|New York City!|
Come for a ballgame, stay for a show, meet the hookers, run away from the rats!
As we descended the exit ramp, legions of homeless men armed with plastic bottles, flimsy squeegees, and wadded-up newspapers pounced on the cars ahead of us. Hoping to get a couple of dollars for smearing yellow-colored liquid across windshields, they worked the line like an Indy pit crew with shopping carts of empty cans.
“Wash yer windshield, mister?”
|Urine comes extra|
Mr. Spagnoula dug into his front pocket.
“Dad!” Spags protested.
Handing over a dollar to one of the “Squeegee Boys,” he admitted, “Better than getting spit on. Or worse.”
After reducing our visibility to near zero, the aromatic civic servant gave us a toothless grin and dirty thumbs up. He then shuffled off to his next “customer.”
“There now, that wasn’t so bad,” Mr. Spagnoula cheerily said. “Nobody got killed or peed on.”
|Fans 14 and Older Get Bludgeoned and Robbed...|
oops, sorry, that's Yankee Stadium 2011
Mr. Spagnoula looked askance at the various unshaven men trying to entice us to park in their lots-for a hefty price, of course.
“Jesus H. Christmas,” he said. Quickly looking at the dashboard, he apologetically patted the little statue. “No offense.”
Giggling to himself, he turned down a side street.
“I’m not paying some guy a fortune when we could park out here.”
“You sure about this, Dad?” Spags asked as we crept down a gloomy street.
“Sure, there’s no way-aha!” he happily said as he wedged the beetle between a panel truck and a spray-painted van with plywood for windows.
As we piled out of the car onto the garbage strewn street, I wasn’t really worried. A parking space was a parking space, after all. Still, the quiet of the street and absence of any people was a little creepy.
Oh, well, we had a ball game to see!
Even though our seats were way out in right field, they really weren’t bad. Despite the fact we needed binoculars to see anyone at the plate, at least we were at field level. Plus, we stood a good chance of snagging any foul balls which came our way.
No sooner had we settled in than Mr. Spagnoula leapt up, clapped his hands, and announced, “Well, now that I know where I’m sitting, I gotta go buy me some peanuts and crackers, Jack!”
We heard him cackling as he disappeared down the tunnel.
“He sure likes to make jokes, huh?”
Spags laughed, “Yeah, he cracks himself up. Hey, where’s Donny?”
I saw the brain-damaged Red Sox fan hanging over the outfield wall, taunting outfielders shagging batting practice flies.
|Because I'd get sued if I used |
a picture of a good ballplayer
Concerned for his safety, we joined him at the wall.
“Murcer! You couldn’t hit your IQ!”
When a high fly dropped behind one of the ballplayers, Donny was merciless. “Heyyyy, Ron, I seen better hands on a pool cue!”
The crowd gasped as a huge fly rocketed into the corner. Just as it was going to sail into the stands, a sudden gust of wind swirled in and pushed it down. After rattling in the shadows, it ricocheted back onto the grass.
One of the players squared off to scoop it up.
With a sudden “Oh, no you don’t!” Donny boosted himself over the wall and dropped to the field.
We looked, aghast, as he quickly snapped up the baseball. Ignoring the flabbergasted ballplayers around him, he proudly held it up.
“Look what I got!”
“Hey, kid! Stay right there!”
Donny looked to his right. Three stadium cops were charging down the foul line. His mouth formed a silent ‘O’ and he jammed the ball into his front pocket.
Before darting across center field.
Amazed, I said, “Not really the direction I would have chosen.”
“Yeah, but look on the bright side,” Spags said, “now we don’t have to listen to him run his mouth.”
|What they wanted to do, |
|...because they looked like this.|
“Hey, guys, catch any foul balls?”
Mr. Spagnoula trudged down the aisle, laden with six hot dogs, a huge bag of peanuts, and carrying case of sodas.
“Where’s your friend?”
“Oh, he, uh, had to go to the bathroom.” Spags answered. “Said he was holding it in the whole trip.”
“Shoulda said something,” Mr. Spagnoula said as he shoved a hot dog in his mouth, “Coulda taken a whiz on the turnpike.”
As he said this, I watched Donny emerge from a tunnel on the other side of the park. Taking take two steps at a time, he lunged toward the upper left field deck, six more cops in pursuit.
It was going to be a long game.
To be continued (but, I think you knew that already)....
Next: Some people do like ketchup on their hot dogs. Plus: some creative reworking of history!