Monday, March 31, 2008
Things I don't understand #33...
...How we made it through the winter.
Yes, It's that time of year. The sky turns bluer. The sun turns sunnier. Breezes turn warmer. Grass turns greener. Love is in the air. And my old friend has returned. Sure, three official games have already been played, but today is "Opening Day". I believe that there will be something like 8 games televised today, and I can count on at least one being on until sometime near Columbus Day. Music to my ears. It's so comforting to know that there's something that will always be there for you. I must admit I've taken my sports true-love for granted in previous years. I haven't paid it the attention it needs or deserves. But if it will take me back, I promise to do better. It might have something to do with the fact that the team I follow, my hometown team the stRangers, have been downright dreadful lately(And that's saying something when you consider their history). But that's no excuse. It's a beautiful game, maybe even perfect.
Next week a friend and I will continue our tradition of attending opening day of said local team together. In recent years his two young sons have been added to expedition but, I'm still not sure who enjoys themselves more. Probably, the kids (they do get to skip school after all), but their father and I usually share an odd sense of glee (And that's just after enjoying a hot dog). Last year did produce at least one tense moment for me, though. Steve (my friend) had left to go rustle up some food for the boys. They had agreed(somewhat begrudgingly) to stay in the seats with Uncle Jason so as to expedite the food run. The youngest(who still wasn't sure if Uncle Jason was all he was cracked up to be, and who can blame him) informed me he needed to take care of some business, and I don't mean at the nearest ATM. I assured him that his father would be returning shortly (I actually did believe this). After about 2 minutes, things apparently took a bad turn, for at this point he began squirming in his seat (which is difficult when you legs are pressed so tightly together). He also appeared to be approaching the point of tears, and in between mini sobs would remind me (and the 10-20 people within earshot) that he needed to tee-tee (or pee-pee or whatever phrase is cleared in his family). In my best attempt at empathy, I promised his dad would be back soon (Where the hell is he?). You might be thinking, why didn't you just take him? Well, my lack of experience in this particular area (and probably feeble mind) left me with no idea as how to handle the logistical problems introduced. If I took him, I would also have to take his brother, because leaving a 7 year-old alone at a sold-out stadium didn't seem like a good idea. That also meant I would have to collect the backpack that had been prepared and the various coats and jackets. Lugging all that to the long line at the men's room while having to somehow get word to Dad that his kids had not, if fact, disappeared seemed like too much of a risk. The pleas continued, and grew in loudness and intensity. At this point, I was starting to feel the glares of the surrounding patrons as they were now sure I was cruelest man to walk the face of the earth. I mean who just makes a little kid sit there and suffer? Hello. Well, his dad did return. Come to find out, he had tried to also procure souvenirs which had delayed him those few minutes that allowed us to go from defcon 5 to defcon 1. Despite the bumpy start, the day was a success. The Rangers might have even won (probably not). But opening day is...well...opening day. And baseball is baseball.