Saturday, May 22, 2010

Take Me Out Again

We went to our local minor league blernsball team game the other night. They played a team from a town three states away. I'm not sure if we won. It was cold and raining, and we left after the fourth-and-a-half inning.

It was Dime-A-Dog night at the park. Son thought we were saying "Diamond Dog," but that was about as far from the truth as our seats were from home plate. On Dime-A-Dog Night, one could buy a tiny disgusting blend of pork snouts, sodium nitrite, and what appeared to be potting soil for only ten cents. I ate four. With mustard. So four Diamond Dogs times ten cents plus one small bottled water plus tax equals $4.17.

We met Baldo and Geekina McNerdy at the game and found our seats in the section farthest from home plate that we could sit in and still be in the park. Because it had rained most of the day, the seats were wet. Fortunately, the park had people to take care of that. There were two ushers dressed in their smart red nylon jackets with the helpful USHER written in large black letters on the back. GPop rolled his eyes when I asked if those folks had a small unstable shed to store their stuff.

The ushers for our section were two young men, maybe 19 or 20, who appeared to have gotten this far in life on the strength of good looks and an easy smile. They were carrying pumpkin-colored fake chamois cloths to wipe down the seats. When we approached them to show our tickets, I asked the closer of the two, "What exactly IS the plural of ShamWow? Is it ShamWows or ShamsWow?"

"Uhhh.... I'm not an English major."

"Well, you might need to know that if it keeps raining. Ha ha." That last bit was to demonstrate that I was just kidding around and was not some kind of grammar police officer intent on executing a pogrom against the grammatically ill-advised. He used his defense mechanism of flashing his perfect teeth at me and guided us to our seats.

We were the first people there by a long shot. I sat and "guarded" the seats while GPop and Son wandered around looking for some kind of cookie or something. As per modus operandi, Baldo and Geekina were still in transit. Eventually, we all converged and the game started with the appropriate pomp and circumstance. A local minor celebutard threw out the first ball, and a barbershop quartet did a stirring rendition of The Star Spangled Banner. The quartet was (or for you Brits, "were") quite good. They held the last "the" before the "brave" out just long enough to create tension, especially with the chord they were singing. Fortunately, they got us to the end of the song, which is the command, "PLAY BALL!"

The people sitting behind us were college age. There were three men and two women. I'm sure the women were quite nice people, but they were loud. And they were vapid. The old Mad TV show had a sketch were some people were at a baseball game, and two spectators were loudly and repeatedly misusing the word "literally." We were figuratively in that sketch. The one woman was explaining how she LITERALLY passed out after her class, and it was LITERALLY freezing in the classroom. GPop and I started texting each other.

GPop: My head is LITERALLY going to explode.

GDad: I am LITERALLY wishing for lightning to strike right behind me right now.

It was all we could do to keep from laughing out loud.

On our way out, we passed the guy in the giant hot dog suit. GPop got out his phone and motioned for me to stand next to the hot dog. One of the reasons I love GPop so much is that he accepts my recently developed desire to have my picture taken next to people dressed in bizarre costumes. The hot dog guy leaned in close, and I told him, "Don't smile. Make it look like you are barely tolerating standing next to me. It will be hilarious." GPop snapped the picture. The hot dog had smiled. We tried again. I asked him to make it look like his mom was making him stand out here in the light rain with this jerk next to him. The hot dog did not smile this time.

So far, I have a giant bear, a fast food mascot, a strawberry, and a hot dog. I need something outside of the food and animal realm. Perhaps I could stand next to one of those Statue of Liberty people who stand on the corner and wave during tax season.

Happy Blernsball, everyone!

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