t never fails to be
an interesting experience when my wife and I attend a major league baseball
We’re trying to fit in as many games as we can, before our baby comes
along, because I can’t imagine it being too much fun going to a game with
an infant (although we saw several people do this last night). We took
the trolley to the game, as usual, collected our "Collector’s Edition"
Padres mugs, and took our seats in the "View" level, so named because you
get a view of the tops of clouds from up there. We arrived at Qualcomm
Stadium early, as is our custom, and most of the seats around us were still
"You watch us end up sitting by a bunch of drunk college kids or Braves
fans or something," my wife said. Now, being a Pirate fan all my life,
I know firsthand that Braves fans are just about the most obnoxious in
sports, with their stupid chanting and that annoying Tomahawk Chop, which
I personally think is more politically incorrect than anything John Rocker
"Or some stupid guy," I countered. More than once I’ve ended up sitting
next to somebody who was there by himself, and decided to spend most of
his time talking to me. Usually, this wouldn’t be a problem, but 1) I don’t
like talking to strangers, and 2) they usually have no idea what they’re
talking about, i.e.: "That was a foul ball! Shouldn’t he be out?"
The Braves fans came first, decked out in red, white and blue garb with
curly-looking A’s and tomahawks everywhere. They proceeded to sit behind
us. Although I have to admit, they were relatively quiet.
Next came a line of kids, probably all within a two-year tolerance of
21. They hadn’t even sat down in the row in front of us when one of them
said, "So, who wants a beer? They’ve got Foster’s and MGD. Do you want
a Foster’s? Foster’s is good – you want a light beer? I could go get you
a light beer…."
A choir from a performing arts school had just finished doing a good
job on the national anthem – I can’t believe they have dedicated performing
arts schools for elementary-aged kids, but out here they do – when about
ten mentally handicapped adults emerged from the tunnel. Most of them went
on up the steps, but two of them sat down by us.
So there we were. The college kids were screaming at friends of theirs
sitting six rows behind us, standing up more often than not, causing the
lady next to us to start muttering, "I can’t see! I can’t see!" even when
there was no action going on. Two kids behind us started hooting – "WOOOOOOOOOO!!!"
– but not quite in unison, causing an annoyingly crunchy sound akin
to nails on a chalkboard. The lady next to us kept turning around, I think
trying to see if one of her friends was at the game, but every time she
did, she nearly elbowed my wife in the gut – now remember, my wife is seven
months pregnant, so she was getting pretty antsy about that. It was about
the second inning, and we were seriously discussing taking our mugs and
going home, when the most hilarious thing happened.
A college guy was briskly walking across the aisle in front of us, making
a left-face up the steps, when he bailed. Little condiment cups full of
bright green stuff went all over the walkway. The usher tried to help him
out, but he quickly stood up and ran up the steps, abandoning most of his
booty. The usher looked at him funny, picked up one of the cups, took of
the lid, took a whiff, and immediately motioned for two security guards
to come over.
It was an absolutely sublime moment (no pun intended on the "lime" in
sublime -- really). The guards escorted the embarrassed guy and
his cohort out of the seating area. The kids in front of us were telling
the usher that they’d be willing to take the little green cups off her
hands. And all the time, the lady next to us was screaming, "I can’t see!"
It was like something out of a bad "Seinfeld" episode.
We made it through most of the rest of the game, with admittedly a much
better attitude than that. I didn’t actually see much of the game, but
that wasn’t a great loss, since the Padres got trashed by the Braves anyway.
But the whole night was certainly an experience in people-watching.