Sunday, September 07, 2008

If Yogi were Libyan...

Mr. Yogi Berra is an interesting American personality. He has many impressive achievements in baseball, as a player, a coach and a manager. But that's not all. Yogi is also a master of a certain kind of speech, really a form of concentrated poetic philosophy, and an art that uses the medium of language in absurd statements of truths. If Yogi were a Libyan, he'd be a master of 'Alemm (one-verse poetry), that's for sure, but what might he say? First, let's look at some of his American sayings to get what this guy is about...

- On baseball: "This game is 90% mental. The other half is physical."

- Turning down an invitation to a popular restaurant: "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded."

- Giving directions to his house: "If you come to a fork in the road, take it." He really meant both ways get you there, but now it is a great teaching against being indecisive.

- When his wife asked where he wanted to be buried, considering he was born in one city, played most of his career in another, and lived in a third. Yogi said, "Surprise me!"

- When asked if a certain player had exceeded his expectations: "He's done more than that."

- An umpire made a close call on a hit that went to the corner, near the wood post, and was reflected into fair territory. It was called a foul, which is not in Yogi's favor. The question was whether the ball had hit the wooden post, which would make it fair, or reflected off the concrete behind the post, which would make it a foul. Yogi protrested, "Anyone who can't tell the difference between a ball hitting wood and a ball hitting concrete, has got to be blind!"

- "I usually take a two-hour nap from 1 to 4." He meant between 1 and 4.

- "It's like deja vu, all over again."

- Yogi is practical: "Why buy good luggage? You only use it when you travel."

- "There are some people who, if they don't already know, you can't tell 'em."

- On fan freedom: "If people don't want to come out to the ballpark, nobody's going to stop them."

- On the poor sunlight conditions in Yankee stadium left field: "It gets late awfully early out there."

- Yogi the philosopher: "The future ain't what it used to be."

- A confirming denial: "I really didn't say all the things I said."

You get the idea. Now, what would Yogi say if he were Libyan? I think Libyan culture would provide a fertile environment for a talent like Yogi's. He even looks like he could pass for a Libyan. What do you think?

1. "Libyans don't take criticism well because they get it all the time."

2. ...

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