Dutch: Part 2


Do you like reading massive blocks of text?!  “Of course not!  500 words or less, and there’s got to be a picture in there, too!  Something funny, like two guys colliding or an animal wearing a hat!”

Normally, I’d agree with you.  But I’m doing a thing here.  Darren Daulton, in honor of some recent appearances in the area, is getting the royal treatment here at TBOH.  This is Part 2 of my extended lead-in to reviewing his book, “If They Only Knew,” which deals primarily with his foray into metaphysics. It’s been… interesting.

Read Part 1 here.  Other than that, buckle up.

I was perusing shelves of sports books by former and current ESPN analysts who were desperate to cash in over-amped sports nostalgia for a paycheck when I realized:  Wait, I’m looking for Darren Daulton’s book…  I think I’m in the wrong section entirely.

It’s not like I expected to find it anywhere.  There was a pretty thin demographic for an aging ex-professional catcher’s thoughts on traveling between dimensions.  My theory had been that if Dutch’s masterpiece was to land somewhere, anywhere, in public, it would be in a book store in downtown Philly, where he’s culminated the majority of his heroism.

But no.  Just more Jayson Stark, leaning to his right, smiling with a baseball in his hand.  Way to go, Jayson.  You made it.

I didn’t feel like getting slapped around by shipping and handling and tracking numbers, so my theory had been to check out local retailers to see if anybody had the sack to carry the book.  No.  Tey didn’t.

Maybe a library?

Do people still use libraries?  Or are they like VCRs and 2010 Eagles playoff hopes?  Not that it mattered, because a quick internet search told me that the only library in America with a registered copy of “If They Only Knew” was in Wichita, Kansas.  For some reason.

It looked like Dutch was getting twenty of my dollars.  Round one to him.

The reviews online were not always pretty.  Somebody commented on his repeated usage of the phrase “I know you’re not gonna believe me, but…”

Darren, I believe that you believe it; I sat through your jaw-dropping interview on CSN in its entirety, remember?  When you go from professional athlete to self-proclaimed metaphysicist, that’s all you can really ask of me.

But I couldn’t really let other people’s mean spirited bias deflect my opinion in one way or another.  I will simply read the book, and not expose myself to any third party analysis beforehand.

Oh god.  There’s a website:  www.dutch2012.com

You aren’t going to make this easy, are you Dutch?  He leans on his theories about 2012 pretty heavily on the site, bringing it up in the welcome message, the “About” page, and twice in his email address alone (2012@dutch2012.com).  Visually, you feel like you’re looking at a planetarium shortly before a lecture attended by only three other people.  In this lonely corner of the internet, Dutch is the king; your counterbalancing of his radical new interests with his contributions to Philadelphia baseball noisily derailed the further on you read.

He also refers to computers as “cyber machines.”

Despite people on the internet, my better judgment, a general disinterest in 2012 theories, the hope-shattering message of “A new copy is not available from Barnes & Noble.com at this time,”and an accidental almost-purchase of “If They Only Knew” by ex-pro wrestler Chyna, I bought it.

My first idea in actually reading “If They Only Knew” was to devise some sort of “WTF?!-ometer,” in that I could refer to the device every time I thought something  was strange, out of place, inappropriate, or batshit insane.

It’s not contemptible, I thought.  It’s not just making the same joke with different words.  It’s not just relentlessly cutting a man down for the sake of a cheap laugh.

It is those things, though.  It totally and meaninglessly is.

So what’s going to happen here, before I’ve even read the book and can officially have an opinion on it, is a play-by-play.  I’m going to tell you what I’m looking at in all truthfulness, and let the final decision go to you.  Because the easy route to take would be to sit in this chair and come up with all the snarky little bitchings about this book that are already filling cyberspace.

In that spirit:

What I’m looking at on my desk, miraculously only a mere two days after I ordered it, is a book.  In the cover’s foreground sits our boy Dutch, either crouched in a stretching position or sitting on a very low bench intended for children.  His hair is front and center, soaked in sunshine, and he’s smiling; Curt Schilling’s probably just shoved a pie in Chris Wheeler’s face just out frame or something.  His sunglasses give off the sense that he’s snuck into the park and ridden a sweet motorcycle around the bases the night before.

“DARREN DAULTON,” the text yells, followed by a harsh whispering of the title:  “If They Only Knew.”

We flip it over; instantly bombarded by what the photographer has told Dutch is an award-winning smile.  A blurb in the bottom left describes the book as “electrifying.”  Further below is the price, reminding you how much of your paltry paycheck you did indeed spend on this literature.

There’s not a lot else I can tell you without opening this thing.  Let’s begin.

Wow this thing is… quite poorly made.  One of the pages just came out when I turned it.

Here we go.