Saturday, April 25, 2015

SASQUATCH AND THE DUMBEST THINGS HEARD AT A BALL GAME

The Cubs came to town to play the Cincinnati Reds last night, so naturally I had to go.  Thanks to lingering rush hour traffic, we were slightly late and missed the top of the first inning.  We raced to our seats, first row of a balcony section and the two seats on the end, and found a guy already lounging in seat number two.  Apparently thinking the occupants of the end seats weren't going to arrive, he and the three females in his group had decided to spread out.  He was nice and quickly gathered his beer and moved down a spot.  He then took his correct seat...and half of mine.  Now, I'm not exactly a lightweight myself, so don't think I'm making fun of this guy.  I'm simply noting that he was tall and hefty and just big.  He was very, very big.  He was Sasquatch big.  He sat with his knees apart, putting his right thigh where my left one should have been.  His ham hock arm dangled over me and nearly rested on top of my scorecard.  His massive shoulder jutted into my space and I was left pinned between him and my husband, trying to make myself as narrow as possible.  The Vulcan thought I was getting all cuddly with him.  In reality I was leaning into him to try to get a breath.  It was like wearing a corset.


Sasquatch had several beers and a bag of peanuts, filling his empty beer cup with the vacant shells.  It was a chilly night and The Vulcan kept asking if I wanted my jacket, but I informed him that I was quite warm.  Sasquatch was generating so much body heat it was like being curled up next to a polar bear.  Plus he was a very effective wind break for the biting late evening breezes.  He topped off his peanuts and beer with cotton candy, putting the empty cone in the cup holder, completely blocking my view of home plate.  My sister's reply to my email of the pic was, "He'd be wearing that cone up his fat ass about then," but he was actually a nice guy and he would have removed it if I'd asked.  Instead, I just leaned forward for a better view.  I had to do that often during the evening anyway.  Whenever he talked to the ladies on his left, he bent his torso forward and effectively obscured the entire infield.  Fortunately for me, he and his companions got up frequently and disappeared for an inning, returning reeking of cigarette smoke.  Sadly, based on his size and habits, I don't think this guy is long for this world.  The highlight of the evening was when Sasquatch decided to take part in the wave going around the stadium (which, I might state emphatically here, I loathe and think should be banned from the ballpark).  He stood and waved his arms and tried to flop back into his seat...and missed.  He hadn't noticed his chair seat had sprung into the upright position.  Towards the end of what turned out to be an extra inning game (but a Cubs win), two of his companions stayed in whatever smoker's paradise they'd found and Sasquatch left an empty seat between us.  He departed for good before the final out and as we stood for the 10th time to let him by, he excused himself again and said, "Thanks for being cool about this."  That's okay, Satchy.   Just watch your ticker.

Besides the inability to take a deep breath, my visit to Great American Ballpark was also cursed with the oh-so-familiar patron -- The Big Mouth.  You can pretty much guarantee that at every game there will be one person, usually a guy, who talks frequently and, naturally, at a volume five levels higher than everyone else.  Last night The Big Mouth was sitting right behind me with his wife and two other folks.  This particular Big Mouth had a Kentucky accent as thick as sausage gravy and he was the expert on all things baseball.  Just to add to his pontificating was his amusement in himself.  Most of his comments were punctuated with a loud guffaw that came out something like "hue-HUH" and sounded for the world like laughter I heard on an old cartoon with hillbilly bears.  Besides his nonstop commentary on everything from the game itself to the ballplayers' ages to Brandon Phillips' teeth, he munched peanuts and in flicking the empty shells managed to hit me in the back of the neck several dozen times.  Whenever Sasquatch and his pals went for their smoke break, the other gentleman in Big Mouth's entourage draped his feet over the empty seats in front of him and I got to sit with dirty boots caked with mud and peanut shells a foot away from my face.  There's a deal with a local pizzeria chain that if the Reds' pitchers strikeout 11 during a game, everyone with a ticket gets a free small pizza.  That was reason enough for Big Mouth to give us, with each hitter, an update on the pizza quest.  "Eight more strikeouts for pizza, hue-HUH!"  "Only need five more for pizza, hue-HUH!" 

In all fairness to Big Mouth, I will say he was the baseball expert within his group of four, as I have never heard so many idiotic things said at one ball game in my life. Those of you who don't like baseball and know little about it can maybe forgive them their ignorance.  For someone like me they were fingernails on the blackboard of my soul.  The best lines of the evening:

Jon Lester, Cubs pitcher, came up to bat.  Like many pitchers, he has yet to get a hit early in this season and thus has no batting average, hits, RBI, or OPS.

Friend of Big Mouth:  What's with all them zeroes on that guy?

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Mrs. Big Mouth:  Are all the bases the same distance apart?

Mr. Big Mouth:  Yup.

Mrs. Big Mouth:  Huh.  It always looks a lot shorter from second to third.

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With Reds runner on third:

Mrs. Big Mouth (shouting):  Steal home!

Big Mouth:  Naw, he don't wanna do that now.

Friend of Big Mouth:  Is he ALLOWED to steal home?!?

Big Mouth:  Yeah, he can steal home.

Friend of Big Mouth:  Can he steal from first to second? 

The runner was on third as a result of a single followed by two stolen bases.

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During the sixth inning:

Friend of Big Mouth:  Do they have half time?

Big Mouth:  No, there ain't no half time.  They got the seventh inning stretch.

Friend of Big Mouth:  Do they switch players?

Big Mouth:  They got guys on the bench they can bring into play if they want.

Friend of Big Mouth:  What do they do when they ain't playing?

Big Mouth:  They watch the game.


My children often hurt my heart with their lack of interest in baseball and some of their questions make me cry.  I now console myself that I could be mother to these folks.  And I leave Friend of Big Mouth with this parting shot, my favorite Foghorn Leghorn moment.  Hue-HUH!