Italian sausage









"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 2 November 2000. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Hit & Run 11.2.00







Amid the bush-beating surrounding Richard Ben Cramer's disinterment of Joe DiMaggio — and its astonishing revelation that the "Daig" was a loutish, greedy jock with Mafia ties — practically every eager reviewer has dangled one prominent feature before the eyes of potential readers, fans, and necrophiles: Joe D.'s wang. That DiMaggio's member turns out to be more newsworthy than Cramer's dismembering may be a vindication of the oft-reviled Life hack whose panegyric praised the young ballplayer for not smelling of garlic.


But the pantsing of the horse-hung DiMaggio raises hard issues. It's good news for divorced men everwhere that Joe's finally starting to measure up to his connubial fellow icon, the depths of whose own genitalia, difficult as it is to believe, have been plumbed even more frequently since her passing than during her brief, notorious transit. Not even the dumbest, most overrated sex symbol deserves the kind of posthumous gang-banging Marilyn has received from near-greats and formerly greats, especially since they all profess to diddle her corpse for the sanctity of her image as a victim-goddess. It's enough to make you wish she'd lived long enough to extract her own revenge, if not to betray the very legend itself.


The eyewitness in DiMaggio's case is a former Miss America who claims to have seen the alleged Supersoaker while Joe sat drunk on a staircase in a French hotel. The telling piece of verisimilitude in 1951 pageant queen Yolande Betbeze's tale? That DiMaggio's bat was bigger than even Uncle Miltie's legendary eleven-inch sidekick. While Cramer strongly implies Betbeze also had occasion to get up close and personal with Mr. Television's appendage (page 378, for those of you with limited Barnes & Noble browsing time), it should be noted that Berle comparisons are a familiar trope in tales of celebrity endowment.


Whatever the actual circumstances, we fault Cramer for failing to uncover more than a couple of nuts here. What of Joe's competitors — just how did DiMaggio compare with the respective lengths and breadths of Willie or The Mick? Was the Yankee Clipper clipped? Did "it" wear a batting helmet?


But for Yankee haters, the Cramer revision was a welcome respite from last week's depressing rite of dynastic succession. And the good news may not end there. While it's too much to hope that The Hero's Life might discourage runtish singer/songwriter Paul Simon from ever playing that "Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio" song again, at least it'll give a new meaning to the "woo woo woo" part.


courtesy of the Sucksters