by John Walters
*Note: Today is Medium Happy’s 1,111th post. We’re No. 1 and 1 and 1 and 1, for a day.
1. By A Fender
At the Daytona 500, Denny Hamlin beat Martin Truex and raced past three of his Toyota teammates on the final lap. Hamlin, who when he was seven years old wrote a letter stating, “I want to win the Daytona 500” (as opposed to those of us who wrote, “I want to attend PowerPoint presentations in the conference room”), won by 0.01 of a second. It’s the narrowest NASCAR finish since they introduced computer chip timing in 1993.
Truly an incredible final lap, if you haven’t seen. And Matthew Kenseth (lime car) will be kicking himself forever for having gone up too high to block Hamlin, who nabs his first victory in the Great American Race.
2. Tragedy In Kalamazoo
While in the midst of his Uber shift, 45 year-old white male Jason Dalton shoots six people to death at various locations and gravely wounds two others. Then he heads off to a bar. There is no known motive other than the thrill of shooting human beings.
But, you know, Dalton is white and he doesn’t belong to part of a larger organization (and by “belong,” of course, we mean, share their ideas on jihad) intent on harming you, so everyone can relax. He’s not ISIS; he’s just ‘MERICA! He’s one of us; not one of them. So that’s probably a big relief to the families of the six people he murdered.
3. The Best Women’s Team West of UConn AND The Yukon
After her first collegiate game at South Mountain (Phoenix) Community College, a scrimmage versus Division II University of Alaska Anchorage, Megan Mullings met the opposing team’s coach, Ryan McCarthy, who at the time was 29 and had just coached his first college game. McCarthy told Mullings that some day he hoped she played for him.
Mullins spent two years at SMCC, then transferred to the UAA. In her two seasons with the Seawolves, the team is 59-3. They’re 30-1 this season and ranked No. 1 in the nation in D-2. My story in Newsweek.
The Pistons wore jerseys that read “MOTOR CITY” and yet it was New Orleans’ Anthony Davis who plowed into overdrive, scoring 59 points and collecting 20 rebounds in last night’s 111-106 win.
Not only was it a career-high for Davis, it was the highest point total in the NBA this season. Only two other players have ever scored more than 55 points and grabbed at least 20 rebounds in one game: Wilt Chamberlain and Shaquille O’Neal.
5. Aloha Means Goodbye
Honolulu native and surfing legend Brock Little passed away due to liver cancer this weekend at the age of 48. Little was well-loved in the surfing community for having a fantastic sense of humor and maintaining his humility. He never bought into that entire tao of surfing thing. He said that he did it because it was fun. That he did nothing for a living but surf and that someone happened to drop checks in his mailbox because of it.
I’ve always felt that big wave surfers live a little more than the rest of us do. Without use of any motors, they experience thrills and danger the rest of us never do (and let’s be clear: I don’t want to). Little lived a lot. Aloha, Brock.
Home and Dry
In 1978 Scotsman Gerry Rafferty released the album City to City, which featured No. 2 Billboard hit “Baker Street” (best sax into to any pop song?), the No. 12 hit “Right Down the Line,” and then this tune, which, sure, is EZ Listening, but it goes down smooth. It peaked at No. 28. If you don’t know any of these songs, you may know an earlier hit of his, “Stuck In The Middle With You,” that is prominently featured in Reservoir Dogs.
Better Call Saul
10 p.m. AMC
“Chac cac co, ladies!” Can a con man from Cicero, Illinois, find happiness and contentment in Santa Fe, a.k.a. “The City Different?” Will Slippin’ Jimmy fall in love with the art galleries on Canyon Road? Will he partake in Zozobra? A summer subscription to the Santa Fe Opera? All too soon to tell, but chances are our anti-hero will soon find himself missing his old office and home in the back of the nail salon. Cucumber water for customers, only!