Haruki Murakami's book The Wind-up Bird Chronicle features a "wind-up bird" as a significant character. It's a bird that makes a strange screech that sounds as if it were winding up the world. . . .whatever the heck that means.
The real-life Mr. Wind-up Bird is Barry Zito. He's the pitcher who shows up at spring training with a new team, a new $126-million contract, and, um, a completely new wind-up.
This is unsettling to Giants fans such as myself (since 1955, the year AFTER they won the World Series, which they have not won since). Mr. Wind-up Bird says it's because he wants to improve. Fine. But I must add he is a pitcher who's never missed a start in seven years, a pitcher who has won the Cy Young Award as recently as 2002. He says he's been working on this for last month and a half, unbeknownst of course to his new employers. Zito compares it to the fabulously successful Tiger Woods's adjustment of his fabulously successful swing in 1997. (Notice how I inserted that traditional [trad] apostrophe S, unlike most journalists.)
Maybe it will work out fine for Mr. Wind-up Bird. Maybe not.
It's akin to Ernest Hemingway switching to a new publisher and submitting a draft of James Joycean prose straight out of the likes of Finnegans Wake.
Or The Meloncutter changing stores and presenting himself as a meatpacker! (There's a word to mull over.)
Or a pole-dance teacher showing up to give instructions on trout fishing.
Or a failed entrepreneur-fratboy-politician trying his hand at U.S. president.