Those were the first two words that came out of my mouth.
The attendance at Rangers Ballpark tonight was 47,4111. The odds that the woman directly in front of me was going to attempt to start The Wave in every single inning were 47,110 to 1. Think about that for a minute. They say if you aren’t careful karma will eventually come back and bite you in the ass. My question is this. What in the hell could I have done to deserve this? I’ve been good. I’ve taken care of my mother. I been nice to my girlfriend. I’ve cut back on the extras in life, because of my financial situation. I give the big guy in the sky a little fist bump regularly. I even put the toilet seat down. So I’m sitting here, watching a documentary about Rush, trying to figure out how this happened.
It started, as I mentioned, as a “Really?” moment. During the second inning, she stood up and just started yelling at people about her intentions. If you would have seen her on a street corner, you’d be looking for a shopping cart. But nooo… At a baseball game, she can act like this and nobody calls the cops. Mind you, she did all this while the Rangers were batting. When most people were doing what most people do at a baseball game. They were watching baseball. But that wasn’t good enough for this single mom. And so it began…
I’ve written about this before. And I’m still in shock. When she finished her first attempt (after an assist from maybe five people), she was fine for another half inning. But when the home team came up to bat again, she knew this was her moment. Her time to shine. She rose slowly at first, assuming a crouch not unlike a cheetah, as it surveys its prey. With a quick look over her shoulder (which put me eye to eye with her, by the way), she began, while her daughter tugged at her shirt, begging her to sit down and shut up.
“ALRIGHT EVERYONE! Y’ALL READY?! OK, WE’RE GONNA START THIS AND WE’RE GOIN’ THAT WAY! HER WE GO! ONE! TWO! THREE!”
That phrase was repeated for the next two and a half hours, during the bottom of every inning. Another “mom”, who apparently thought that entertaining her group was more important than the ball game, was working the first two rows. By the third time, they had joined forces. When they got ready, they looked like third base coaches, relaying signs to each other. Brutal is not a strong enough word to describe this living hell.
I was having a moral dilemma during all this. Would I really be punished for “accidentally” bumping her from behind, sending her cartwheeling over a few seats? Maybe a solid smack on the back of her head with my cap would suffice? And was it possible to make either of these actions look like an accident? Being that I was at the game with my girl and her friends, I manned up. I bit my lip so hard that I could whistle without opening my mouth. But the fun had just begun.
By the sixth inning, a rather “impaired” gentleman in a cowboy hat, who was about two sections over, decided his audience was much more receptive and began his own Wave. When his cajoling proved fruitless, he motioned to our section’s pied pipers. At this point, the three began a “Three Wave”, or “Menage a wave”, if you will.
The game tonight lasted about two hours and fifty minutes. It seemed longer. Much longer. I’ve been very vocal about my hatred for The Wave. But I think after tonight’s brutal assault on my brain and my ears, I’ve come to a realization. It’s like herpes. It’s not going away.
The woman and her poor children got up and left in the top of the eighth inning. I would assume so they could beat the traffic (I won’t start up on that one again). The peace washed over me. I had survived this. I been in the belly of the beast. To paraphrase ‘Red’ Redding in The Shawshank Redemption, I had… been through a river of shit and had come out clean on the other side.
To celebrate her leaving, I did The Wave…