Kevin’s Conversations: Who’s On First?
Costello: I mean the fellow’s name.
Costello: The guy on first.
Costello: The first baseman.
Costello: The guy playing…
Abbott: Who is on first!
Costello: I’m asking YOU who’s on first.
Abbott: That’s the man’s name.
Costello: That’s who’s name?
Costello: Well go ahead and tell me.
Abbott: That’s it.
Costello: That’s who?
Costello: Look, you gotta first baseman?
Costello: Who’s playing first?
Abbott: That’s right.
Costello: When you pay off the first baseman every month, who gets the money?
Abbott: Every dollar of it.
Costello: All I’m trying to find out is the fellow’s name on first base.
Costello: The guy that gets…
Abbott: That’s it.
Costello: Who gets the money…
Abbott: He does, every dollar. Sometimes his wife comes down and collects it.
Costello: Who’s wife?
Abbott: What’s wrong with that?
Costello: Look, all I wanna know is when you sign up the first baseman, how does he sign his name?
Costello: The guy.
Costello: How does he sign…
Abbott: That’s how he signs it.
Costello: All I’m trying to find out is what’s the guy’s name on first base.
Abbott: No. What is on second base.
Costello: I’m not asking you who’s on second.
Abbott: Who’s on first.
Costello: One base at a time!
Abbott: Well, don’t change the players around.
Costello: I’m not changing nobody!
Abbott: Take it easy, buddy.
Costello: I’m only asking you, who’s the guy on first base?
Abbott: That’s right.
Now we just about all know where this comes from. For purposes of not making the length of this article exceptionally long, I have pasted only a section of the transcript, although a long enough section as it is. I’d really love to paste the whole thing, but I think I would lose most readers long before we got to, “I Don’t Give A Darn.”
But when I am in need of a good laugh, I will sometimes google Abbot & Costello’s Who’s on First. We can often get caught up in the grief and concerns and seriousness of life and our psyches need a break. We dwell on our needs or problems or battles and can get so engulfed within them. Many times we don’t recognize the need for the break that we so badly need, or if we do, we still pass on the opportunity to do so. I know I can fall into this trap.
Just the other day, I don’t remember what, but something had sparked the thought of Who’s on First in my head and so I choose to take a break and laugh. I know it’s old. I know it’s been played over and over and over. But if you can’t appreciate this all time comedy classic, then there is just something wrong with you. 🙂 (Especially since it involves baseball.)
And so I thought I would write about it here. Maybe it will bring a smile to a face or laughter to a belly of someone who also needs a break and chooses to take a brief reprieve from the worries and anxieties of life. And it’s much more pleasant to write about than another article about politics. 🙂
There is another thought about this comedy routine, however, that came to mind. That is a comparison to some of the conversations we have in life. Whether they’re with friends or family or strangers or here at the Phoenix Preacher.
Sometimes we can be so sure about what we’re saying, or what it is that we’re trying to find out, that we completely miss the boat of what the other person or people are trying to communicate or how they are thinking. While we’re certain that it is Who who is on first base and we declare it as such, sometimes innocently enough, we’re also oblivious to the fact that our message is not coming across in the manner we think it is.
And when we start getting the inkling that our message is not being received as we think it should be, we will raise the volume or intensity, or pressure. We know we’re right that Who is on first and so we must stand firm in what we believe. We must not show weakness and must show the others the strength of our convictions. And so we dig in for another and this time more forceful round of declaring Who to be on first base.
Meanwhile, the conversation begins to degrade and the other parties begin to form some negative impressions. The cycle continues over and over until someone finally decides to step back and re-evaluate how their message might be getting received and tries to truly understand the perspective of the other person. Sometimes it takes another person to step in and clear up the confusion. Other times, nothing is ever cleared up and both parties are just left with bad feelings.
That other party may even agree with us, but we’re just disconnecting in our communication. Other times they may not actually agree at all, but our approach is just worsening the situation. Many other times there may be some points of disagreement, but others that can be agreed upon. Whatever the truth and reality may be of the whole situation, let’s try to keep the who and what and I don’t know in proper and considerate perspective. It may go a long way in improving our communication and ultimately honoring God in our behavior.