More Missives From The Road

“Lots of crap went on that night.” — Notsam2

Having firm control of the music in the car is imperative for a successful Cactus League trip. Otherwise, you might get stuck listening to Night Ranger’s Dawn Patrol as you zip across the desert, which can radically change the dynamics of a routine traffic stop.

CHP: Do you know how fast your were going?

Driver: Yes. Sorry about that. This is a fine peice of German engineering, and sometimes I don’t feel how fast I am going.

CHP: Sir, you are driving a Lexus.

Driver (pause): I would like to report a stolen car.

Occupants of the car (in unison): Summer kisses never last through September/I thought you’d understand/That holding hands ain’t exclusive to lovers/Guess it was part of your plan

Things might have gone down differently if Making Movies were on the stereo:

CHP: Do you know how fast your were going?

Driver: Yes. Sorry about that. This is a fine peice of German engineering, and sometimes I don’t feel how fast I am going.

CHP: Sir, you are driving a Lexus.

Driver (pause): I would like to report a stolen car.

Occupants of the car (in unison): She gets rock n roll, from the rock n roll station/In a rock n roll dream/She’s making movies on location/She don’t know what it means

One of the most important guidelines of a successful Cactus League is not to be asked to leave a sold out game because you can’t buy tickets for re-admission. Another important guideline is not to leave the damn tickets of a sold out game in a hotel room across town. While we followed the first guideline this past weekend, someone didn’t get the memo of the second guideline, and we found ourselves in the parking lot of Camelback Ranch Saturday night for the Giants/Dodgers game without tickets.

A half empty glass guy would have despaired; a half full glass guy would have suggested we just go to a bar for St. Patrick’s Day to watch the NCAA tournament. but the Cactus League veteran says, “We are going to Peoria to see the Padres. They never sell out night games, plus there is a Tilted Kilt across the street from the game.”

A wicked storm was moving in Saturday night, which always works Cactus League pilgrims into a frenzy. The chance of no games on Sunday adds a certain intensity as many pilgrims realize this could be their last Cactus League game, which means alcohol consumption spikes. Since this Saturday was St. Patrick’s Day, a hard rain indeed was about to fall.

Things quickly entered bizarre territory in the third inning when a very large beer vendor began pointing his meaty index finger at me while repeating, “You! You! You!” Seems I had a past history with this bloke, and for the life of me, I could not remember ever meeting this guy’s acquaintance. Upon further reflection, he could have been the beer vendor from Maryvale years ago who fancied himself a comedian, but the details of that nonsense are rather fuzzy.

Anyway, this beer vendor was very upset with me and refused to serve me, so I politely told him to move along. He did not. After exchanging further pleasantries, security arrived. In a Cactus League first for me, the beer vendor was escorted away, not someone from my party. I still have no firm idea what that was all about.

Another thing I would have never thought would happen to me at a Cactus League game: a young man with Downs Syndrome yelled at me that night for being Un-American for not standing up during “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.” All things considered, I think I handled it very well.

Things needed to be considered:

1. I hate the seventh inning stretch and that fat #### President Taft who begat it
2. I hate the way God Bless America renditions have made the seventh inning stretch some sort of patriotic duty
3. The young man’s older brother was itching for a fight and had already been lovingly educated by my crew for running his ignorant mouth.

Things might have gone south very quickly, but I jumped up and executed an Irish jig (it was St Patrick’s Day) to the delight of everyone. Situation defused.

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