Monday, May 08, 2006

Take me out to the ball game- pending loan approval

As if we didn't have enough going on this weekend, what with the first communion (capitalized? ) and soccer and dance practice, we decided to attend a local baseball game on Saturday night. It was a perfect evening- just the right temperature, the stadium is along the river (and when I say "the river", I mean The River of All Rivers- yes, the muddy Mississippi), it's too early for the awful shad flies and ubiquitous mosquitoes, so we were comfortably safe from flying creatures. Our team played South Bend (can't remember the name of the team) Don't get the idea that I'm like all into the whole game itself -I'm actually not much of a sports enthusiast, per se, but the whole experience fulfills some need that I have to go all Americana. Anyway, it was a beautiful evening under the stars. We bought our obligatory $5.00 beer- ok, Wrigley Field, I can maybe understand, but at a Swing game? Come on. We smuggled in peanuts (next time we'll smuggle in beer) and were quite enjoying ourselves until the small children around us began to multiply. I am serious. In a short while, the 6 or 7 munchkins around us turned into like 89 feral pre schoolers, wielding rubber bats and drippy snacks and marginal parents who, when they got wind of a clue, managed a very weak "sorry" when their kids whacked us in the head or knocked our stuff over. One of the dads thought he'd round up the crew and get them settled down by saying "Let's see who can make the best sound of a horse!" Followed by shrieks of neighing (lamely, I might add- damn city kids) and then just shrieks. He tried again with a "who can make the best sound of a chicken?!" Hey, Buddy! How bout a big bag of Shut the Hell Up?
Now, we were sitting very close to the field- right by 3rd base- I have to say, I felt extremely vulnerable. The neighbor boys both brought their mitts- to which my Claire asked, "why? you're not gonna catch anything anyway." Atta girl- bursting bubbles wherever she roams. I really thought one of us was going to take one in the face a couple of times and it brought back years of anxiety ridden softball games in pe class. I was never much for small, hard, fast-moving objects hurtling through the air right at my face. If I caught anything ever at all it was purely for self preservation - not for the good of the team. Competitive I was not.
Are you all familiar with the scam that has invaded malls everywhere, and now sports arenas? It's the Dippin' Dots- it looks like styrofoam packing material and for $5.50 you can get a miniature batting helmet filled with the stuff. It tastes like ice cream with freezer burn and is sooo cold you can't really taste anything for the first few bites.
And our new team name? The Swing? All I can think of is Wayne and Garth (SHA- WING). It's supposed to relate to the long history of music in our community, the S is shaped like a saxophone, yada yada, we have a jazz festival here in July every year. Ok , now the team needs a mascot- you know so some poor sap has to dress up in some goofy costume that'll give him (or her) heatstroke come July. So what- we have a big saxophone with googly eyes? Nah. How about an orangutang- and we'll name him Clyde! What the hell? My guess is they had leftover costumes and that's what we ended up with.
The game ended- I guess we lost- and then there were fireworks, which would have been great except for the child behind us kept screaming "IT'S TOO LOUD!!! COVER MY EYES!!!" And the 2 women who were with her kept up a running loop of "You're doing fine, you're all right, it's almost over, you're ok, look at that one, it's not loud at all.........." Jesus. Was she watching fireworks or having a colonoscopy? Cuz, if I wasn't able to hear the deafening sound of explosives, I just might think she was under going some really awful medical procedure for which she had to be restrained. Imagine all of this with the background music of "You. Shook me All Night Long. Yeah You. Shook me All Night Long." And the fireworks themselves? Seizure inducing. I'm well - versed in the typical midwest Fourth of July fireworks display. Ooooh. Aaaaaah. Ohhhhh. Yayyy. With a finale at the end (because where else would a finale be?) that is comprised of "oh, shit, we've still got 4 boxes of these puppies left and it's 10:30! Let's just light 'em all!" Well, the whole display on Saturday seemed to be just that. No more of this one at a time, it looks like a chrysanthemum, like a shooting star , like a peace sign weenie ass stuff. Not macho enough, I guess.
Oh, and yes, we really did have fun and we can't wait to go again! Any outlet for my snark - I'm there.


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