Up at Bat: Alec Sokolow

Alec Sokolow
Alec Sokolow at the Artists & Writers Charity Softball Game, this year sponsored by Dan’s Papers
Barbara Lassen

In recognition of Dan’s sponsorship of the Artists & Writers Charity Softball Game in August, we are giving local writers a free rein to write whatever they want in this space for the summer. Here we go!

Sok Lobster

I’m a simple lobster with a simple dream. To make the team. To have my number called. To show up and blow up. To be out there when the chips are down and the game is on the line.

It’s what you humans do, right? Planning. Hoping. Dreaming. Wanting. Well, that and complaining.

As for us lobsters, we live in the moment. What’s there to complain about? The water’s cold. And dark. You live. You die. It’s all the same. It’s very Zen when you’re a lobster.

Vacations? Please. A greater purpose? Hah! A target weight? Good luck with that. And as for God? Well, if there really is a God, why is there so much melted butter in the world?

Okay, I’ll admit it. By “team” I don’t really mean “team.” I’m talking the metaphorical “team.” And making such a team is more of a goal than a dream because, yeah, I don’t technically have a frontal lobe or limbic system so I don’t actually “dream.”

But that’s not the point. The point is, it’s good to have goals. And when you break it all down, I really just want to be a happy lobster. But happiness can seem so hard to grasp. Most things are hard to grasp for me. I don’t have thumbs. But, still. Happiness is a choice, right? You can choose to be happy. You can choose to see the glass as half full. I read once that it’s all about perspective. And yes, despite common belief, lobsters CAN read. We just choose not to. Who has the time?

Where was I? Right. Happiness. So, I read once that there is really no way to happiness.

That happiness IS the way. If you have free will, of course. Which I don’t because, well, see above. I have no abstract thoughts. I’m just a lobster.

But, now that we’re speaking of free will, get your vaccine. I mean, really. It’s not that hard. You fill out a form or two. Wait on a line. And get poked. At worst, you lose a day. At best, restaurants, theater, music, sports. You name it. There are a million things you can choose not to do once you’re vaccinated.

But, enough about you. Yeah, I’m just a simple lobster with a simple dream. I just want to make the team. And as we all know, there’s no “I” in team and for the record, there’s no “I” in lobster either.

There wasn’t when those toga wearers called me “locusta.” Or when those Canterburys labeled me “lopustre.” Which, any way you slice it, reduces to being labeled a sea locust. A LOCUST? Really?

Hath not a lobster eyes? (Yes.) Hath not a lobster dimensions, senses, affections, passions? (Maybe not.) If you prick us, do we not bleed?

Okay, I know I don’t bleed. I have no blood. Or a heart. I may not have a heart, but I do have taste.

And it’s the taste game that I want to enter. For my dream is to make the team. Which for me means lobster salad, baby. Served on a potato roll. Washed down with a glass of chilled rosé.

Lobster salad me, baby. ’Cause I know I’m better than bisque. No, I want to be slathered in mayo, massaged with chopped onions, some celery and sea salt. And up-charged like an August rental.

The season is starting, folks. Give yourselves a hand. You made it! The game has begun. And we may not be in Wonderland but we are in the land of wonder so help me help you help me. Make my dream come true.

Eat me.

Alec Sokolow’s career as a storyteller has taken him from late-night TV comedy to writing some of the most memorable films of our time (Toy Story, Cheaper by the Dozen, the Garfield movies) to writing the story and mythology for a major video game series (Skylanders). He has written on 60-plus Hollywood feature film and TV projects, written children’s books, directed animation shorts, produced documentaries. His credited film work has topped $1 billion in worldwide box office receipts.

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