Sunday, July 24, 2011

A long day's journey into night....

Good day! The steamy early morning temperature is currently 90 degrees in the Midwest. So many people are suffering from this heat wave. The woman who lives above me never has her air conditioner on. Buddy thinks that she is on meth...but that's beside the point. Even a crackhead needs to be cool. Every day I listen to hear if she is still walking around. So far, so good. She is still alive. She is dropping things and still is a night owl pacing the apartment during the wee hours of the morning. The floor boards squeak, so I have not had to call 911 yet.

I am currently reading the book "Breaking Night" by Liz Murray. She is the woman who had a horrific childhood, neglected, taken away from a home with no running water, parents were addicts, mother dies from AIDS, and so on. This could have been the great American tragedy, but it wasn't. Somehow (I'll get to how later to today when I finish the book), she overcame the odds, went back to school, earned a Harvard scholarship, and had a movie made about her journey. She is an American hero....not the guys who can hit a baseball over a fence or throw a ball into a hoop. She is the one who gutted out abandonment, isolation, addiction, truancy, and a chronic case of head lice. To me, this kid overcame tremendous odds. It is a must read for any middle class kid who thinks that he or she has it rough because their parents make them do chores.

Why do I bring Liz Murray up? Well, the reason is that I had plenty of time to dive into the book since Buddy was on a road trip. Like Liz's story, this one is not to be believed. Yesterday, I dropped him off at the bus stop at 11:30 am to drive to a 4:30 pm double header on the other side of the state against the second place team. I had heard that there were rain showers but did not know the extent of them. Around 8 pm, I received a call from Buddy: "Mom, the game starts at 8:45pm." Ok, game two is starting a little it goes...."No, mom, game 1 is starting at 8:45 pm."

Huh? Game one! Those kids have been sitting in the rain and heat since 2:30 in the afternoon without food except for a few oranges. Fine, I guess that game two has been canceled, right? "No, game two will start after game 1." Doing the math, I figured that this could be around midnight. Surely, you are joking, right? "Mom, no...our coach demanded to play it and called the league to obtain permission. So we have to play the second game."

Oy! Double OY! Around 11 pm, I received another call. "Mom, we lost. Second game begins at 11:30 pm." Deep breath, BP Mom....Ok, good luck!

AT 2 am, I received another call, "Mom, game is over. We'll be back between 4 and 4:30 am. See you then..." Sigh.....

I left the apartment around 4:15am and began my journey to the bus stop. While driving slowly with the car doors locked, I looked around to see who was awake. For those of you who are asleep at this hour, let me share with you where you can go should you decide that you are hungry at 5 am. First, White Castle is open for business. I also saw the Waffle House had a full complement of guests eating waffles in the booths by the windows. lastly, the donut shop had the lights on with Mr. Donut making his pastries. The single people walking along the street were mostly men who were missing their shirts and perhaps their teeth (can't be too sure in the dark). I drove past them looking for the bus to come.

Eventually the bus showed up at 4:45 am, making it a night to forget. Buddy walked to the car and was low key. So, what happened? "We lost the second game. Our coach insisted on playing it even though the rest of the team wanted to go back. But the real story is what happened on the bus." Intrigued, I felt a quick jolt of adrenaline and wanted to hear about the bus ride home in the middle of the night.

It seems (I am relaying the story) the co-owner of the team was on the trip. He was angry at the team announcer because the home announcer called the players names and their home schools out wrong for the three people left in the stands. The announcer had mispronounced the names and "Mr. Steinbrenner" was peeved. What do you want from these people at midnight? So, George proceeded to scream at the poor announcer who had nothing to do with the mispronunciations and errors, it was the secretary's fault. During the altercation, the poor announcer quit. Mr. S plans on doing the announcing 'cause a "monkey could do it..." Ouch!

Buddy and team were incensed. What the heck is this guy doing? Everyone was tired including Mr. S. Anyone with a brain knew that it was not the team announcer's fault. Therefore, sit down and shut up! Sheesh! This guy has a real self important attitude. I have observed him around the stadium and he does not make eye contact with anyone or speak unless he is bashing someone. The poor kid who has to live with him since he is one of the hosts, is regularly pulled out of bed to take care of the field. This guy is nuts.

Sadly, something like this had to happen to place a cherry on top of this season. Buddy and his posse want to punch this guy in the face. It does not do any good to talk him out of it (he's all talk and won't do it anyway). Mr S. is a former army ranger, so stay away, he knows techniques with one finger that could disable Hulk Hogan, Spiderman or Captain America. Again, this is another teaching opportunity for the gang. They can see what to do...and what NOT TO DO when confronting someone. I also suggested that they take their cell phones out and document the carnage for the future.

By the way, there is a game tonight. The guys did not go to bed until 6 am, after dropping a double header in the early morning hours, they get to play again by being at the field at 4 pm. I never asked Buddy if he played or not. He did not offer to tell me. I guess when the door creaks open later this afternoon, we can have a discussion. Until then, I will go on with my business and finish my book on Liz Murray...a good read for a hot summer afternoon....

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