Brian Bailey Preface to the Revised Edition


Over the past few months, my sister Beth has started reading this blog more often. She'll send friendly emails here and there, ask a follow-up question or congratulate me on a book milestone. It's always a little odd when your family reads your blog - comforting, but also somewhat unsettling.

Since Beth stops by once in awhile, I thought I should share a story that is 20 years in the making.

I grew up with two older sisters - Beth, the oldest and Laura, the middle child. I tended to get along with Beth better due to the greater age difference - we had very little common territory to fight over. She also did some wonderful things for me. The one that stands out was a birthday when she not only got me tickets to see Bill Cosby in person (my childhood hero), but I received a signed birthday card from Cosby himself a few days before. This has always been one of my favorite memories, but now that Ben shares my love for his comedy albums and we've started watching the Cosby Show together as a family, I appreciate it even more.

This story, though, takes place in October of 1987. I was a senior in high school, courting a cute, young girl named Lori. We had been going out for about a month officially and this October night we had probably gone to see a movie and ended up back at my house around 10pm.

Beth was home watching a M*A*S*H rerun. Our whole family loved M*A*S*H and had seen every episode at least five times (note: the show had been over for four years at this point). We even had a trivia quiz book that we were disturbingly good at. Beth was the most obsessed of all.

At this point in our relationship, I had done a good job of convincing Lori that I didn't care much for sports, though that was something short of true. On this night, though, I had an excuse - the Detroit Tigers were in the playoffs. Baseball was my favorite sport, cemented when the Tigers won the World Series in 1984.

We walked into the living room and I immediately reached for the remote so I could check the status of the game - after all, baseball playoffs games in Michigan are a rare thing. It won't surprise any of you with siblings that a fight ensued. My wonderful sister was shocked and offended that I would try to change the channel in the middle of her favorite show. I was shocked and offended that she would insist on watching a rerun over a playoff game. This was my final argument...

"I can't believe you're not going to change the channel! M*A*S*H is on every single night. It could be 20 years before the Tigers are in the playoffs again!"

She didn't give in.

I took Lori home and the Tigers eventually lost the series. I actually remember that night every now and then, but the story recently came to its perfect conclusion.

Most of you are aware the 2006 World Series ended just a few short weeks ago. The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Detroit Tigers in five games.

It was the first time the Tigers had made the playoffs since 1987 - 19 years ago.

By the way, you can still catch M*A*S*H most evenings in syndication - just check your local listings.