Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Jesus, Abraham Lincoln, or Joe Mauer?

Well, it's begun. The butterflies are fluttering, the intensity is building, and I am so, so ready for some postseason baseball. Strangely enough, I'm not quite as nervous as usual, but I'm sure that will build as the day progresses. In the meantime, let's get to some penetrating analysis.

First, I'd like to talk about Joe Mauer.

As you probably know, Joe Mauer is the perfect human being. Good-looking, talented, clean-cut, loyal, humble, and religious. Every single media personality or fan who's ever met the guy talks about how sincere he is, how it's not an act, how he's just a simple aw-shucks good fella from the ole midwest. Most of us probably have personal experience with it, since the Word of Joe travels. For example, my friend Nick interviewed him about his new contract in spring training this year, and asked him what his first purchase with the new money would be. Mauer got all embarrassed and said "I don't really know, man." He can't talk about money, you see. It's not within his ethical boundaries. It's not proper. He has been taught better.

And now, I'm classmates with a girl named Stephanie, a delightful young sprite who actually went to high school with the Minnesota Marvel. She, of course, reiterates the Mauer talking points. I asked her to write a little something for the blog, and she started with this:

Like half the population of St. Paul, MN, one of the first things I tell strangers about myself is "I went to high school with Joe Mauer." But, I actually did. I'm sure in the great and creepy Irish/Polish/French Catholic tradition of St. Paul, we're eighth cousins or something.

Since the beginning of time, there have not been many perfect human beings. In fact, only three: Jesus, Abraham Lincoln, and Joe Mauer. With that in mind, it's time for an exciting new trivia game here at Seth Curry Saves Duke! Stephanie was kind enough to write five short stories about Joe Mauer for me, based on his life and travlels. (When all is said and done, she will probably be one of his apostles.) I'm taking the five stories she wrote, and mixing them in with five stories about Jesus and five stories about Abraham Lincoln. But the trick is, I'll be using Joe Mauer's name for the Jesus/Lincoln stories too. You'll have to guess which five are about Mauer, and which are about Jesus or Abraham Lincoln. I'll put the answers below. Let's get to it!


1. Joe Mauer's father engraved trophies for a living. PROPHETIC, no?

2. Joe Mauer did lots of traveling. He would preach everywhere he would go. One day, he was in Capernaum. There was a boy that lived there that couldn't walk. His friends decided to take him to see Joe Mauer. There were so many people in the house where Joe Mauer was preaching, they couldn't get inside. So they climbed to the top of the house and lowered their friend through a hole in the roof. Joe Mauer saw the boy on a stretcher. He knew the boy couldn't walk. Joe Mauer said to the boy, "Get up and walk home." The boy got up from his stretcher and ran through the crowd.

3. In managing the country store, as in everything that he undertook for others, Joe Mauer did his very best. He was honest, civil, ready to do anything that should encourage customers to come to the place, full of pleasantries, patient, and alert. On one occasion, finding late at night, when he counted over his cash, that he had taken a few cents from a customer more than was due, he closed the store, and walked a long distance to make good the deficiency. From that point on, he was called "Honest Joe."

4. Joe Mauer's mom was my boss. Together we sold Catholic church goods, including, but not limited to, statues of the stigmatic Jesus. This is her:

and again:

5. Zacchaeus was a tax collector. That meant that he was very rich. He cheated the people. He would collect the taxes for the Romans. He would charge the people extra taxes. He would give the Romans what they deserved. He would keep the rest. Nobody liked Zacchaeus. One day, Zacchaeus heard people shouting in the streets, "Joe Mauer is here!" Zacchaeus wanted to see Joe Mauer. He tried to see over the crowd. He was too short. Then he got an idea. He ran down the road. He climbed a huge sycamore tree. There he sat on a big branch. He would be able to see Joe Mauer now. When Joe Mauer got under the tree, he said, "Zacchaeus, come down here. I want to go to your house for dinner tonight." Zacchaeus was so happy that Joe Mauer wanted to come to his house. He jumped down from the tree.

The crowd was shocked! They couldn't believe that Joe Mauer would go to this man's house! "You cant," they said, "he's a tax collector, a cheater!" That made Zacchaeus so sad. He looked at Joe Mauer and said, "I am so sorry for what I have done. From now on, I will give half my possessions to the poor. If I cheat anyone ever again, I will pay back four times what I took." Joe Mauer smiled. He knew he meant it. Joe Mauer said, "That pleases God. That is the very reason I am here. To help people find God."

6. Once, while riding through the country with some other lawyers, Joe Mauer was missed from the party, and was seen loitering near a thicket of wild plum trees where the men had stopped a short time before to water their horses. "Where is Joe Mauer?" asked one of the lawyers. "When I saw him last,'' answered another, "he had caught two young birds that the wind had blown out of their nest, and was hunting for the nest to put them back again." As Joe Mauer joined them, the lawyers rallied him on his tender-heartedness, and he said:

"I could not have slept unless I had restored those little birds to their mother."

7. Joe Mauer got his hair cut at Schmidty's barbershop across the street from our high school every few weeks because he never violated the uniform code, which stated that a boy's hair should never touch their ears. His form of post-parochial school rebellion has been the sideburns.

8. "Let's cross the sea," Joe Mauer said. Joe Mauer was tired and wanted to sleep. The men with Joe Mauer started sailing the boat across the sea. Then the wind started to blow really hard. Huge waves crashed against the little boat. Water poured over the sides, and the boat began to sink. Joe Mauer was asleep. The men called out to him, "We're drowning. Help us!" Joe Mauer got up. He saw the terrible wind and the huge waves. He raised his hand and said, "Peace! Be still!" Instantly, the wind stopped. The sea was calm. Joe Mauer turned to the men and asked, "Why were you afraid? Where was your faith?" The men were amazed.

9. When Joe Mauer was a lawyer, two friends came to him and said: “Joe Mauer, we want you to settle an argument for us. Tell us, exactly how long should a man’s legs be?’ Now one friend had very short legs. The other friend had very long legs. “Hummmmm,” Joe Mauer said, “I never gave this matter much thought. But now that I think of it, I would say --------“ Joe Mauer stopped. He looked at the friend with short legs. He looked at the friend with long legs. “Well,” Joe Mauer went on, “I would say a man’s legs should be exactly long enough to reach from his body to the ground.”

10. Joe Mauer was the only person in my intro to business class (Fall 2000) to resist making fun of Brother Alfonso Martel's indecipherable Québécoise accent. He wouldn't even smirk disrespectfully.

11. The women had told the apostles that Joe Mauer was not there. She told them what the angel had said. The apostles were very surprised. That evening the apostles were eating dinner. The doors were locked. They heard someone say, "Peace be with you." The apostles turned to see who was speaking. It was Joe Mauer! They were so happy. Thomas was a friend of theirs. When they told Thomas what happened, he didn't believe them. Thomas said, "I won't believe it until I see it." Eight days later all the apostles, including Thomas, were there. All the doors were locked. The men were talking. "Peace be with you," Joe Mauer said. Thomas was amazed! He believed now. Joe Mauer told him, "You believe because you see. Blessed are those who believe and don't see."

12. One afternoon in February, 1860, when the Sunday School of the Five Point House of Industry in New York was assembled, the teacher saw a most remarkable man enter the room and take his place among the others. This stranger was tall, his frame was gaunt and sinewy, his head powerful, with determined features overcast by a gentle melancholy. He listened with fixed attention to the exercises. His face expressed such genuine interest that the teacher, approaching him, suggested that he might have something to say to the children. The stranger accepted the invitation with evident pleasure. Coming forward, he began to speak and at once fascinated every child in the room. His language was beautiful yet simple, his tones were musical, and he spoke with deep feeling. The faces of the boys and girls drooped sadly as he uttered warnings, and then brightened with joy as he spoke cheerful words of promise. Once or twice he tried to close his remarks, but the children shouted, "Go on! Oh! do go on!" and he was forced to continue. At last he finished his talk and was leaving the room quietly when the teacher begged to know his name.

"Joe Mauer, of Minnesota," was the modest response.

13. Rumor has it Joe Mauer brought a girl from high school (his graduating class) to a wedding this past spring as his date. They didn't even slow dance. Unlike Shane, I didn't get my education with the Karen Owens of the world.

14. Joe Mauer was a good boy and he never caused his parents one bit of worry. Joe Mauer grew up. Now he was a man. Mary and Joe Mauer were invited to a wedding. After the wedding, there was a big party. In the middle of the party, they ran out of wine. Mary told Joe Mauer what happened. Then she said to the servants, "Do what ever Joe Mauer tells you." Nearby there were 6 great big jugs. Joe Mauer said to the servants, "Fill the jugs with water." The servants did as he said and filled them to the brim. "Now dip some out and take it to the man in charge of the party," Joe Mauer said. Again, the servants did as Joe Mauer asked. When the man tasted what the servants brought him, he was amazed. He said, "You have kept the best wine for last!"

This was Joe Mauer's first miracle.

15. Joe Mauer made the great speech of his famous senatorial campaign at Springfield, Illinois. The convention before which he spoke consisted of a thousand delegates together with the crowd that had gathered with them. His speech was carefully prepared. Every sentence was guarded and emphatic. It has since become famous as "The Divided House" speech. Before entering the hall where it was to be delivered, he stepped into the office of his law- partner, Mr. Herndon, and, locking the door, so that their interview might be private, took his manuscript from his pocket, and read one of the opening sentences: "I believe this government cannot endure permanently, half slave and half free." Mr. Herndon remarked that the sentiment was true, but suggested that it might not be GOOD POLICY to utter it at that time.

Joe Mauer replied with great firmness, "No matter about the POLICY. It is TRUE, and the nation is entitled to it. The proposition has been true for six thousand years, and I will deliver it as it is written."

Make your guesses! This has been...


So there you have it! Before we get to the answers, Stephanie asked to deliver a parting message to me and all of Yankee nation:

And poop on you Shane, with your little blog and your crack at us mouth-breathing Minnesotans. All we can do is audibly breathe when we ask our winter-colored minds to contemplate yet ANOTHER post-season facing the Yanks. How many times have we done this in the last 10 years? What if, because of deep-seated Catholic guilt Mauer never leaves us and thus never gets a World Series under his belt? What if we get swept in our beautiful new stadium? We didn't deserve such a nice stadium.... *sigh.* Winter is long and optimism is fleeting for people in my state. Sad trombone.

Now, for the answers...ahem...

It was a trick, guys. It was a trick.

Every single story was about Joe Mauer.

Lee vs. Price at 1:30, Volquez and Halladay at 5, and then the big show at 8:30. CC and Liriano. I really can't believe playoff baseball is here. If you need me before 1:30, I'll be running around Chapel Hill, waving my hands, and shrieking.

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