea of eating another Cracker Jack, again?”