Where the Wild Things Are: The Younger Siblings of Baseball | June 29, 2022

Behold, America’s Pastime.  As the first buds of spring emerge on the branch, so do cleats on the baseline – ready to make and rake their own layers in the dusty tracks like so many generations before.  However, today on Animal Planet‘s “Where the Wild Things Are,” we take you off the baseball field to capture a species rarely seen by the naked eye (because most people wear sunglasses): the elusive, the sugar-filled, the unkempt and unkept…Younger Siblings.

As the title suggests, a Younger Sibling is the latter offspring in a family group that also includes an Older Sibling.  When enrolled in activities such as baseball, these Older Siblings require an excessive amount of attention – from identifying appropriate clothing (“Are we wearing blues or whites today?” a parent will ask, using the royal “We” to identify to the Older Sibling – who rarely knows the location or cleanliness level of any jersey, color notwithstanding), to providing nutrient-rich sustenance (“I hope we’re all hungry for microwaved hot dogs!”), to traveling to and from events (“We have to be at the field at 7am, so maybe we will sleep in the car.”), to watching every moment of gameplay (“Yes, instead of going to bed, let’s definitely talk about that minute detail.”).

An adult brain can only process so many thoughts at once; and, as a result, any Younger Siblings are given the barest minimum of care – basically, parents just make sure to bring them along to wherever they are going.  Left to their own wild devices, these Younger Siblings organize into feral packs, roaming about the ballfield in search of food and fun.  These packs are called “Buddies” because, once in a group, the Younger Siblings eschew their own given names so as to answer to all variations of the name “Buddy.”

Buddies exist everywhere and nowhere.  One minute, they are under the bleachers.  The next, they are in the outfield.  Their location rarely has anything to do with their purpose; they will throw a ball back and forth from inside the bathrooms, or cheer at random for whatever team is in closest proximity from the top of an electrical box.  Often, they will stop what they are doing and have a long conversation with another member of the pack – ending the conversation by slapping one another and shouting, “You’re it!” and running off.

Buddies are particularly hard to identify, as they are always shifting numbers, members, and clothing.  Many Younger Siblings will arrive at the field wearing their SpongeBob jammie bottoms and their Older Siblings’ unused jersey, and leave the field in a pair of shorts and no shirt at all.

Because of these changing facts, and in order to hold up the “parenting” end of being a parent, adults will move their focus away from the Older Sibling long enough to regularly track the general vicinity of his or her younger child.  Once they spot one or more members of their last-known pack, they will shout out an ambiguous missive, such as, “How’s it going, Bud?”  To which their offspring will identify themselves by yelling, “I’m hungry.”

The Buddies’ diet is forged entirely from the nearby concession stand.  This is not to say other options don’t exist; in many cases, the parents of the Younger Siblings will provide a carry-all filled to the brim with healthy/healthy-ish foodstuffs, ranging from sunflower seeds to fruit snacks to the same straight-up actual candy served at the stand.  Regardless of what is provided, the Younger Siblings will wait until the exact moment that the Older Sibling is either up to bat or pitching and then ask for money “to get something to eat.”

“Hang on, Bud, your brother is pitching,” the parent will reply, their eyes glued to the field.

“But I’m hungrrrrryyyyy,” the Younger Sibling will say, invoking a tone which has the effect of completely erasing a parents’ memory of any previously-packed snacks and/or best-laid plans to not buy anything at the park.

“Oh, okay,” the parent will say, producing $5 without actually looking away from the game.  “Bring back change.”

No change will ever return.  Instead, it will be traded for hot dogs and candy bars, as well as cotton candy, Freezees, Ring Pops, and bags of chips.  Once gathered, the Younger Sibling will graciously dole any and all foodstuffs amongst the Buddies, oftentimes forgetting to save enough to fill their own bellies.  Not to worry, though; they will soon be sated as soon as the coach switches pitchers and another Younger Sibling can repeat the same song-and-dance with their own different set of parents.

If, for some reason, the concession stand is closed, the Younger Siblings will console themselves with fistfuls of unshelled sunflower seeds – which they will “eat” by sucking off the salt and spitting into the grass whole, thereby saving themselves the unnecessary exertions of shelling, chewing, or actually consuming any protein.

To get an inside look at this volatile pack environment, Animal Planet embedded one of our top researchers, Dr. Pat Patterson, into what we identified as Buddy Bravo (which was formed after one of the members of Buddy Alpha left to go to Sam’s Club with his grandma).  Here’s what Dr. Patterson had to say:

“I found Buddy Bravo rolling down the pitching mound on an unused field, and I was able to join them by standing near the group until someone pointed at me and said it was my turn.  We played on that field for one hundred hours, and then petted a dog for another hundred hours.  I was briefly a member of Buddy Charlie after a kid named Sam called Finn’s sister a farthead, but we reconvened once Sam’s mom found a bag of balloons in her wagon.  Come to think of it, we never did blow up those balloons; instead, Finn pulled us around in the wagon like a choo-choo train for infinity hours and then it was time to go.  Did I have a good time?  Well, Sam did – wait, is that the ice cream truck?  Can I have $5?”

As Dr. Patterson – who is currently preparing for a similar study amongst Hockey Buddies – noted, Younger Siblings will spend “infinity hours” at the baseball park – time that will never be reciprocated by their Older Sibling.  Yes, one day the Younger Sibling may be at his or her own baseball game, and yes, the Older Sibling may need to come to the field to get his or her mom’s car keys – and, while there, casually glance at the game while mom digs in her purse.  When that happens, nearby adults will coo, “Isn’t it great that he came to watch his brother,” which is the cue to the Older Sibling that they are now allowed to leave to do something better.

Finally, speaking of leaving…all baseball games come to an end – and with it, our migrating Buddies find a soft landing pad on the folded-up lawn chairs of their parents. 

“Can we go to the pool?”  The Younger Sibling will ask, after a final handful of sunflower seeds.

“Sorry, Bud,” their parents will say.  “We have to be back at the field in an hour.”

Join us next week on Animal Planet‘s “Where the Wild Things Are” for a look at the dictionary definition of universal chaos: that time you decided to invite your four-year-old’s entire preschool class to his birthday party.

This week’s news has a swimming lesson and a barbecue.  Read on.


Minot’s Roosevelt Park Zoo is attempting to set the record for the world’s largest swimming lesson. (KX Net)

Fargo’s Johanna Zinke has created a business called Ramp Girl (she’s 10 years old) so that she can sell rare ramps she finds on her family hikes to area restaurants. (Fargo Forum)

Over 5,000 people came out to the 10th Annual Bakken BBQ – which broke records with 46 cooking companies – in order to raise money for Make-A-Wish North Dakota. (Dickinson Press)

 


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We are here to tell you your opinion | June 22, 2022

For those of you who don’t live in North Dakota, North Dakotans justify the fact that we deal with cold winters because the trade-off is absolutely glorious weather the rest of the year.  This spring, however, has been a little…inconsistently glorious…compared to others; and yesterday we celebrated the first day of summer with a preceding week that could best be described as “Windy as all get-out and hot as the sun.”

The air temperatures and speed seem to be North Dakota Normalizing (Is that a thing?  What do we normalize here – bars as both a dessert and a main dish?) to its expected perfection; but while it does, I thought I’d do a We Are Here to Tell You Your Opinion (click here if you don’t know what I’m talking about) on a few TV shows for you to consider watching when you’re inside taking a break from all the summer-ness.  All of these shows are pretty easy on the brain; let’s call them the Beach Watches of Television.

REACHER

Kyle started Reacher (Amazon Prime) because he read the Jack Reacher book series by Lee Child and was excited for the television adaptation.  I started watching Reacher because Alan Ritchson is handsome and I wanted to look at him.  We ended up bingeing the entire first season over the period of a week, during which we learned 1) Alan Ritchson is from GRAND FORKS, NORTH DAKOTA which is obviously why he’s my brand; and 2) Reacher is a fun – if you consider gratuitous violence “fun” – action series similar to Criminal Minds, except that Jack Reacher is a nomadic vigilante supported by the law, instead of being the law itself.  Viewer beware: In addition to the violence, there are a couple of nudie scenes.  Here’s the trailer.

WELCOME TO FLATCH

Full disclosure: I didn’t want to start watching Welcome to Flatch (Hulu) because it looked too cornball-y for me.  I only gave in because we had finished re-watching Derry Girls for the second time and I was feeling too jolly to start Ozark (it turns out I still feel too jolly to start Ozark, and now we’re the only people in the world who haven’t seen the finale).  After three episodes I was hooked on Flatch – which, as I figured, turned out to be cornball-y, but in the best possible way.  Flatch is a mockumentary about life in rural Kansas; specifically, as it centers around two wannabe wild and loose cousins, the town newspaper editor, and Father Joe, played by ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA’s Seann William Scott.  As is the case with almost every comedy about the Midwest, every character is lovable, every character has big dreams, and every character begins to fulfill (or actually fulfills) those big dreams in a lovable way.  Here’s the trailer.

SHORESY

Speaking of shows I didn’t want to watch, when Jared Keeso, one of the creators of Letterkenny (a show about a town in Canada that Kyle LOVED because it reminds him of home, and I thought was pretty funny for about 10 of its 61 – and counting – episodes), announced he was making a spinoff about the fifth-most annoying character on Letterkenny, I was a hard pass.  I can’t remember how Kyle talked me into Shoresy (Hulu), but I’m pretty sure I agreed to it because I secretly wanted to scroll my phone for an hour.  I’m glad I actually paid attention because Shoresy is all of the silliness of Letterkenny with the added bonus of character development and a storyline.  Shoresy is about a Canadian men’s league team that is about to fold because they have lost all of their paying fans – and so the character of Shoresy (who is the king of hockey chirps and also cries at the drop of a hat) convinces the owner to keep it going with the promise that “they never lose a game.”  If you like hockey and bros, I think you’d be hard-pressed not to like ShoresyHere’s the trailer; head’s up, there’s a bad word in it.

RESERVATION DOGS

Kyle and I will watch basically anything by Taika Waititi, which is how we came to find Reservation Dogs (Hulu).  Reservation Dogs is a half-hour comedy-ish that follows four teenage friends on a reservation in rural Oklahoma.  Taika Waititi does a great job developing interesting characters, and the show is worth it just to see the four leads interact with one another as they deal with a host of lighthearted, and also not-at-all-funny problems, such as the death of the fifth member of their group.  I was going to try and give an example using quotes from the show but there are A LOT of swears in Reservation Dogs, so here is a link to a scene where Bear – one of the teens – meets his haphazard spirit guide for the first time.  Also, here is the trailer; although I’m not sure it best represents the overall storyline (the part where they steal the chip truck is the first scene of the show and is kind of a MacGuffin).

SOMEBODY SOMEWHERE

Kyle and I knew we were going to watch Somebody Somewhere (HBO) basically no matter what because it was written by EAST GRAND FORKS, MINNESOTA’s Paul Thureen and stars Bridget Everett, and we like both of those things.  Despite the fact that Bridget is a comedian, I’m not sure I’d call Somebody Somewhere a comedy; it’s a gentle, friendly look at some serious issues in small-town Kansas (Kansas is having a real entertainment-based renaissance, apparently).  The whole thing is like watching some of your perfectly pleasant acquaintances live their lives for a few months.  It’s such easy watching that we didn’t even realize we reached the end of the first season until we couldn’t find any more episodes.  Here’s the trailer.

The photo above doesn’t have anything to do with anything, but Kyle made that sign for our seven-year-old’s lemonade stand, and Seven made a sign that said, “Beer J/K Lemonade,” and both of them were pretty proud of themselves.

This week’s news has a Rendezvous and a Wagon Train.  Read on.


Tomorrow is the first day of the Santee-Lucky Mound Pow Wow in Parshall – check it out. (KX Net)

This is in here entirely for me to tell Kyle because he’s going to want to go: Fort Union is holding the 39th Annual Rendezvous. (KFYR TV)

Minot’s father-son duo David and Dayson Dannewitz received the North Dakota Highway Patrol Colonel’s Award for Excellence for helping clear two troopers out of the snow during the April Blizzard. (KX Net)

Westward, Ho!  Participants from 21 states and two countries are traveling as a part of the 53rd annual Fort Seward Wagon Train, which goes from Jamestown to Montpelier (and back again) this week. (Jamestown Sun)

Grand Forks’ Lily Goehring was one of twelve contestants performing on last night’s episode of Dancing with Myself. (Fargo Forum)

Bismarck’s Allison Keller dyed her hair blue in order to get her students to return their library books. (KFYR TV)


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Cougar Woods | June 15, 2022

When I was in high school, my boyfriend said to me, “If you’re going to be in business, you need to know how to golf.”  This was the late ‘90’s, when being “in business” meant wearing power suits with white sneakers and drinking martinis and obviously I was going to do that, so I agreed.  He and I went to the golf course on a foggy fall day.  He set up a tee and ball on the first hole, handed me his driver (I feel compelled to note that he was 6’2” and I was 5’2” and that club fit exactly one of us), gave me a quick, helpful instruction on how what to do, and stood back while I swung for the fences.  Then, he walked twenty feet up to where my ball had landed post-hit, picked it up, and threw it in the direction of the green.  We repeated that same process roughly a million more times – hit the ball, throw the ball – until we reached the fifth hole and he said, “You know, you’re good at other stuff,” and we left to go get ice cream.

I was “in business” by my early twenties, and so my boss invited me (and my white sneakers and martinis) to a charity golf tournament.  “Do you know how to golf?”  He asked.  “Oh, yes,” I said, remembering the advice I had been given on my first outing.  I borrowed a set of clubs from my friend’s little sister, bought three golf balls (I mean, how many does a person need?) – and, using those rightly-sized clubs, hit the crap out of all three balls right into the woods or the water on the first two holes of the course.  I spent the rest of the tournament driving the golf cart – i.e. one of my many “good at other stuff” skills – and charming everyone with my near-constant chatter.  Unrelated, I was not invited along on any future golf outings.

Fast-forward a decade or so to when Kyle and I took the boys to Arizona and he suggested we fill the time by going to Top Golf.  Top Golf is a multi-story driving range with digitally-chipped balls that track where they go on the range.  Also, it’s a restaurant and bar.  The boys liked it because they could hit golf balls for two hours.  I liked it because I could sit on a couch surrounded by nachos and cheesecake (martinis) and still have close enough access to my then-four-year-old to hold onto his shirt so he didn’t swing himself off the range.  With about ten minutes left in our reservation, the four-year-old took a nacho breather and Kyle suggested I use his turn to whack a couple of balls into the virtual water hazard.  Full of cheesecake and mirth, I did – except that instead of whiffing the shots, they went straight (and up and down like a rainbow, which I’m sure is the technical term for describing a proper golf ball path) and true.

“Mom is the best golfer in the world!”  Four exclaimed.

Buoyed by my newfound designation as the best golfer in the world, I spent the next couple of years showing off my rainbow golf skillz at every Top Golf-esque driving range in the United States.  Finally, earlier this spring, I told Kyle that I was ready to give for-real golf a for-real try.  He quickly bought me a set of clubs before I could change my mind/the martinis wore off; and then told one of our friends about it so that I couldn’t do that thing where I would act really grateful and excited about the gift but then hide them in the back of the garage for all eternity.

That friend and her husband invited us out for my (third time’s the charm) maiden voyage.  Kyle prepared by purchasing a sackful of golf balls and tees.  I prepared by Pinteresting “cool weather golf outfits to wear with white power suit sneakers” and finding places to hide airplane bottles of vodka in my golf bag.  We played nine holes of a game called Bingo Bango Bongo, which is where two golf teams compete to earn three points – longest drive, first to the green, and first in the pin – a great game to play with a novice, as teams advance to the best ball…no throwing necessary.  My team won because I am the best golfer in the world (I got one total point, and lost two balls) and, unrelated, my teammate and friend was an actual skilled golfer.  Despite the fact that it turned out that my golf skillz were only to be found at Top Golf, the whole thing was so fun – thanks to lovely, patient, helpful friends and a beautiful evening – that I decided not to throw in the proverbial towel, and instead kept it tied to my golf bag to wash off my balls (for whatever purpose that would serve).

Since then, another one of our lovely friends has invited me to Lady’s Night, and my co-worker has agreed to come with me to a thing called “Divot a Try,” where you pay $20 for a golf lesson and a drink ticket – and all of those things sound awesome.  Also, I bought a golf skirt – so I guess it’s for-real-for-real that I’m an official golfer.

The other night, we took the boys out for nine holes of golf.  I parred one hole and shot a billion on another.  Kyle texted a photo (above) to my best friend, who replied “She’s a regular Cougar Woods.”

This week’s news has an old family and hidden treasures.  Read on.


The nearly 340 descendants of Erick and Kari Evenson will soon celebrate North Dakota’s oldest family farm by ceremonially break the ground in Mayville using Erick and Kari’s original plow. (Grand Forks Herald)

Bismarck’s Pam Crawford has published a children’s book about change, starring an eight-year-old adventurer named Leia. (KFYR TV)

Head on out to McKenzie County Heritage Park this weekend for the annual dinosaur dig. (McKenzie County Farmer)

Congratulations to Minot’s Sidni Kast, the new Miss North Dakota! (KFYR TV)


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