It was 1979, the year of the monkey. It was a year Cuba was hit with a legendary Christmas storm, destroying crop fields and cutting off all power to the city. Maria Crisp was about to give birth to a young baby boy, although she didn’t know it yet. The freezing, blustery wind shook her squalid rusty metal shack like a jiffy pop, but without all the delicious popcorn, causing the chickens to squawk in obvious dismay and Maria to whine in fright as she huddled in the corner covered in a shawl. The shack was located in the slums of Havana, where crime and poverty ran rampant. Just then she felt a rush of water drop from her nether regions, soaking a bewildered chicken. She started to go into labor, shouting for the Lord almighty to save her from this pain. The neighbors came rushing in at Maria’s cries, thinking she was being murdered by Castro or one of his commie thugs. A women experienced in childbirth helped Maria deliver this miracle baby, even though the materials at her disposal were rudimentary at best. Soon, a little head appeared out of the distended vaginal opening, and to the shock of all the villagers, he had a miniature Cleveland Indians baseball cap on, and in his hand a hardened piece of amniotic fluid shaped just like a bat! But the really amazing part was that Maria had never had sexual congress with a man before, and was thus a virgin. Yes, Coco Crisp, born in 1979 on the dirt floor of a Cuban hut, was an immaculate conception, and a gift from God to the world.

But all was not well in the Crisp household. The neighborhood, which was all devout Catholics, believed that Coco was the chosen one, sent down from the heavens to help them in their time of need, but the Cuban government saw the child as a menace, and a threat to the peace of Havana. During the night a Communist winged monkey squad raided the shack, seizing little Coco, and throwing him in a burlap sack where he was flown to Castro's dark tower deep in the Cuban mountains. He was placed before Castro's throne on the cold stone floor of his evil chamber. Castro pondered what to do with the little boy who caused so much trouble in his dominion, and asked for the boy to be placed on his lap so he could look into his eyes. Coco Crisp the baby was placed on his knee, looking up into the dictator's eyes, but he couldn't help himself and made a dookie pie right on his lap. Castro screamed and threw Coco out of the tower window as he struggled with the nugget staining his brand new fatigues. The winged monkeys peered out the window, expecting to see Coco's body impaled on the sharp rocks below, but to their shock and amazement a great golden eagle soared up into the night sky with little Coco Crisp hanging on its back for all his worth. The eagle bore him away from that terrible place, to an even more terrible place called Cleveland. It was there Coco forged his way into the history books, and learned what it was like to face unbeatable odds, and come out the victor.

Life was hard for Coco on the mean streets of Cleveland. He found a culvert for shelter and slowly gained his strength back by feasting on the blood of the hobos who would wander into his lair drunk and unaware of his presence. Soon Coco ventured out into the city, only feeding at night, and making money by stealing apples and selling Amway products. One day while walking through a back alley, Coco Crisp was surrounded by a gang of boys his age. The leader of the gang, a ruthless street punk known as Milton Bradley, ordered Coco to hand over his money or face a beating. Coco jump kicked Milton in the head, and soon they were fast friends, ruling the east side of Cleveland with an iron fist. They called themselves the "Gumdrop Gang", and built an empire out of bootlegged Menudo tapes and stolen shipments of Sweet-tarts. But the pitfalls of great power and wealth were soon realized when Coco had reached the top, sitting on a mountain of sweets, suffering from tooth decay and loneliness. He left the gang, giving sole leadership to Milton Bradley, and fled to city on foot, looking for some meaning in this turbulent world of violence and confusion. He would find that meaning on the road with his faithful Indian companion through some crazy adventures that shall live on in our fables and tales forever.

Before we go any further celebrating the life of this great hero and baseball martyr, I would like to share some tidbits about Coco Crisp so we might get to know his complex, loving soul.

Coco Crisp is allergic to peanuts..
Coco Crisp can leap over 25 feet but only when he's playing left field and is barefoot.
Coco Crisp doesn't have any eyelids, but instead a natural layer of mucus that protect his eyes from wind and dust.
Coco Crisp spays female kittens in his spare time.
Coco Crisp taught me how to scold a child and make love to a woman.
Coco Crisp once ate 100 pickled eggs on a dare, and then ate 100 more for fun.
Coco Crisp stole the AIDS quilt to use for a hot air balloon and set a world record for height and time duration.
Coco Crisp spent 10 days mending a fence but then drove his car through it to prove a point about the fragility of life.
Coco Crisp once hit a home run and Steve Perry caught the ball in his souvenir beer cup. Coco tried to get the ball back after the game, but Steve Perry turned into a Pegasus and flew away.
Coco Crisp believes in God, and the only thing that scares him is Keyser Soze.
Coco Crisp is one of only 4 people in the world who can beat Bayou Billy for NES.
Coco Crisp’s favorite cereal is Frosted Mini-Wheats.
Coco Crisp planted his eggs in the water supply and 80% of the population are now hosts for his embryos that will hatch on February 24th, 2005, covering the world in a 2nd darkness.

Coco traveled around the country, selling life insurance and breaking the hearts of every female he would run across. This of course infuriated the townsmen and many times he was tarred and feathered for his flirtatious selling techniques. His Indian companion was an old Apache who was the last of his kind, and was in debt to him because Coco saved him from a rattlesnake in Arizona. They got along handsomely and took turns going door to door selling their special life insurance. Many people bought from the Indian because they still felt guilty for taking his land, but Coco soon took the sales lead after thinking of the igneous idea of shooting the customer in the legs and showing them how important a good policy could be, and how sudden an unexpected death could occur. But soon this carefree gallivanting came to an abrupt halt when the IRS set up a sting operation to capture Coco and the Indian for failing to pay back taxes. Coco was captured, but the Indian chewed his way out of the net and ran towards the Mexican border. The IRS agents were fat and slothful, so instead of giving chase they called in an air raid, and just as the old Indian was within 200 yards of the border, a Daisy Cutter was dropped on him, ending the proud Apache linage in a large mushroom cloud. Coco was now in the clutches of the evil United States government, and he was all out of ideas.

The IRS proposed to put Coco in a pit armed only with a spear against two Rhinos and a hive of angry bees, but the CIA stepped in and took acquisition of the prisoner. They offered Coco a one time deal: A full pardon for his tax crimes if he would work for them as a secret agent and help take down one of the most dangerous operatives in the world, the Icelandic super villainess known as Bjork. He agreed and started his super agent training that would turn him into a weapon of destruction, and the knowledge on many scholastic teachings he missed out on as a child on the streets. Coco was soon ready for action, and rode on the back of a specially trained seal to Bjork’s secret volcano lair, where he snuck past her polar bear guards and infiltrated her inner sanctum of ice and elf workers. There they had a really cool fight that I can’t really explain so you’ll have to trust me on this one. Bjork fell through her ice floor, impaling herself on an icicle and then rolled into the core of the volcano, starting a huge eruption. Coco grabbed a motorcycle that was nearby and rode it at full speed away from the blast, it’s fiery tendrils licking the back of the bike. But alas there was a huge thousand foot cliff ahead and nowhere to go. Just then a plane piloted by Milton Bradley flew by, and Coco rode the motorcycle as fast as he could off the cliff, and landed in the plane’s cargo bay as the volcano erupted. Although he was happy he survived, Coco had enough of this dangerous and absurd action sequences, so quit the CIA and returned to Cleveland in Milton’s plane.

It was there that Coco first discovered baseball. He and Milton were working at the hot dog stand in Jacob's Field and one burly drunk customer refused to pay for his dog on account that he saw Coco use it to clear his ear canals. While this was partly true, Coco didn’t take kindly to the mans words and swung a foot long dog as hard as he could, smacking the man clear over the fence. The manager of the Indians, Eric Wedge, seeing this incredible display of talent, scrambled up the bleachers to offer Coco a spot on the team’s roster. It had been a terrible season of baseball, and the Indians would try anything to get a winning record. Coco agreed, but with the provision that Milton Bradley, his childhood friend, would also be added to the team. The coach balked at first, but then conceded that they both would be hired and would start immediately. Coco didn’t even change out of his hot dog uniform as he strode to home plate, a bat in hand and a gentle yet deadly smile on his face. The pitcher chuckled and threw a fastball right over the plate that Coco Crisp pounded with all his might. The ball sailed high through the air and crashed into the scoreboard, shooting out a shower of sparks that set all the people seated below on fire. The Indians won the game, and Coco was now recognized as the true American hero from Cuba that he deserved to be. Then a few days later he died trying to do a slick willy on a skateboard.

We will remember Coco Crisp for who he was: a kind, warm, loving, double jointed, hook mouthed, webbed toed monster of a human that shall be dearly missed. Since Coco has died and Milton Bradley was traded to the Dodgers for a packet of Pop Rocks, the Indians have never been the same and won the award for the most retarded team in baseball. Those who knew Coco, and still worship his memory by pouring fresh infant blood on his grave nightly, realize that death cannot conquer the spirit he has given us all by showing us that life is worth living to it’s fullest. Also you should never perform the slick willy maneuver unless you are wearing a helmet and you know how to skateboard. This one’s for you Coco Crisp, save a seat for me in that big ballpark in the sky.

Coco Crisp (1979-2004)

(This update is dedicated to Cikala, who helped fix my car last week)

– Reid "Frolixo" Paskiewicz

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