JOE MCCARTHY AND THE WORM

What’s better on a blog than a story about a story? This is one of my favorites!

JOE MCCARTHY AND THE WORM

Normally reticent around crowds, Lou Gehrig could occasionally let loose to entertain a crowd. At one dinner honoring Joe McCarthy in the 1930s, Lou told a tale of how the famous manager once had gotten disgusted with members of his Chicago Cubs team who were more interested in guzzling booze than playing baseball. One day McCarthy called his team for an early morning meeting, many of the boys showing up half-asleep and mad about being called from their beds so soon. Announcing that he would be giving a talk on how booze and baseball did not mix, McCarthy placed on a table two glasses, one half full of water and the other half full of gin. He pulled out an angleworm and dropped it into the glass of water. The worm swam around and seemed to be enjoying itself. McCarthy retrieved the swimmer and dropped it into the glass of gin. The worm promptly curled up and died. McCarthy eyed his sleepy players and asked solemnly if anyone knew the moral of this demonstration. There was silence in the room until Hack Wilson shouted out—“It proves that if you drink gin, you won’t have worms!” As the room erupted in howls of laughter, Manager McCarthy walked out, shaking his head at his unmanageable Cubs.

© 2020 by Alan D. Gaff