"Anyway, it's not an important story," Rick Reilly writes in his latest, which, like all Reilly efforts, is basically a kitten-hanging-from-a-tree-limb poster expressed in words, "just one that squirts apple juice right in your face." Hmm. Sound familiar?
It should. As our pal Josh Levin pointed out last year, juice of all kinds is perpetually being squirted in Reilly's world. He once told Neil Best that he'd spent "30 years writing sentences that I hope jump off the page and squirt apple juice in your ear," which is like the time Reilly wrote about making "words jump off the page and squirt grapefruit juice in the reader's face," though it is not to be confused with the time he advised an aspiring sportswriter to "make the words jump off the page and squirt orange juice in the reader's face." (Damon Runyon had a line about the Jack of Spades jumping out of the deck to "squirt cider in your ear," which is almost certainly where Reilly got the phrase. Reilly cribbing from Damon Runyon is a little like Harry Connick Jr. cribbing from Sinatra, or tinsel cribbing from silver.)
So, in all, we've had our ears squirted with apple juice and our faces with grapefruit juice, orange juice, and now the remainder of Rick Reilly's apple juice. You'll note that Reilly is never squirting any juice into that crowded locus of so much of Reilly's figurative writing: our mouths.