Category Archives: My Life

Joelfest 2017, Part II (Part I)

Sound Check: The Only Times I’ve Ever Known

Several months ago it was announced that Billy Joel would be performing in September in St. Louis.

“Are you going to the Billy Joel concert?”

“No”

“Why not?”

“Are you going to the Billy Joel concert?”

“No”

“Why not?”

“Are you going to the Billy Joel concert?”

“No”

“Why not?”

“Are you going to the Billy Joel concert?”

“No”

“Why not?”

Sometimes it’s not easy being perceived as the No. 1 fan of a popular musician. Yes, I love The Man and his music but I’ve seen him many times. In fact, I’m not sure how many times. There was the first time in Columbia, then in St. Louis, then I think in Kansas City, then again in St. Louis, then when he opened the Savvis Center, then with Elton John at Riverport, then with Liz that last time… so 6 or 7 times. Maybe 8.

He puts on a good show. But it’s pretty much the same show – heavy on the hits, a few album tracks, songs from whatever new album he’s promoting. But he hasn’t had a new album in 24 years. And I don’t need to hear him perform “My Life” one more time.  So I am pretty much done with Billy Joel Live. Especially since concert tickets are more expensive than they were when I paid $5.50 to see him the first time.

So I had made my peace about Joel being in town and me not being there, despite constant questioning by people — including my wife, who would ask me on a weekly basis if I wanted her to get me tickets.

And then some cop shot some black man and some judge didn’t toss him in jail and all hell broke loose in St. Louis.

As a result, the U2 concert was canceled. The Wife had been looking forward to that show for some time, and it’s true what they say — If Laurie ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

So to make it up to her — and because her constant questioning me about whether I wanted tickets to Billy Joel was clearly as much about her desires as it was about mine (you learn these things after 29 years of marriage) — I figured I’d better scrounge up some concert tickets.

But the show is 2 days away and sold out. As luck or fate or whatever would have it, someone at work had a pair of tickets he wanted to unload. The bad news is they were floor seats, and I hate floor seats. The worst news is they were $150 each (plus a $40 service fee, which he wasn’t going to charge me, but once you’ve blown $300 on concert tickets, what’s another $40?)

Now, if my father were alive and he heard that I’d spent $340 on concert tickets, he would take his belt off and beat me with it. And he would be right to do so. But pa is no longer with us, so now it’s just a question of : Do I love my wife enough to spend $340 on concert tickets?

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Looks like I’m going to the Billy Joel concert!

 

…To be continued   

 

 

 

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A RROY REPORT Special Report: LawyerCon 2017: Lake Tahoe: Part IV

Part IV: The Long Ride Home

I fear I may have given a wrong impression of the airline industry earlier in Part I. To be fair, we didn’t have many problems with Southwest Airlines or the airports of St. Louis, Las Vegas and Reno. Well, aside from losing Andrew’s luggage — and they got it to us the next morning so no harm, no foul. No, the real criminals in our ride to Lake Tahoe were the parents who think it’s fine to put infants on airplanes.

Yes, I had no real complaints with the airline industry on Saturday.

But that was about to change.

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A photo of the Roy clan in happier times, while taking a boat ride on Lake Tahoe. Something to make you smile before the horror begins.

Got up early Friday morning and had a relatively uneventful drive to Reno. I screwed up a turn, but we got back on the right track without too much time lost. Arrived at the airport in plenty of time to return the car, check the luggage, deal with the TSA, and find our gate.

Board the plane. Wait.

Looks like the airport is full of traffic. We’re going to sit here a while until we’re cleared to go. Thank you for your patience.

We leave Reno about 40 minutes behind schedule, not a big deal but we’ve only got an hour between flights, which has now been cut down to 20 minutes.  Arrive in Las Vegas at gate D-4. Check the screen and see our flight is at gate C-9. That shouldn’t be too bad. Get out of D section and find we are at Gate C-23. Minus the four D gates we just passed, we now have 14 more to go. And the clock is ticking.

We briskly make out way through the crowded terminal. My son, who is usually 50 feet ahead of me on all walks, picks today to be pokey. Somehow, exhausted and out of breath, we make it to our terminal just in the nick of time.

The flight to St. Louis has been delayed by one hour. Thank you for your patience.

The gate is packed with people. There’s nowhere to sit, not because there’s no room, but because they had to make room for all the slot machines. An hour later we still have not boarded the plane.

We will be boarding shortly. We are waiting for the flight crew to arrive. Thank you for your patience.

Some time later — by this time time has lost all meaning — we board the plane. Everyone finds a seat. Someone walks by and says there are 9 seats left. Some time later, about 9 people board the plane. I guess once Southwest realized that they had forgotten to overbook a flight, they went back out into the terminal and started pulling people off the floor to join in.

Everyone’s seated. Still no movement.

We will be leaving shortly. We’re still waiting for some luggage to be loaded. Thank you for your patience.

F******************************************************K YOU! I AM NOT PATIENT! I STOPPED BEING PATIENT LONG AGO! I AM TRAPPED, IS WHAT I AM! I NEED TO GET HOME! YOU ARE MY ONLY WAY HOME! I HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO PUT UP WITH EVERY F’ING DELAY YOU PUT BEFORE ME! 

Eventually, the plane takes flight. I would like to say that was the end of our troubles, but you know better than that. I haven’t mentioned the wonderful people we’re traveling with. Yes, there were your standard-issue crying babies, but they were not the bane of my existence this time.

Directly behind me was a young boy. A young boy who enjoyed kicking the seat in front of him — the seat I happened to be sitting in. By the window was a young girl, who spent the entire flight saying:

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

In between them sat a man who I assume was their father – who didn’t do a G-D thing about any of this. When the flight was over and I could stand up, turn around, and face my tormentors, I considered telling the man that he was the worst father in world history. Instead he just looked up at me, smiled meekly and said, “Thank you for your patience.”

No, he really didn’t.

If he had I’d be in prison right now.

 

A RROY REPORT Special Report: LawyerCon 2017: Lake Tahoe: Part II

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Part II: Living the Resort Life

Something we have learned in our travels: The more upscale a hotel is, the fewer amenities they provide. Or rather, the fewer amenities they provide for free.

I guess that makes sense. Why put a coffeemaker in someone’s room when they can go down to the lobby where there’s a Starbucks? Why give someone free Internet access if you can charge them for it? Sadly, we are not the idle rich. By the end of the week I was missing coffee much more than I was missing Facebook.

So, to sum up: No free continental breakfast. No free USA Today. No coffeemaker. No free wi-fi. No free HBO (but there was Showtime, for what that’s worth). It’s like roughing it at some campground, but with beds and a private bathroom. And free Showtime, for what that’s worth. Oh, but there was a complementary hair dryer. Go figure.

Day Two

tahoe1Andrew’s suitcase arrived as promised, which was a good start to the day. Once we got our act together, we went out for a walk. Harvey’s sits on the state line between Nevada and California, I guess because gambling is illegal in California. Once you cross the street into Cali there is a few blocks filled with restaurants and shops — the kind of things you find in every resort area we stay in.

We had lunch at a crepes place because Laurie loves crepes. There was a shop next door that sold specialty ice cream sandwiches. We planned on going back later in the week but never did. That afternoon Andrew and I made our first of many trips to the hotel pool. That evening was the usual opening reception followed by a live auction and slideshow with highlights from last year’s con. We skipped out halfway through the slideshow to get dinner at a Greek restaurant. It seemed much fancier in the hotel magazine but it was kind of a dive. The gyro was good and that was all that mattered.

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Day Three

More pool time as Laurie spent most of the day in class. A quartet of obnoxious boys kinda made pool time disagreeable on day three, but they never showed up again so that worked out. It was a heated pool and honestly at times I thought it was warmer than the hot tub. We took a lunch break at the Irish pub across the street, then back for more pool time until time for the night’s big event.

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That night we had a dinner cruise on Lake Tahoe. It was very pleasant. The food was meh, but that’s pretty typical for dinner cruises. The whisky sour was just right. About once a year I drink alcohol and it’s usually LawyerCon and it’s usually the whisky sour. That night I had two, because you never know when you’re gonna have a free bar and when you’re not.

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It was windy on the boat so Laurie did her Cousin It impression.

Tomorrow: There’s no escaping Shakespeare

A RROY REPORT Special Report: LawyerCon 2017: Lake Tahoe: Part I

Part One: Hell is for Parents (who let children cry on planes)

This year the National Conference of Appellate Court Clerks — hereinafter referred to as LawyerCon — took place at Harvey’s Casino and Resort in Lake Tahoe on the borderline of Nevada and California.

Getting there, as always, was not half the fun.

Day One 

There is no easy way to get from St. Louis, Missouri, to Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Saturday morning we loaded three suitcases and two carry-ons into the car – drove to the parking lot – got the shuttle to the airport – got our bags tagged – took off shoes and went through security  – put our shoes back on and found our gate – waited an hour for the airplane – sat in plane for 3.5 hours – got off plane in Las Vegas and walked to next gate – waited 45 minutes – sat in plane for an hour – got off plane in Reno, got luggage and rental car – drove 1 hour to Lake Tahoe – check into hotel – collapse on bed and watch free HBO.

If only it were that easy.

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Before we get into the details of yet another horrific travel day, here’s a calm, tranquil picture of beautiful Lake Tahoe, to bring you peace before the terrors to come. 

went through security: Tried to explain to the nice TSA people that Andrew doesn’t understand “stand here and hold your arms up” so the nice TSA people took Andrew and Laurie aside and put gel on Laurie’s hands (I don’t know why). To be fair, the nice TSA people were the least of our hassles.

sat in plane for 3.5 hours: Sitting directly in front of me was a small child. Two rows up from my left was a small child. Three or so rows back and to my left was a small child. All 3 infants cried — sometimes in unison, sometimes solo — throughout the 3.5 hour trip. By the time we landed I had written the chorus to a song parody that I would sell to Weird Al Yankovich if he were buying.

Mamas, don’t let your babies go out and ride airplanes
They’ll cry and they’ll wail and they’ll drive us all nuts
Let ‘me ride buses and light rail and such

Mamas, don’t let your babies go out and ride airplanes
They’ll shriek and they’ll moan and not leave you alone
Makes you want to smack ’em with a glove

Now granted, rolling this through my head and working out the right wording did keep my mind occupied for the last hour of the flight, so there is that.

got luggage and rental car: At the airport we discovered that a Texas lawyer and her husband were on the same flight and were also renting a car to drive to Harvey’s and so we figured we would follow them there, even though there’s only one road to Lake Tahoe and we had brought the Garmin anyway to provide directions.

We got my bag. We got Laurie’s bag. There was no Andrew’s bag. How did they get 2 bags on the right plane but not the third? The nice lady at the help desk assured us it was probably on the next flight and they would sent it along to the hotel and be there for us in the morning. They even gave us a really nice travel bag with toiletries for Andrew to use that night. I don’t particularly care if he gets his clothes for the week, but we’re really going to need that swimsuit.

Did you know that Lake Tahoe sits in the mountains? I did not know this until very late in the program. I hate the mountains. Oh, I love them for their scenic beauty and purple majesty — but I can’t stand the curvy, windy, steep and terrifying roads you have to travel to get anywhere in them.

Keep in mind that by this time we’ve been traveling for roughly 6 hours and I’ve been through two airplane rides. I am literally wasted. Fortunately, my long-suffering wife was well aware of the state I would be in and had already planned to do the driving. First I shot a man just to watch him die, then we took off.

drove 1 hour to Lake Tahoe: The road from Reno to Carson City was straight and fine. The road from Carson City to Lake Tahoe was everything I hate about mountain driving. Oh, the view was incredible BUT WHO CAN’T ADMIRE THE VIEW WHEN YOU FEAR AT ANY MINUTE YOU’RE GOING TO GO OFF THE SIDE OF THE ROAD WHERE THERE IS NO SHOULDER — JUST A CAVERNOUS PLUNGE INTO DEATH.

And did I mention that my wife is driving like a maniac trying to keep up with Texas lawyer even though she’s driving a car she’s unfamiliar with on a road she’s never been on before?

Slow down! We don’t need to keep up with this guy! We’ll get there! We have the GPS! The speed limit’s 40, you’re doing 55! You don’t know what’s on the other side of this curve! Was that a Bear Crossing sign? Don’t hit any bears!

Now to be fair, I think I only shouted to slow down once, but in my head I said it 15 million times.

check into hotel: We arrived – in one piece, no less – at Harvey’s Casino and Resort around 8 p.m. Our room was not ready. It’s 8 p.m. – how is our room not ready? We are encouraged to go up to the casino and get some dinner and come back in an hour. We land in the Hard Rock Cafe upstairs. They seat us around memorabilia from bands and artists we are not familiar with. There was a guitar that once belonged to a member of Hoobastank. I had a decent, ridiculously overpriced burger, but my stomach wasn’t into eating.

An hour later we return to the front desk where Laurie is told…wait for it…our room is not ready. Now, if my sister had been there we would’ve got free lodging for the week and complementary everything, but she wasn’t. They did eventually give us another room, which was supposedly nicer than the room we signed up for, which I suppose was the least they could do.

collapse on bed and watch free HBO: Harvey’s did not have HBO, they had Showtime. I spent most of the week watching the AXS channel anyway.

Tomorrow: Life in Resort Land

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can’t Touch This (or Reflections on Joelfest 2017)

All my life I’ve wanted to be a hashtag. Aside from all those years when such a thing didn’t exist. Even now that it exists I don’t really know what it is. It’s a millennial thing, so I stay away from it.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Two Saturdays past was Joelfest 2017. If you don’t know what that is, read the F.A.Q. The Joelfest Selection Committee plans this thing well in advance, and the invitation is sent out January 1, so the people who don’t show up don’t show up because they hate me and not because they have a previous engagement — because no one plans out their June activities in January.

Granted, had I known in December how busy I was going to be the week of June 24, I would have suggested another date. But despite how much crap I had to deal with that week, I still made time for the quinquennial festival of William Joel. Because I care.

I used to care that people didn’t show up for Joelfest, but not anymore. I’m old now and I understand that everyone really hates me, so the mere fact that anyone shows up says something — I’m not sure what. And I can’t hold a grudge if someone decides a last-minute trip to Iceland with the kids is more important than seeing an old friend of 38 years. Right? I can’t hold a grudge about that. Can I?

The week’s festivities began Wednesday with a short trip to Columbia so The Wife could attend a work thing. The Son and I spent most of the time in the hotel pool and hot tub (which were wondrously empty for the most part). We tried to walk the campus but it was hot and muggy and Andrew almost immediately had a meltdown, so we wound up at the mall instead.

I did get to visit a new comic book shop (screw you, Rock Bottom — any comic shop that bags its books before putting them out no longer gets my business) and had pizza at Shakespeare’s and a gyro at G&D, so it was a successful trip overall. We returned home Friday in time for a little cleaning followed by opera. The next morning there was more cleaning, grocery shopping, and general preparations. In some respects it was probably good that we didn’t spend the whole week at home as that would’ve given Laurie too much time to obsess over the cleaning.

First to arrive were longtime Joelfesters Ron and Laura Leigh, all the way in from Florida (which makes everyone who claims “Oh, St. Charles is too far away” look like the sissies they are). They were followed by longtime Joelfester Scott and his wife Kim, the latter of whom was the big winner in this year’s hotly contested 50 Days of Joelfest trivia challenge. Laurie went out to get pizza and when she came back, she had Jay with her.

Now, when Jay Chism dies I will write a long and heartfelt obituary about him, but since I’m likely to go first, I’d better just go ahead and say a few nice things now. I’ve known Jay since, I believe, kindergarten, and he’s one of my oldest and dearest friends. Jay doesn’t say he’s coming to Joelfest and not show up. Jay makes no pretense that he’s coming to Joelfest. He just shows up. Once he showed up in Kansas City (where I was living at the time) instead of Columbia (where the party was actually held). We laugh about it now — it probably wasn’t so funny for him at the time.

So we sat in the back yard and had a nice chat while all the other guests showed up and Laurie played hostess while also dealing with Andrew’s inevitable meltdowns (Joelfest is one of those rare occasions where I’m not the one dealing with the meltdowns). There was Liz and Ann and Gena and Christine & family and Tina & family and Melfy & family and Stevie and Coffin Joe and Paul and Julie and the Leahs.

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A pretty good crowd for a Saturday.

Now, I’m not a big rules guy. When you come into my house, I don’t make you take off your shoes. You’re welcome to put your feet up on my coffee table. You can have anything in the fridge or the pantry. Want to take a nap on the couch? Fine. Leave the seat up when you’re done in the bathroom? I don’t give a damn.

I only ask one thing: Don’t Touch My Stuff.

This really shouldn’t even be a rule. It’s really just common sense, common decency, common courtesy. I don’t come into your house and touch your stuff. I am not an animal or a 2-year-old. I had parents who raised me right. But I realize now that I’m living in Trump’s America, so I have to spell things out. But when I say “don’t touch my stuff,” all I’m really saying is “be a decent human being.”

By midnight things had wound down and Stevie ran off because a young person can only stand so many minutes of 50-somethings talking about dealing with their aging parents. The next morning I hopped onto Facebook to get caught up on yesterday’s events only to discover that not I, but my stuff, had become a hashtag.

#nottouchingroysstuff

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There’s more. So much more. But this is a family blog and some of the things that were done to my stuff is not appropriate for all ages.

This is the world we live in, where “friends” can touch your stuff with abandon and then post photographs of it. Smiling. And while I’ll never be a trending topic on the Internet, at least my stuff will be.

You know who didn’t touch my stuff? Jay. And Jay had every reason to get back at me. And not because of that whole Kansas City/Columbia mix-up. No, many years ago, when we were like, 10, I pushed him off a wagon into the mud and cow manure at Warren Argall’s dairy farm. Why did I do it? I don’t know! I was 10! Kids do stupid things! And yet Jay loves to bring up that story every chance he gets — including Joelfest 2017.

So, thanks Jay, for not touching my stuff.

Or at least being smart enough not to leave behind photographic evidence.

See you in 2022.

 

Wherever They’s A Guy Trying To Get Out Of The Opera, I’ll Be There

Our final show for the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis’ 2017 season was a new version of John Steinbeck’s classic “The Grapes of Wrath.” I was initially looking forward to the performance. I had actually read the book, either in a college or high school literature class. I was familiar with the story.

But then I saw that it had a run-time of roughly 3 hours. Normally, I could handle that. But this was not a normal week.

1478828905_5efvy_1478541922_u3sfj_grapesblogpictureWednesday night we left St. Charles for Columbia so The Wife could attend a conference. Thursday I spend most of the day poolside with The Son, breaking only for food. Friday we returned home, did some pre-party prep, and headed out to the opera (The Trial — see above). Saturday: Joelfest. Sunday, hang out with the friends who spent the night, post-party cleanup, 3-hour opera. We don’t normally schedule 2 operas in 3 days, but we had to move one of our operas for a Cardinals game (see Baseball – Spawn of Satan) and Sunday night was the only option. I was not looking forward to capping off a long, busy week with 3 hours sitting in the frankly uncomfortable seating at the  Loretto-Hilton Center (Leg room — invest in it).

Oh, and did I mention Sunday is also our wedding anniversary? I agreed to moving the opera to Sunday night in part to get out of having to come up with something to do for our anniversary.

So it’s now Saturday night and Joelfest is going swimmingly and The Wife’s best friend Christine is sitting across the room and I figure it’s time we began our dance.

“Christine, what are you doing tomorrow night?”

“Hmm, I don’t know Ron. No plans.”

“How would you like to go to the opera with Laurie?”

Now, here’s what you need to understand: Christine and I have this conversation 4 times a year, every year. It always ends with “Gee Ron, I’d love to go, but I think you should go. It would be good for you and you should spend the time with Laurie.”

So I’m all ready for that line and instead I hear,

“Sure. I’d like to go.”

Wait. What just happened? Did I just get out of going to the opera? Have I been drinking? Has Christine? I have a room full of witnesses that heard her say she’d take my place at the opera.

And so it was that Sunday, after the last of the Joelfest revelers had left for parts unknown, I took The Son to the pool (because Lord knows he deserved some pool time after the past two days) while The Wife went to visit her mother. That night Laurie and Christine went to some fru-fru place for dinner then enjoyed an evening at the opera (I’m told it was an excellent show). I spend the night on the couch, eating Little Smokies and chips and dip while binge-watching Parks and Recreation until I passed out.

Best. Anniversary. Ever.

Baseball: Spawn of Satan

It’s been pretty well established by now that I will do practically anything for my loved ones. I’ll go to the opera, I’ll go to Shakespeare in the Park, I’ll watch movies based on Jane Austen novels, I’ll skip Free Comic Book Day for a wedding, I’ll go on a float trip, I’ll go on a cruise, I’ll get in an airplane.

I’ll do pretty much anything that isn’t an obvious risk to my life, like riding a bobsled or climbing a mountain to look at a lake. I didn’t know floating was dangerous or I would’ve marked that off the list.

Yes, I’ll do anything for family and friends. Even go to a damn St. Louis Cardinals baseball game.

This comes up every couple of years. The Cardinals do some kind of special day and someone gets cheap tickets and there’s usually a free hot dog and soda involved. This year it was SMS Day, and since Sister2 and her husband work there, they got tickets for all the siblings, their spouses, Andrew, and Nephew1’s family.

(Yes, I’m aware SMS is now MSU, but I still call Riverport Amphitheater Riverport Amphitheater and always will, so don’t bother correcting me.)

Friday afternoon 6 family members showed up at my house. We fed them, watched a movie and went to bed. I did not give up my bed for a change because, you know, I can’t move my all-important CPAP machine. At least, that’s the excuse I gave.

The game was to start around 1 p.m. The gang wanted to go down early, but as my luck would have it, there was some charity run going on downtown that morning. You may recall the last time I drove downtown I got stuck in traffic due to a charity run. Dear Charities: Please find somewhere else to run.

19146144_10103031499637564_1619088713922500371_nLaurie mapped out an alternative route and we made it to her parking garage without incident. Everyone was decked out in red — even my poor son was forced to conform. I wore my Hawkeye shirt.

Chuck wanted to see Ballpark Village, which is nothing more than a giant sports bar, but you gotta appease the tourists, so we walked through it on the way to the stadium. They were giving out god-awful ugly Cardinal shirts at the door. They were so ugly I would’ve worn one — if it didn’t have Cardinals crap all over it. We then used our vouchers for a free hot dog and soda and that was lunch. I was surprised to learn the Cardinals let you bring in your own snacks and drinks, so we came loaded down with food. That didn’t stop people from throwing down $5 for frozen lemonade when the man came around.

Made our way to our seats, where we were given free SMS Bears/Cardinals caps. I normally wouldn’t wear such a thing, but it fit nicely on my fat head, and it’s hard to find caps that fit well on my fat head, so I’m keeping it. I still kept my Thule cap on throughout the day.

We were early, so we had plenty of time to sweat it out before game time. Our seats were decent but in the direct sun, which was beating down heartily. I believe the temperature was 205 degrees. It certainly felt like it. I wound up with sunburned knees.

And then, the game began. Ah, Baseball. America’s sport. The same America that gave us President Donald Trump. When God decided to punish man for all his sins he did two things: 1) He kicked us out of the Garden of Eden, and 2) He gave us baseball.

Is there anything more boring and godawful slow as baseball? No, there isn’t. And I should know, I’ve watched Sofia Coppola movies. For those of you lucky enough to have never sat through a professional baseball game, let me paint you a picture:

There are two teams. One team goes into the field while the other goes into the dugout. One by one players leave the dugout to bat. The pitcher throws balls at the batter until the required number of balls or strikes or a hit is achieved. If you hit the ball, you get to run around in a diamond. Whoever makes it around the diamond the most wins.

Sounds exciting, right? And maybe it would be, if that’s what they actually did. But instead, one team goes out into the field and they toss the ball around. The pitcher throws it to the second baseman, he throws it to the first baseman, who throws it to the shortstop, and on and on for about 5 minutes until someone finally comes up to the batter’s box.

The pitcher stares at the batter for a while, throws a ball, waits another 5 minutes, throws a ball. If you’re lucky, they strike them out quickly. But nothing is ever done quickly in baseball. There will usually be 2 strikes and 3 balls and then an ungodly number of foul balls hit before that first out. And God help you if someone gets a hit, because then the pitcher has to decide whether to throw the ball at the batter, or at the guy at the base. This drags things out even longer.

Repeat. 18. Times.

Now, I can understand standing around playing catch when it’s your first time out there. Gotta warm up and all. But after the first inning — STOP SCREWING AROUND. Get On With It. I have places to be. Places with air conditioning. Places with shade. Places with comfortable seating.

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Somewhere around the 5th inning I turned to The Wife and I said, “As God as my witness, I’d rather be at Shakespeare in the Park.”

Or “Madame Butterfly.”

Or watching “Poldark.”

Or “Anne of Green Gables.”

Or sitting by the pool all afternoon.

Or having root canal surgery.

I took a few walks to get out of the heat. You know something is bad when I’d rather be exercising.

Eventually it ended. I don’t remember who won or who the other team was. We made it home without incident and that night we ordered pizzas from Stefanina’s. I wanted one of their delicious Buffalo Chicken pizzas, but Sister2 didn’t. Guess who “compromised” and wound up eating barbecue chicken pizza.

That night I got some small revenge for the day’s events by making them all watch “Logan.”