Living Retired –‘Condiment Catastrophe’
Living Retired — ‘Condiment Catastrophe’
By Gary Chalk.
Recently I met up with our son Tyler and two of his friends at the Rogers Centre in Toronto to watch a Jays and Boston Red Sox baseball game.
In about the fifth inning I discovered the difference between 40-year old men and 70-year old men at a baseball game: the 40-year old’s enjoy the game sitting in their seats holding a beer; the 70-year old’s can’t hold our beer so we watch the game on large television monitors overtop the urinals in the washrooms. Just saying.
When I told Jan the game I was attending was ‘Schneider’s Loonie $1 Hotdog Night’ she rolled her eyes, “Loonie and Gary go together like wieners and buns.” I sure didn’t see that curveball coming!
Before the first pitch Tyler and I hit the concession stand. I bought 4 hotdogs for $4 — a great deal! And that included a mitt full of those little packages of ballpark mustard and relish. Tyler purchased 2 beers for us at the staggering price of — get ready for this! — $29!!!
“Dad, just so you know beer sales stop in the seventh inning.”
“Tyler, beer sales have stopped for us and the first pitch hasn’t been thrown yet!”
Abner Doubleday is claimed to have invented baseball, but who was the bonehead who came up with the idea to put mustard, relish, and catsup into teeny-weeny packages the size of a ten cent postage stamp! (If you are under 40 look up ‘postage stamp’ in the dictionary. But first look up ‘dictionary’ in Wikipedia.)
At our seats behind the Jays dugout I grappled trying to cradle my flimsy plastic cup of expensive beer between my knees, while at the same time balancing my hotdog on my lap, while using my teeth to tear the top corner off the packet of relish. What could possibly go wrong?
“Excuse me. Excuse me.” Two fans squeezed their way past me to get to their seats. I look like Nik Wallenda on a tightrope struggling to balance everything!
“Excuse me. Excuse me.” Now they’re coming back. “Sorry we are in the wrong row.”
DAMN! After multiple attempts I missed the hotdog but did manage to squirt green relish on my pants! The yellow mustard? Well it ended up on my shirt sleeve, my ball cap, and the man sitting in front of me!
Tyler couldn’t believe his eyes! “Gee Dad what are you doing? You look the way you did that time you were making Grandma’s pickle relish and it boiled over onto the kitchen floor. You slipped and slid all the way to the sink! I still laugh at that!”
“Tyler please don’t tell your Mom about this.”
“Don’t worry Dad. She will see your mess when she does the laundry.”
The game was a pitchers duel. In the ninth inning the Red Sox took the lead with a mammoth home run. I didn’t see it — no I wasn’t in the men’s washroom — I heard it on the radio. To beat the traffic I said goodbye to Tyler and his friends and left early. Go figure.
It was after one in the morning when I finally pulled into our house and closed the garage door. That is when it happened. I leaned into my Jeep to grab my sweater and accidentally pressed the panic button on the key fob. HONK! HONK! HONK!
It gets worse.
I was frantically trying to grasp the key fob in my pocket and inadvertently pressed the key fob for Jan’s vehicle parked beside. Now both cars horns are blaring! HONK! HONK! HONK! HONK! HONK! You’ve heard of dueling banjos. Well this was duelling horns in the middle of the night! So much for tiptoeing into the house without waking Jan.
By the time I reached the door Jan was already waiting in her bathrobe. Bright yellow mustard and bits of green relish are spattered all across my pants, on my shirt sleeves, and my ball cap. Torn condiment packages are stuck on my shoes.
Jan was too tired to laugh. “Gary, you look like you did a face plant in the condiments at a Denny’s all-you-can-eat buffet! I am going to call you the Jolly Green Giant!”
“Well I guess that’s better than being called Ballpark Frank!”
‘Living Retired’ is written by humour writer Gary Chalk.
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