Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Props Out: Dude at the Phillies Game

Every once in a while, I like to hold a person up for scorn for the many ways they offend me without even knowing it. And, most likely, I will continue to do this.

Maybe even in my next post.

Still, a guy we were forced into cohabitating with in a social setting the other day did a very nice thing, so I am inventing a new post category in order to show him some love.

It all took place at a Phillies game. The wife and I decided to take my Mom to a game for her Mother's Day present. We, of course, wanted to take Saucy Jr. along as well so that he could spend time with Grandma. Anyway, there isn't a lot of room at the game. The seats are always packed and they don't exactly leave a lot of leg room between the rows. Add in the fact that we were all carrying subs from Tony Luke's and you could imagine that things were quite cramped as we ambled into our left-field seats (no nose-bleeders on this evening).

Anyway, wifey took the responsibility of holding on to the Big Man to start, and the dude in front of us paid the price. Saucy Jr. was slapping him on the back, his sloppy digits making solid contact with a formerly pristine button-up straight from the office. He was kicking the dude's chair and, sometimes when he got bored, his cranium. He was generally making a major nuisance out of himself, but what do you want? He's a kid, and a toddler at that.

The man in front really wasn't that bad about it. You could see him making slight comments to his friend, but nothing big. There was the occasional turn-around, like "What the F was that?" I would say that he committed himself admirably. Hell, back when I didn't have kids I surely would have stirred up more of a fuss, even if it was only in the form of complaining to my wife until she couldn't stand it anymore or shaking my head continuously in a manner reminiscent of Katherine Hepburn in On Golden Pond. This being said, he did bolt by about the fifth inning. Getting bonked in the dome by a baby the size of the average high school J.V. basketball team's backup point guard certainly did not seem to be his idea of an evening well spent. So I give this man kudos for not handing us a bill for his dry cleaner, but not as much dap as the man who gets full recognition.

It was the dude sitting next to me.

You see, at a certain point when the gent in front of wifey started to resemble a volcano approaching full blast, I told her she should switch spots with me. For the man sitting to my exact left showed extreme promise (even if he did display clear symptoms of a cold). He had asked Saucy mock questions about how he was enjoying the game or his dinner. His discourse with his pals displayed a passable sense of humor, if a little on the immature side. Also, at one point when I was holding Saucy and he was squirming, I sort of apologized, and the guy stated, "He's fine. You should see my kids." Once Spicy moved over there with child full-time, the man showed off an even more tolerant side. He let the little guy play with his poncho. He let him fiddle with his watch. He even let our little guy, getting more and more rambunctious by the pitch, slap him in the face a couple of times playfully. At one point, I looked over and almost forgot that my wife was married to me and not this sports-loving gent with the salt-and-pepper close-crop. But once I asked the gentleman to remove his hand from my wife's knee, the difference regained its clarity.

In all seriousness, PROPS OUT, Phillies fan who was willing to allow our child to wreak havoc on his person whilst enjoying a game with his pals! It really allowed us to relax and let our kid be himself without fear of a possible rebuke or fistfight in the stands. While we may never meet again, we salute you for your kind, gentle nature and your ability to not pass your cold along to our son!

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