You need to read this book because it's the most powerful depiction I have ever read of how a human being can draw on her folk culture, her humor, and her poetic insight to pull life-affirming meaning out of the gutter like a lost Spaldeen.
The Spaldeen is the New Yorkism for the ball that became ubiquitous on New York City streets and playgrounds, sold at the corner store and manufactured by the Spalding Company, from whence comes its mispronounced name.
We kids had to chip in to buy a "spaldeen" (a rubber ball made by the Spalding Company) for us to use in the game, and we did know that some kids couldn't come up with the pennies for their share.
But every now and then, we lent them an old spaldeen to use in their games of jacks or that other game that required bounce-the-ball during which time the gift doing the bouncing recited some rhymes about herself keeping up with the rhythm of the bounce.
Also, a gold spaldeen in his other hand, Irish Billy says.
Blue Pastoral scores yet another triumph for Sorrentino's ear, largely through the prepared speeches of such characters as Blarney Spaldeen, who marks an equation between St.
Someone produced a Spaldeen, and a game of running bases was on.
And here I am, tossing the ball back with George Shuba, who is batting only .236 but sure can catch and throw a Spaldeen, and I'm tagging out my friends and missing Branca who gets around me with a great hook slide and laughs.
"Okay!" I grabbed my stickball bat and spaldeen from the hall closet and ran outside.
I started tossing the spaldeen against the wall and fielding the hard ground balls that shot back.
The Fortress of Solitude is crammed with such pleasurable minutiae--the social currency of the pink rubber Spaldeen
ball (which, incidentally, you can buy through a link on the FOS website), the intricacies of preserving first editions of comic books in mylar bags, the proper way to chalk a sidewalk game, the correct method of heisting spray paint from a department store, and on and on.
Punchball is essentially baseball, played with a Spalding red rubber ball (a "spaldeen
" in our lexicon) using one's fist as a bat, self-hitting.