I consider myself a patient person. There are many things I’m waiting
and hoping for in my life — not the least of which is money — but I
usually end up deferring to that old axiom, “I’ve waited this long; I
can wait a little longer.”
Baseball, though, is different. Its season spans half a year (more like
eight months, counting Spring Training and the postseason). It’s the
backdrop to our lives, there everyday. I envision its daily
omnipresence like communications theorists do the radio for Joe Blow
Cubicle. He awakes in the morning to his radio alarm, listens to his favorite talk show in the car on the way to work, throws on the rock station at his desk during the day and so on.
For all the anticipation leading to Opening Day (deservedly so), many teams — including my Mets this year — have an off-day after their respective openers.
After waiting six months for Mets baseball and enjoying a tidy 2-1 win over the Reds on Monday, I’m ready for Game 2 on Tuesday. But, I will wait — begrudgingly — because I have no choice, because the Scheduling Gods, exploiting my patient disposition, have seen to it that the Mets will not play on consecutive days.
Sure, there is fantasy baseball to tide me over. Between my three(!)
teams, I’ll have more than enough to keep me busy on that front.
Tuesday is also Nenny’s birthday, so we have dinner plans before my
late shift (8 p.m. – 4 a.m. ET, yuck).
Don’t get me wrong: I understand the necessity for an off-day one or two days after the opener. Teams are traveling, getting acclimated to chillier climes. Pitchers’ arms must be preserved. This makes plenty sense. But I don’t have to like it.
Many people, like co-worker Jiggy, are superstitious and adherent to all laws ghoulish. I assure you, this man has a Friday the 13th poster prominently displayed on his desk. Aside from my affinity for Silence of the Lambs, I’m not one of them. Rather, I wasn’t one of them until I came down with the stomach bug from hell on Friday — yes, Friday the 13th.
It was supposed to be a great day. Mets pitchers and catchers reported to camp, meaning we’d get to feast on about a month’s worth of all those tasty Spring Training cliches before fantasy drafts get under way. Since I had to work on Saturday, Nenny and I were to celebrate Valentine’s Day on Friday. I had a lovely evening planned: a nice dinner and the most recent reboot of — you guessed it — Friday the 13th (she’s more into slasher flicks than I am, strangely). Romantic? Perhaps not, but when you’re dating a girl who prefers horror and sci-fi to chick flicks, you gladly take it.
I even did the responsible thing for once in my life, actually making dinner reservations ahead of time (gasp!) and bought the movie tickets in advance so as to avoid being turned away when the theatre was overrun by middle schoolers for the 9:20 p.m. show.
But it was all for naught; within the first few minutes of reaching the restaurant, I had to inform Nenny that I wasn’t for long. Since I had picked her up, I couldn’t go straight home, and I knew I wouldn’t have enough time to drop her off and drive home before I had to answer to the porcelain gods. Getting a refund for the movie tickets was impossible since I couldn’t muster the strength nor gastrointestinal stability to crawl out of bed and drive to the theatre. All in all, Nenny, who’s long bemoaned her Valentine’s Day history as unfortunate, at best, got to spend her Valentine’s Day taking care of me while I made her bed my final resting place.
Luckily, the bug ran its course in about 24 hours. I worked Saturday night from 6:00 p.m. to 2 a.m., sheepishly asking Jiggy to take it as easy on me as possible with assignments since I was still enduring some fever, chills, and aches and pains. He said it was not a problem.
Aware of his superstitions, I asked Jiggy if he took any preventative measures to ensure his safety on Friday the 13th — you know, staying in bed, reciting pagan prayers, sacrificing farm animals. He replied simply that he wore his skull pendant and got through the day without incident. I think I’ll look into that.
For the record, we did eventually see Friday the 13th (that’s about $50.00 on a third-gen slasher rehash, for those of you counting at home) Sunday night at an IMAX, but you tend to appreciate the small things in life like holding down Raisinets and Sprite when you’ve stared death in the face.
Rather than the obligatory post-Super Bowl update in which I clamor for the start of Spring Training (trust me, Spring Training is a different ball of wax for a producer than an average fan), I’ll instead relay a pre-Super Bowl experience.
Nenny and I had been dying to do something — anything — outside the box recently. What better to do on Super Bowl Saturday than trek out to Lyndhurst, N.J., to take in Medieval Times? Look, we wanted to go snowboarding, but time and financial constraints made it darn near impossible. So how did we go from snowboarding to a half-baked renaissance fair? I’m not sure, exactly. But it was certainly outside the box, at least.
But may I say, for something I hadn’t necessarily regarded as high-brow entertainment, Medieval Times puts on a heck of a show. Dancing horses, flying falcons, jousting knights and much more were all part of the performance. Forget about the entertainment: The chance to slurp soup from goblets and eat chicken and ribs from the bone with your barehands was worth the price of admission alone. That’s saying a lot for me, considering my aversion to getting grease on my hands — major OCD. OK, I could have done without plunking down $7.50 for a Sam Adams Winter Lager, but the dull buzz at last sip made the incredulity of the experience merely an ironic pang.
Nenny and I sat in the green section, where we cheered for the knight of the corresponding color in the arena. The Green Knight, as chance would have it, was the dissenting voice of the knights — the bad *** with long, greasy hair, a sparse goatee, and an attitude which pitted him as an enemy to the throne. The Green Knight — picture Orlando Bloom — was one of the better equestrians,and he even survived a couple of duels at show’s end before being done in by the formidable duo of the prince and the black and white knight. He suffered a cruel fate, but fought the valiant fight.
When we got back to town, Cousin Sam and her guy friend came over. Nenny and I told them of the experience, and, sure enough, they were roundly impressed by our spontaneity.
Last Super Bowl, I spent the day trudging through the local arboretum, snapping pictures of dead foliage while I lamented the dissolution of my long-running relationship. This year, I went to Medieval Times with a nice girl and had a good time. Here’s to progress and the sheer genius of Medieval Times’ phone number: 1-888-WE-JOUST.