Take me out of the crowd ... I don't care if I ever get back. Well, I'm not so sure about that. Not returning from a ballgame sounds more like a Wes Craven horror movie than cheery song, and watching the Phillies these days is not something that makes us want to sing, as they continue to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. For $30, we find entertainment where it lays - and it isn't always on the field.
When I'm out in public with the humans, I search for new sources of entertainment, and they seldom fail me. With the lure of the bobblehead doll summoning them to the ballpark like a Siren's song, there was yet another sell-out crowd who braved the continued threats of rain. The threats came not from the sky, but from the mouths of the forecasters, who continue to use their increasing technology to find new ways to make us believe them, even though they appear clueless. The forecast of a 70% chance of severe storms was belied by the partly cloudy skies overhead. Keep cashing the checks guys, you'll be right tomorrow.
The first thing that intruded on my field of view was the kid seated to my right. In medical terms, he could be called a "leaner", preferring to lean forward in his seat rather than use the conveniently placed back of the seat. With our odd seat angle, I could not see the plate, so I leaned forward. Then the guy next to me, and the guy next to him ... you get the picture. In five minutes we were a linked chain of people who looked like they were trying to force defecation right there in public.
Together, we suffered in silence for almost three innings, and I realized that our suffering must end. So, it was left to me, as the first link in the potty train, to politely ask the kid to sit back. I did and he did. Nice enough young man, although the sitting back perpetuated another interesting personal tick - the placing of both hands in his crotch. Yes, I know ... why did I look? I had to look, I'm a guy. When there are hands and crotch involved, the first impulse is to look. Next, we evaluate the sex of the individual involved and proceed accordingly. That wouldn't have been so bad, except the next move for the hands was toward the mouth, where he proceeded to chew on his fingers for a few batters. Yes, I know ... watch the game!
I keep score, as faithful readers know, so it was a particular challenge to concentrate on the record-keeping with so many interesting activities going on so close to me. Seated directly in front of me was a middle-aged man who was wearing five of those rubber bracelets - including the ubiquitous yellow Livestrong - and four others of various causes we wouldn't know about unless they had a catchy colored bracelet. I assume the reason he was wearing them is because no one has ever told him that they look ridiculous. It wasn't my job. He's not in my row.
Now, the dad of the kid sitting next to me is chiding his son for not standing during the 7th inning stretch. Wow, dad ... take a pill. The kid's been leaning forward all night, he needs to relax. Later on, I noticed that the dad had the same strange tick. The leaning, not the fingers ... so I assumed it was a genetic thing. The kid seemed embarrassed, and reached for his phone, presumably to call the Division of Youth and Family Services. The kid had a phone.
Then the Wave starts. Ya hoo. Right in the middle of a key spot in the game. The lady next to "Bracelet Man" is yelling at us not to participate. Stop yelling, lady ... we have free will and your giant head is blocking third base. When I do not participate, somehow she feels responsible. Just doing my job to make the rest of you feel better about yourselves. You're welcome.
Meanwhile, the Phillies are making the Brewers feel better about themselves, but at $30 a ticket, I really don't appreciate it. The game had meandered into the tenth inning before the Phillies graciously ended the proceedings by allowing Milwaukee to win the game.
As we waddle out with our bobbleheads by our side, and our real heads hanging from another wasted evening, we are faced with another season without a championship. It never did rain, and we all got back, feeling better about doing our part to subsidize the exhorbitant salaries of the players who continue to make us suffer.