The Unofficial First Day of Summer

Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer, and summer was in full bloom in America. The nation experienced mostly beautiful weather.

The Midwest had highs in the 80s, The Southeast experienced temps even higher. Temperatures in the Florida panhandle exceeded approximately 173 degrees.

But it’s important to remember that it wasn’t a great Memorial Day weekend for everyone.

Yesterday in Saint Louis, for example, a man named Phillip was playing baseball with his kids while his wife, Lindsey, was making potato salad inside. The day was going swimmingly.

“Guys in my family have always played baseball on Memorial Day weekend,” Philip wrote to me this morning in an email. “It’s a longstanding tradition for us.”

Phillip was pitching. His 11-year-old son, Austin, was at the plate. Phillip delivered an easy pitch underhand. His son swung the bat like the baseball had personally insulted his mother. The bat connected.


The good news is that Phillip’s son hit a line drive. The bad news is: it was a line drive which struck a part of Phillip’s anatomy most often associated with procreation.

The ball nailed Phillip. He howled in pain. He went down under the power. His kids all gathered around him and asked if he was okay. All Phillip could utter was, “Go get your mom, please.”

It bears mentioning, Phillip’s son was using an aluminum bat not a wooden bat. Which might not sound like an important detail to this story except that the exit velocity of a ball hit by an aluminum bat is a LOT higher than that of one hit by a wooden bat.

A ball hit by a wooden bat has an average velocity of 60 to 80 mph. Whereas a ball hit by an aluminum bat is capable of breaking the sonic barrier.

Phillip’s wife approached her husband and asked her children what had happened.

Her 4-year-old son remarked, “Austin hit daddy in the Twinkie.”

His wife had to excuse herself for a moment. When she returned, her face was red and she looked like she’d been laughing.

“I wasn’t laughing,” said Phillip’s wife. “It’s allergies.”

Then, his wife single-handedly loaded Phillip into their SUV. She placed him in the cargo hold because Phillip was incapable of sitting. Phillip laid on on his side throughout the long ride to the hospital and tried to remind himself to breathe.

Occasionally, he heard a cackling sound coming from the front seat, but his wife swears that her allergies get so bad this time of year.

“My wife doesn’t even have allergies,” Phillip writes.

At the hospital, a doctor checked him out. The nurse removed Phillip’s trousers and the medical professionals inspected the bruising. The doctor asked how it happened.

Phillip’s 4-year-old spoke again. “My brother hit my daddy in the Twinkie.”

The doctor nodded, covered his mouth, then excused himself briefly. The medical man left the exam room and Phillip swears he heard the sound of the doctor’s allergies acting up.

When the doctor returned, he was out of breath and he had four other male medical colleagues with him who were available to offer their expertise. Also, the janitor said he wanted to see, too.

One of the veteran ER doctors, male, inspected the bruising and wore a grave face. Whereupon he looked Phillip square in the eye and said, “Son, I’m afraid we’re going to have to remove it.”

At which point, all medical staffers excused themselves again and Phillip heard more allergies in the hallway.

“What kind of world is this we live in,” Phillip wrote to me, “when doctors and nurses can’t even act professionally?”

Thankfully, as it turns out, Phillip will make a full recovery. The main advice the doctor gave Phillip was to use frozen vegetables—either corn or peas work best—to de-inflame the affected netherregions. Once the bruising goes away, the doctor recommends that Phillip retire his jersey and quit baseball altogether.

Phillip spent most of today in the supine position, lying on his sofa. All day, Philip’s friends have been stopping by to wish him well.

“They’ve been bringing me a lot of Hostess products,” said Phillip.

He hopes that by sharing his story he can warn fathers out there to take the proper protective measures when playing backyard sports.

“I just don’t wanna see this happen to someone else,” he added. “I think it’s time we talked openly about this painfully sensitive subject.”

Now if you’ll excuse me, my allergies are acting up.


  1. Dee Garbarino - May 31, 2022 9:06 am

    Good Morning Sean, I love your stories and always look forward to each one.
    I gently want to remind you that Memorial day is actually about honoring our military who died while serving our great nation. It is a day to think of the blood they shed for us. I have deep feelings for those who make such great sacrifices for people they don’t even know. Please do not forget them. They are our true heroes and should be thought of on this and every “Memorial” day.
    Please continue to write your wonderful stories!
    You give my soul food for thought. Thank you DG

    • Marie - May 31, 2022 11:38 am

      Dear Dee, did you read YESTERDAY’S post????? Probably not if you wrote this!! There was a wonderful tribute to those Memorial Day is about!!

  2. Susie - May 31, 2022 9:16 am

    This was funny. It made my allergies act up…..and I don’t even have allergies.

  3. Robert Boileau - May 31, 2022 9:16 am

    There are two things you will experience while growing up. One, getting the wind knocked out of you and two, getting hit in the Twinkie.

  4. Deborah Blount - May 31, 2022 10:11 am

    My allergies have me so choked up, I woke the whole household.

  5. Tim Smith - May 31, 2022 10:24 am

    Mine too.

  6. Christine - May 31, 2022 10:35 am

    Dear DG, where were you yesterday. Obviously you didn’t read what Sean wrote, Memorial.
    Myself, I needed a hysterical laugh with all that’s going on.
    Thank you Sean for today’s laugh. 😘

  7. Barbara - May 31, 2022 10:42 am

    In response to Dee Garbarino’s rebuke, please read Sean’s post from yesterday.

    There has been so much grief and sadness lately, I’m thankful Sean wrote todays column and for Phillip sharing the hilarity, even at his own painful expense, allowing us to laugh. Great one, Sean.

  8. Michael and Sandra Lauer - May 31, 2022 10:43 am

    Thank you for this great, light-hearted story about our all-American past time. However, hate to see this father stop playing ball with his kids. Can’t he just wear protection like catchers do?

  9. Sandi - May 31, 2022 11:01 am

    So nice to shed happy tears this morning instead of more tears of sorrow that have been shed of late. Thank you for a fun start to my day!

  10. Ed (Bear) - May 31, 2022 11:12 am

    lol – Thanks for the cheer!

  11. Anne Arthur - May 31, 2022 11:22 am

    Oh goodness, my allergies are acting up so much that my eyes keep watering. Sean, you’re the best.

  12. Paul McCutchen - May 31, 2022 11:25 am

    Nothing worse that getting hit in the “funny bone”. Not the elbow funny bone but, apparently, the funny bone that makes other people laugh. Including me

  13. Brenda - May 31, 2022 11:25 am

    Now I could use that type of allergy attack every day! Thank you Sean for the laughter this morning!

  14. Michael M Mack - May 31, 2022 11:35 am

    Even as I feel a twinge for poor Philip my allergies are acting up badly.

  15. EDWARD ROCKENSOCK III - May 31, 2022 11:39 am

    It took me 15 minutes to read this column, my allergies took a sudden turn for the worse.

  16. Cheryl Andrews - May 31, 2022 11:41 am

    Sean, this story made my allergies act up much worse! I now have to go to CVS for more meds!

  17. MR - May 31, 2022 12:17 pm

    Sean, I was reading your column while having my morning coffee, and you had me laughing so hard, I spit the coffee half way across the room and all over my iPad! You crack me up!

  18. Sean of the South: The Unofficial First Day of Summer | The Trussville Tribune - May 31, 2022 12:33 pm

    […] By Sean Dietrich, Sean of the South […]

  19. Melody Wright - May 31, 2022 12:33 pm

    I was fine until I got to the first mention of Twinkies. I howled, laughed and cried with laughter. And finished reading this still laughing like a hyena. Sorry guys. I know this is no laughing matter. Ftthhh. Yes it is. Even now I’m snickering.

  20. Penn Wells - May 31, 2022 12:48 pm

    Actually… this is no laughing matter. But excuse me for a moment… my allergies are acting up. 🤓

  21. Leigh Amiot - May 31, 2022 12:54 pm

    When a column starts out funny, I should know better than to read it when other people in the household are sleeping.

    (It’s entirely possible Dee thought today was Memorial Day and did indeed miss reading yesterday’s column.)

  22. Leesa - May 31, 2022 1:24 pm

    Thank you for providing some much-needed laughter to what has been a grim spring with many somber moments. It reminds me of a family story: a relative whom I will not name had been frolicking on the ground with his dogs. Later he had need of a visit to his local ER because a tick had firmly locked onto the end of his private area. A staff medical person listened to his story and examined the afflicted area. She then slipped out of the curtained cubicle and whispers and chuckles were soon heard from without the cubicle. Then began a parade of numerous “consultants” filing in to take a look and offer counsel. I’m not sure that the building custodian was part of this group. This recounting has provided much laughter wherever it has been repeated. And yes, eventually the offending tick was removed successfully. But, not without some discomfort.

  23. Ruth Mitchell - May 31, 2022 1:42 pm

    Allergies must be contagious, and you passed them on to me!

  24. Susan W Fitch - May 31, 2022 1:49 pm

    Thanks for sharing some laughter today, I needed to laugh!

  25. Chris Spencer - May 31, 2022 2:54 pm

    For some unknown reason it seems that a large part of the male population have had the same experience as Phillip. I know I have. Fortunately I was hit only by a wiffle ball off the bat of a 4 year old.
    From Phillip’s story I will never again be able to eat a Twinkie without my allergies acting up hahahahahaha.

  26. Kip - May 31, 2022 3:00 pm

    Thanks for the laugh! I needed that today!

  27. Patricia Gibson - May 31, 2022 3:13 pm

    Thank goodness he is all right.

  28. Linda Trauffer - May 31, 2022 3:14 pm

    It must be a seasonal thing as my ‘allergies’ are out of control! 😆🤣😂

  29. wfsuga - May 31, 2022 4:37 pm

    Reminds me of the old joke/aphorism about asking a woman and a man:

    Q: Which hurts worse . . . childbirth or getting hit in the family jewels?

    A: Most women are willing to have another child. No man ever wants to get hit in the privates again.

  30. Karen - May 31, 2022 4:42 pm


  31. MissT - May 31, 2022 5:58 pm

    It’s funny until someone gets hurt. . .then it’s hilarious! Thank you for the great story, Sean! 🤣🤣🤣

  32. Susie Flick - May 31, 2022 6:28 pm

    Oh my! When I first saw the drawing of a Twinkie, I thought of my dog, Mollie aka Good Golly Miss Mollie. For quite a few of her almost 14 years, we would have a Twinkie party on her birthday. Since dogs can’t have chocolate and Mollie loved whipped cream, Twinkies were her birthday treat. She was a sweet yellow lab and I miss her even though it’s been almost 20 years. I have never heard that part of the male anatomy referred to
    as a Twinkie. Haven’t eaten a Hostess Twinkie in ages but now will think differently about that name! Hoping the fellows injury is better soon.

  33. Nick - May 31, 2022 6:30 pm

    Men have been going through this for years, and will continue to do so. Try using a cup when playing with your children…

  34. MAM - May 31, 2022 6:42 pm

    Poor guy, and all he got was laughter! Protection does help even when playing backyard baseball. And maybe his son will grow up to be a pro! And what a story he’ll have! Sorry, allergies acting up!

  35. Chip Noon - May 31, 2022 7:40 pm

    Absolutely wonderful!

  36. Linda Moon - May 31, 2022 8:56 pm

    Procreation is a good thing. Line drives should never in interfere with it! My laughter right now is a good thing, but I’ll never tell why because it it’s about a coach who coached the kid we procreated.

  37. Mary McNeil - May 31, 2022 8:57 pm

    That’s what Whiffle Balls (pun intended) and bats are for !

  38. Cheryll Woods-Flowers (@CflowersChasExp) - May 31, 2022 11:26 pm

    This may be some of your best work!

  39. Harriet White - June 1, 2022 12:43 am

    Thank was hilarious!! I was laughing hard! I needed a good laugh today Sean!

  40. Debbie g - June 1, 2022 11:59 am

    First of all 😂😂😂😂😂another great story My husband who doesn’t believe in the under garments. Got a wasp sting on his Twinkie. I’m sure there were pictures taken and passed around and no one could help him for a while either due to allergies. You’re good Sean. Have a wonderful blessed day without allergies love you and all

  41. Timarie Koehn - June 1, 2022 8:11 pm


  42. CHARALEEN WRIGHT - June 3, 2022 4:26 am


  43. Carol Cranford Jones - June 8, 2022 4:06 pm

    Couldn’t read for years of laughter!


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