So we took the boy to sign up for baseball last weekend.
There’s something people should know about Midwesterners. These snowbound freak shows LOVE baseball almost as much as they love a four-wheel jacked-up snow blower that can run 0 to 60 in three seconds while microwaving a bratwurst and holding their Old Style.
I’ll never forget the first run I took while in the Chicago burbs of Oak Park. It was May, the sun was out, it was about 50 degrees, and I was enjoying my first look at the neighborhood I was temporarily living in. I noticed historic houses, cars, good looking moms walking with baby strollers, and then it hit me. In front of every-other house was a father and son, or daughter, throwing a baseball. Cubs and White Sox flags hanging everywhere.
It seemed like even women gathering along the sidewalk were all “Ya…we’re gonna split season tickets at Wrigley this year with Bob and Marge…” (please re-read with a Fargo midwest accent attached)
When I got home I immediately turned the TV on to try and find a baseball game. The laptop flew up and while dripping sweat all over the keyboard I frantically pulled up the Cubs website to learn everything I possibly could about this cursed team. I was scared shitless!!!
I had that same feeling this past weekend when we walked into the local high school to sign the boy up for baseball. They had “farm” league and “prep” league. I was a deer in headlights watching kids warm up with their fathers as the sign-in lady was sounding like Charlie Brown’s teacher as she tried to explain the difference between “farm” and “prep.”
Despite the fact it was 10 degrees outside, sweat was trickling down my back as I watched a six-year-old hum a baseball over a 30 foot space back and forth with his dad. Seven year olds wearing numbers on their back were taking turns running down the first base line while a lady (well, I think she was a lady...come to think of it she may have had a beard) with a stop watch timed them. A line of fathers leaned against the gym wall were intensely watching every move their kids made while fighting back the overwhelming urge to rip their clothes off down to their loin cloth thong and beat their chests.
I was fucking scared out of my mind!
“Ummm…my seven-year-old’s never played organized baseball. Which league should we sign-up for that will keep him away from those kids?” I asked the lady, pointing at the six-year-old pitching a 40-mph strike.
With a half smirk and slight chuckle, she blew the dust off a form and handed it to me to fill out, “Prep. Your boy should DEFINITELY be in prep league. NEXT!,” she yelled as my sweaty shaking hand pulled the form from her hand and I looked around to see if my face was being televised on a jumbo-screen with the words “Deadbeat ‘Prep League’ Dad” written below it.
With that out of the way, and a few sessions with my therapist, I’m actually looking forward to the baseball season.
I look forward to seeing the boy learn basic skills, maybe hit a few good balls here and there, and getting a feel as to whether he’s really into the game or not. But most importantly—I’m fascinated to see how the parents will be. Oh sure, I’ll bring a gun with me to the games just to make sure no one gives my boy shit for striking out or running straight to third base after a good hit.
But I’ll also bring with me my pad and pen…cause you guys are definitely going to be the first to hear the rantings that are sure to come spewing from these rabid baseball fan’s mouths.