[dropcap]J[/dropcap]amie keeps baseball bats next to her bed. Not one, but two. They’re my old Louisville Sluggers, made out of ash wood. Real beauties. With those timbers, I helped lose the Regional Championship. Three years in a row. Singlehanded.

The reason Jamie keeps the two Wonderboys isn’t because she’s working on her swing. Lord no, she hates baseball with a purple polka-dotted passion. She keeps the bats there because they’re her last defense against door-to-door meat salesman.

That, and intruders.

Late last night, around three o’clock, I was overcome with hunger. I crept out of bed, and tiptoed into the dark kitchen. I decided to prepare a pimento cheese sandwich for my growling belly. I opened the refrigerator door and retrieved the bread.

When the icebox door swung shut, Babe Ruth was standing a few feet away from me. She held the thunderstick high, and stared me in the face.

“Jamie!” I screamed. “What in the #%&!”

She looked like she was still asleep.

I dropped the pimento cheese and threw my hands up. “Jamie, it’s me. I’m not a robber. You can put the bat down.”

She clicked the kitchen light on, still holding her batting stance. She was wide awake now. “I knew you weren’t an intruder,” she said. “I’m out here warning you not to lay a finger on my damn pimento cheese.”

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