I could not sleep for the life of me last night. I’m assuming that it’s related to the fact I spent most of Sunday lying down resting, 11 hours asleep Sunday night, most of Monday in bed and much of the rest of it resting and then a full night’s sleep Monday night while dealing a cold that seems now to be in its death throes. So, while unable to sleep, I went to watch some TV and caught my absolute favorite X-Files episode, “The Unnatural.”
Those of who know me and the X-Files will likely guess that it’s the episode dealing with an alien who abandoned his work for “The Project” upon seeing his first baseball game. Despite coming from an alien culture that had no concept of fun or entertainment, he turned his back on it all to devote himself to baseball, ultimately sacrificing his life rather than give baseball. (Highlight text area to view spoiler.) Not even Pete Rose has showed that sort of devotion to the game. (It’s also given a fondness for Jesse L. Martin who played the alien baseball fan and was clearly enjoying the role.)
It’s filled with great quotes about baseball, like this from Josh Exley (the alien’s ball-playing alias) on how he came to love the game:
I saw a baseball game. See, there’s something you got to understand about my race. We don’t have a word for laughter. We don’t laugh. I don’t know if you noticed in between all that fainting you was doing but we have very tiny mouths, so no smiling even. … I tell you, when I saw that baseball game being played this laughter just… it just rose up out of me. You know, the sound the ball makes when it hits the bat?…It was like music to me. You know, the smell of the grass, 11 men — first unnecessary thing I ever done in my life and I fell in love. I didn’t know the unnecessary could feel so good. You know, the game was meaningless but it seemed to mean everything to me. It was useless, but perfect.
At the end of the episode, Mulder, reminded of the joys of baseball, teaches Scully about how it can take you away from all your troubles:
All right, what you may find is you concentrate on hitting that little ball… The rest of the world just fades away– all your everyday, nagging concerns.
After he continues talking, Scully tells him:
Shut up, Mulder. I’m playing baseball.
We can all use a refresher in the value of keeping that a priority in our lives. Fortunately, pitchers and catchers report tomorrow!!