Monday, March 7, 2011

A FEW FACES IN THE CROWD

One of my hobbies when I am out and about is to simply observe people.  Strange things can occur when people don't stop and think that they are being watched.  I have observed many different things in many different situations but there are a few that although very interesting, I don't think I could make up a whole post about.  So this will be just a small series of observations I have made over the course of my life.

STONER AT A CONCERT:  Barb and I had gone to see the Allman Brothers Band with my friend Larry and a friend of Barb's at Royals Stadium   It was to be a blind date for Larry and the girl and from what I could tell it didn't go too well.  The concert was fantastic as the Allman Brothers played their special brand of southern blues/rock and the crowd was enjoying it tremendously.  It was the tour promoting their classic album "Brothers and Sisters" so not only were the past classics being played but future classics were being played as well.  As was the norm at these concerts there was a thick cloud of smoke handing over the crowd.  A whole cartel must have shipped the drugs in for this one night because it was everywhere you looked.  Back in those days the comedy duo of Cheech and Chong had released an album with a giant rolling paper inside of it as a joke.  Some people took it more seriously than a joke.  When the Allman Brothers finished the concert and the lights went up we gathered our things to begin heading to the car.  At the end of our row was a roadblock however.  This man had hair way past his shoulders, a Fu Man Chu mustache and three quarters of a Cheech and Chong doobie balancing between his fingers and it was still smoking.   The man himself was totally passed out.  His legs were draped over the seats in front o him and his arms were spread wide over the seats next to him.  His head was back, his eyes were closed and none of us were sure if he was still breathing or not.  We carefully climbed over our seats into the row behind us to get out without disturbing the gentle dreamer of dreaming whatever stoners dream when they are totally stoned.  As we walked past him, Larry flicked the mans hat just a little but there was no movement.  As we got up to the top of the stairs and started across the concourse to head home we all looked back at the unconscious soul and saw that he was still in the exact same position as he was when we left him.  It would have been interesting to stick around to see how security got him awake and what they did with him to get him on his way.  That could have made a whole story.

MUSTARD FACE:  Elaine and her family were in town and so I got the company tickets to go see a Royals game one evening.  Royals games are fun to watch because there isn't really any expectation of winning.  You can just sit back and relax and watch the game and watch the people watching the game.  One thing that is a must at a ball game is to have a hot dog.  I always get one when I go and will buy hot dogs for those attending the game with me.  In the concourse area is where you put the mustard and catchup and all that stuff on your hot dog.  The condiments are kept in canisters with a pump on the top so sometimes you can get a little too much mustard or not enough.  It is a skill that takes years of practice to get just the right amount on the dog.  As we sat watching the game Elaine suddenly hit me on the arm. I looked at her and she was looking over my shoulder into the next section.  Then she started whisper, "look.... look... look...." Disgusted that she was pulling my attention away from the ball game i looked over my shoulder.   There was an older gentleman sitting there with a hot dog in his hand half eaten.  His hair was a tangle of knots and he looked as though he had lost his razor over the last two days or so.    The most striking feature of this man was the mustard that had escaped from his hot dog and onto his face.  He was sporting a huge yellow smile as though a clown had put it there instead of make up.  He obviously did not have a clue as to what his face looked like as he continued to take bites into the hot dog and leaving still more mustard on his face.   An inning or so later, Elaine and I look over at him.  His hot dog was long gone and he was drinking beer now.  The beer had washed some of the mustard off of his upper lip but the rest of his mouth and half of his cheeks were still bright yellow.  As far as we knew he went home sporting the new make up because as we left the park, he still had it covering half his face.

THE STREAKER:  Well, why not just keep this series of stories in Royals Stadium.  My son and his girlfriend along with Barb and myself went to watch the Royals play the Cubs in an inter league game.  There were always two huge draws to these inter league series.  The St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs.  Each time either of these clubs came to Kansas City it was a sure sell out for the entire weekend.  I love to watch the Cubs as much as I love to watch the Royals and so I try to make it to the ballpark at least one time when the Cubs are in town.  It was the Saturday night game of the series and it was a good one.  We had already seen Sammy Sosa of the Cubs hit back to back  home runs over the center field fence.  The score was close and it was just a fun time all around.  The seventh inning stretch was to be one of the most memorable seventh inning stretches I had ever witnessed.  As the Cubs were coming out to take the field for the bottom of the seventh a somewhat drunk young man ripped his clothes off in the left field general admission seats.  He then climb over the railing and dropped the twelve foot or so high distance down onto the playing surface.  He than ran a straight line for second base  It took him awhile to get there and by the time he did arrive everyone in the stadium had their eye on him.  When he came to second base this totally nude man slide head first on his belly into second base.  This bears repeating.  He slid HEAD FIRST ON HIS BELLY into second base.  That is not soft dirt out there on the ball field and I, along with every other male in the stadium, grimaced as we watch the otherwise beautiful slide into second.  By now the security force was out on the field trying to track him down.  The Cubs players who were out in the field just stood and watched and tried to stay out of the way.  They finally tackled him in right field about halfway between first base and the fence.  One of the security guys brought out a little towel, and I mean it was like wash cloth size, to cover the gentleman up.  It did not cover him up so well.  They began to walk him towards the Royals dugout and then out under the stadium when one of them realized if the did that, they would be parading him in front of the entire stadium at close range.  The security force stopped and discussed it and turned him around and started walking him to the right field bullpen away from the majority of the fans who were still numb and in good humor at the young  man's escapade.  They eventually got him off the field and the game went on but the streaker trumped Sosa's two home runs and the fact that the Royals won that night.  The event of the evening was clearly the left field streaker who slid into second on his belly.  Still hurts to think about it.

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