“How did you get these tickets?”
“I told you my boss passed them on to me.”
“Curt Looking up at the cloudless blue sky, was stunned at the sheer perfection that was before him.
“Derrick, this is a good day. Your boss is a good man.”
Stepping over the yellow puddle in front of them, that the two friends hoped was the first spilled beer of the day, Curtis commented on his boss. “You would think right, he gave up the tickets and all, but he’s a blowhard, image driven piece of shit. But, he has access to tickets and for some reason shared them, so for today he’s just a small piece of shit.”
“Where are the seats?” Curt looked over at Derrick and asked.
Derrick keeping his eyes low in order to prevent stepping into the second spilled beer of the day gave a nonspecific head tilt indicating somewhere ahead, near a colorfully outfitted group of fans.
“See that guy? Full on leprechaun garb, at 2 PM on a Tuesday. His vest doesn’t quite cover his pot of gold, but you have to love the enthusiasm.
“Looks more like Frodo’s Muggle half brother than a leprechaun.” Derrick said checking his phone. “This is our row”.
Wooden seats that appeared to be at least 100 years old and painted bright red in each of those 100’s springs, created a curved shape facing opposite the deep and lush green outfield. With the lower section of the wooden seats folded up against their backs, forming a half circle against the pristine outfield, it all looked like one of the Emoji con found on Derrick’s smart phone.
“Are you kidding me?” Derrick asked no one. “I can’t see half of outfield due to the upper deck over hang, and this stupid concrete beam blocks like 15 feet from behind the shortstop.”
“Dude, you can see the outfield, just might lose a few fly balls until they come down. The beam only blocks a little of the infield. Drama.”
“I told you he was a piece of shit, passing out obstructed seats. He will ask in front of the entire floor how much I liked the seats. It’s all about the show with him.”
“I still think bringing a glove to the 700th row is crazy.” Derrick said.
Curt paid no attention to his friends chatter. Derrick liked to try and touch as many nerves and push as many buttons as possible, even with people he liked. Curt had used this glove throughout high school. He got it as a gift when he was 14. Back then his fingers didn’t fit fully into the glove. Curt would cinch down the strap that went across the back of the glove so it would be tight against his hand overcoming the size issue.
“What is it like 40 years old? Your grandfather brought it back from the war or something like that?” Derrick asked.
“Does your desk touch your bosses? I think pieces of his shit must land on your desk.”
“Smack dude, we’re at a game, this is how I do it.” Derrick said.
Looking around at the crowd Curt continued to rub the glove’s leather near the thumb slot. He intermittently smacked the glove against his left thigh, like he always did when waiting for the pitcher to get to work.
The crowd was filing in and all of the seats in their row was full except for the one next to Derrick.
At the far end of the row each person got up one at a time allowing the last member of their group to get to his seat. It was difficult for the gentleman to make his way due to his size and the small distance between rows.
With an empty seat next him Derrick knew the inevitable. “You have got to be kidding me.”
Once at his seat the middle aged man introduced himself as Ralph and then collapsed down into the aged wood. Try as he might Derrick wasn’t able to shift his legs enough to brake contact with his new friend for the next nine innings.
“I need a beer, yup beer.” Standing Derrick raised his hand and almost screamed to the beer hawker passing by.
“I got it man, you paid for the seats.” Curt said.
“Make mine a light beer,” Derrick said louder than required.
The beer man held up two different options. Derrick pointed to the glass bottle in the man’s right hand. Curt held up two fingers indicating he would have what his friend ordered. “Okay, this should help with the game.”
The beer man proceeded to pour the beer into a plastic cup and pass it down the row to pair.
“Plastic cups what am I, a college kid on spring break? Beer was meant to be drank out of a mug or in this case a glass bottle. Always, always, always out of glass. That is why men crossed the ocean, rode in stagecoaches west, and went to the moon, so we could enjoy a proper receptacle for our libations.”
“Actually, Ralph said. “Libations doesn’t mean beer. That is a common misconception. Libations is a severing of wine poured in honor of a deity. Its often misused.”
“Thanks, Mr. Cleavon, I must not have been at Cheers the night you told Sammy that little known fact. “ Derrick said.
“Not required.” Curt told his friend. “Beer, wine doesn’t matter your right dude, glass does make it taste pure.”
“But I will take this red solo cup over the aluminum stay-cold- hollow tasting- freezer cans everyone seems to love today. I hate the way they leave like four elements from the periodic table attached to my tongue. Everything tastes like college baseball bats for a half hour after one of those.” Derrick said.
“This game pretty much sucks, only what two balls hit out of the infield?
“Its the top of the second inning. Relax, only like seven batters have been up.” Curt said.
“Yeah seven boring batters. No body is making any noise.”
“Maybe its because your cell phone is on vibrate.” Curt said. “Come on man watch the game its been a pitcher dual so far.”
“Pitchers dual, that’s what French for boring? Get ready to smack your glove leg dude, Peterson is on deck.” Derrick said. “That guy is a no talent ass clown.”
“Really, he’s killed us for like the last three years. Almost always hits a tater in our house.” Curt said.
“That is the exact definition of ‘no talent ass clown, if you don’t believe me ask Cliffy over here.” Derrick jerked his thumb towards the seat next to him.
As predicted by Derrick, when Peterson popped the doughnut off his bat and left the on-deck circle the existing low hum of noise quickly became a deafening stream of obscenity-laced boos.
Derrick and Curt sat in silence because there was no way to make their voices overcome the 30,000 person concert currently playing. And when Peterson struck out swinging the noise could have drowned out a jet fighter.
“Nice,” Derrick said.
“Fastball, up in the zone. Too good to lay off of.” Curt said.
“Our fans are the best at getting on someone. It’s May and Peterson already hates facing us.”
“When I went to Japan with my company last summer, we took in a game. They love their baseball, seriously, and they have rules for fan behavior. Organized chants that only the fan’s of the team hitting can use. The other team has to remain silent.” Curt said.
They have cheer’s of sorts for each town, like soccer in Europe, and they use plastic bats and other things to make noise, like those cheerleader voice tubes, I think I saw a Vuvuzela or what ever the name for the crazy horn they used in South Africa during the World Cup that year.’” Curt continued.
“That’s cool. Still bet they have ‘ass clowns’ there.
“I need another beer.” Derrick said.
“Dude, they stopped selling beer last inning.”
“Well its hot, not May hot, real hot August hot.” Derrick said. More beer would help with the heat.
“This is a little bit of an over statement, but I am sweating.”
“I think Cliffy here is down to a size seven.” Derrick said.
‘Derrick, now your the ass clown.”
“But you didn’t say no talent, so I respect that you recognize.”
The slow start to the game had given way to a 13-9 slugfest. The action and the stack of empty red solo cups under Derricks feet were indicators of the games pace. The 2 PM first pitch was four and half hours ago. Some how the retrieving sun has left salt soaked people packed closely in its aftermath, mixing scents in the least of pleasant ways.
“What smells?” Derrick asked.
“Look at your shirt man, half of it is sweat the other half is spilled beer. I took a tour of a micro-brewery and the mixing room smelled better than you.”
“Dude, beer and sweat, that’s hard work. This is normally my Tuesday work shirt, but it never works this hard, on any Tuesday.”
The last pitch was thrown sealing the visitors their victory. The collective mass of people who just finished screaming 20 minutes ago, now silently lumbered along the rows of seats that lead to more open walkways heading to the exits.
It hit Derrick like a wave of pain and adrenaline. “I need to take a piss.”
“No kidding man you had like ten beers and never went.”
“Couldn’t ask Cliffy to move, the risks would have been too high.”
“Here’s one with no line.” Curt said.
“On it.” Derrick said, as he made a bee line for the opening.
Derrick jumped into the last urinal next to the low one that every building code in the world, it seemed required. Curt, waiting as men do, for the normal height receptacle next to Derrick to open, was able to take his place.
At the risk of braking the man code of urinal silence. Curt said. “It was a good afternoon thanks for brining me.”
“It was a great day, I had a blast. My shirt does’t smell bad in this room right?” Derrick asked laughing.
Both men turned to the right as the man in the leprechaun suit stepped up to the low urinal.
Derrick and Curt looked at each other and without a word bumped fists.