A Date at the Ballpark.
Batter up! The opening ceremony is done and the crowd is settling into the ridgid stadium seats. I’ve got a good sight line to home plate because the man and woman in the aisle in front of me aren’t too tall. I was really happy when I saw them but that was before I got a whiff of the perfume the woman’s wearing. It’s going to be a long night. I hope I brought enough kleenex.
The chick is wearing a low cut, sleeveless knit top which is inappropriate for the 55 degree weather. Her arms not well toned but she’s probably under 25 years old; she doesn’t have those flappy tricep wings to worry over. She holds a cell phone in one hand and uses the other to flick back her shoulder length hair. She’s got rings on three fingers, the kind of ring you see in the bargain section of jewelry stores in the mall. I have no idea where she bought her perfume, but someone should shut that place down.
One thing I’ve noticed lately at baseball games is that half the fans are only watching the game part-time because they’re enraptured with their cell phones, or cell phone/camera combinations, or blackberry/camera/DVD/gameboy/coffeemaker devices. Why go to a game if you’re not going to watch it? Of course, those same people are probably not going to jump up and spill beer on me when there’s an exciting play, so that’s a plus.
The couple in front of me sure won’t be jumping up, or cheering at anything. The man has done nothing but stare with total lust at his female companion since they sat down, but she’s wholly fixated on her phone, and doesn’t seem to notice. She’s been taking photos of herself for the last five minutes.
Now he’s trying to edge as close to her as he can. Doesn’t the perfume choke him? Guess not. He smells like ten packs of cigarettes so maybe he’s immune. Now he’s got his arm resting casually on the back of her seat. I know this because his elbow is sticking into my legroom and I had to pull my knees to one side. His efforts are for nothing, cause the woman is now dividing her attention between 5 second glances at home plate and an equal interval where she checks the screen of her phone. Waiting for a call, I bet! From her other admirers? So why did she go out with this guy?
Several innings have passed. The guy has bought his date a barbecue dinner, three beers, ice cream, and a stuffed replica of the team’s most famous player. In spite of the fact I’ve been watching the game, I know all this because he always has to stand up to take out his wallet, thus obstructing my view of the playing field.Then he went out and came back with a sweatshirt for her because she was shivering. Then he sat down to resume his quest. He’s now wrapped his entire right arm around the woman and he’s got his nose a half inch away from her ear. I’m glad I haven’t eaten or I might have lost it. As it is, I’m trying to keep my husband from going into hysterics between innings when the guy makes his moves.
8th inning now, and two players are in scoring position! Oh no, not again. I can’t see! The woman is standing. Her sweatshirt slides off her shoulders and falls to the seat, unheeded. She flips her phone closed and looks at the aisle. Even in profile I can tell she’s got a smug look on her face. The guy stands up in surprise as she picks up her purse and motions to the people sitting next to them that she wants to leave. The whole aisle stands up to let them pass. Somehow I think that this date is their last.
Mickey Hoffman is the author of a mystery novel, School of Lies, soon to be published by Second Wind Publishing.