what follows is the transcript of our subsequent exchanges:
Fort Knocks: I'm pretty sure that's my little league baseball coach.
Friend: He seriously looks like him? Was this a traumatic experience? I would guess so judging from the looks of that psycho. I cannot stop laughing when I look at the crazed look in that guy's eyes.
Fort Knocks: yeah, whenever he was throwing batting practice, he had a bag of baseballs and a bag of whiffle balls, and if you missed a pitch, he would grab a whiffle ball, sprint towards home plate and try to peg you with it, yelling "Keep your eye on the ball" and then he would keep chasing you and throwing whiffle balls until you said "I will keep my eye on the ball!" yeah, we lost a lot of games that year. Plus, he pushed one kid onto the train tracks, so a bunch of other kids quit.
Friend: Um what? Are you kidding me? The first part reminded me of a Bad News Bears incident which made me chuckle even though it's pretty twisted, but pushing a kid onto the train tracks??? What??? Did any parents ever see this stuff? This guy should be in jail.
Good thing this loon didn't deter you from playing baseball. I wonder if now he's one of those creepy guys who just lurks around little league games when he really has no place being there, just watching silently and thinking about the old days.
Fort Knocks: he also had this weird thing where he would watch the game from the dugout with binoculars, even though he was like 20 feet away. and he was totally different around the parents, really nice and friendly, but when the parents were gone, he would invite the kids over to his house to watch tv or whatever. i never went, but one of the kids who did go, yeah he quit. and after watching the game through binoculars, every game he would go to the port-a-potty for the whole bottom of the fifth; he called it his strategy time. i didn't ask.
Friend: Ok are you kidding me. This sounds like something out of 'How to catch a predator" or "America's Most Wanted." That is absolutely beyond creepy. How old were you guys anyway? Did you tell your parents about that? This guy should have been investigated for sure. I'm getting the creeps even reading about this guy. That's got to be traumatic for kids to say the least. Wow.
Fort Knocks: some kids said they told their parents but their parents didn't believe them. I never told my parents. I was pretty shy and content to go with the flow. There was a cat (I don't think it was a stray because it had a collar) that walked across our field, and he chased it and nailed it with a bat. it went down, and we went back to practice, but as we were leaving, he was going back over there, and he had taken off his hat and his shoes, which was weird, but then I saw him start to beat the dead cat with his bat. we joked about how he probably had people cut up in his freezer, but now i think it might be true. and another time he brought a bone-knife to practice (I didn't even know what that was), and he showed us how the indians used to scalp people, grab a big fistful of hair and then just slide the knife along the skull. the kid went to the hospital; the coach said he fell, but i don't think they believed him. we got a new coach like a week after that.
Friend: Oh my gosh. I'm quite literally getting the creeps from this story. What a sicko. I can't even believe this guy got a job as a coach. That is beyond disturbing to say the least. I'm quite certain that I would be traumatized if that happened to me. Wow, wow, wow. I cannot believe he did all of those things. Was his name James Crucio by any chance? Because that's the guy in the picture. He does sound like someone who is a serial killer or something. You wouldn't think that someone like that could be lurking in the suburbs, especially a place like Oak Park. Now I feel pretty disturbed. The closest I ever got to having a crazy coach was with my high school traveling soccer coach. He was busted for heroin, cocaine, and other drugs and was using his main job at the Darien Sportsplex to traffic the stuff.
It must have been hard to go to practice every day knowing that lunatic was your coach.
Fort Knocks: Oh my gosh, yeah! that was his name! The first day of practice, as a team bonding, team unity thing, he made all of us take off our pants-- the whole way, and run around the outside of Maple Park. Before we knew each other at all. It was like "hi, nice to meet you, oh wow, now you're naked from the waist down." but then he took shortcuts through the park, and would hide in the bushes and jump out roaring. and we'd all freak out and scatter, and he'd chase us for a while, and then find somewhere new to hide. But one of the times (the second time, I think), he jumped out right at this bigger kid, and the kid yelled and dodged away from him, but right into the street (Maple is right next to Harlem). And he got absolutely crushed, flattened by a cement truck. So Crucio told us all to run back as fast as we could and put our pants back on, and then hid the kid's body in the bushes before the truck could stop, turn around and come back, because the blocks are double-length, and the truck was too big to turn around or back up, so he was going around the block. And then (luckily for him) it started raining, and he got us all across the street to an Amoco (back in the day before they were BP) to wait for our parents.
Friend (finally gets it): I knew it. Totally the same guy. What a tough life you lead in the streets of Oak Park.
Maybe I'm just really gullible. Oh wait, yeah I am. The gulliblest person you've probably ever met. And yes I made that word up.
I should kick you in the shins.