Thursday, May 13, 2004

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

The title of this entry is not a summary, but a request. Really. Please. Take me out to the ballgame. I just went to see the Dodgers kick butt over the Cubs the other night. And I'm a Cubs fan. And it was fun. Yes, even though the Cubs lost, it was fun.

Before I tell you about the game, let me get my usual grumblings out of the way. Although one of the most reasonably priced family activities in Los Angeles, I did find the mandatory "service charge" (because the internet IS a service though it arguably takes less man-power to operate) and the "handling fee" (for when they "hand" the ticket to you at Will Call) to be enough to jack up the price just below the city's average cost for fun. And if you're hungry, DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!

OK, now that that's done, let's get on with it.

What I really enjoyed about the game (and I'm NOT a baseball fan) was doing something different, in a social setting, seeing how the city can come together and gather in one place. It seemed so unusual in Los Angeles, but fit nicely with the subheading of my writings. Yes, the hermit ventured outward and I had a good time. It was even worth foregoing "24" during broadcast and watching it later on tape.

We sat in the bleachers, which I had never done before. The first thing I noticed when I sat down was "Wow, it looks like we're in the game." The second thing I noticed is that the ball could come flying at my face any second... which could be either an unexpected treat, or the cause of a lot of pain. Fortunately, I had my grandfather's baseball mitt. I was sure that would protect me from anything, even though it is falling apart at the seams. If it survived into antiquedom, it had to have some special powers. I put on my tough girl face and was ready for any flies. And of course Tracy was all pumped up, cheering the Cubs with no regard for our personal safety. But we were having fun.

The ball never did fly into our section, but occasionally one of the players would toss one near by. And then, it happened. The harmony of the baseball game started to disappear. One flew right toward my dad, my mom cowered and covered her head, afraid everyone behind her was going to jump her (which they did), my dad tried catch the ball, then tried to cover my mom. And then the verbal abuses started to fly. Cubs fans taunting Dodgers fans, Dodgers fans booing Cubs fans, posturing for fights, throwing of food, yelling at the players, tossing back balls from opposite teams. What a game!

My parents looked less than thrilled. Yet still, they seemed happy to be outdoors for a change. They couldn't comprehend, however, how people could come to the game just to yell at each other throughout gameplay. And while I agree that it does seem to miss the point of going to the game if you're a baseball fan, for me that was part of the enjoyment. Tracy was depressed the Cubs lost (and they lost again last night, too), but I still had a good time. Being immersed in the culture, however crude it has become over the years, we were in it. And it was good.

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