My Travels II

Hi again. It’s me. I’ve got more words to say and pictures to show you. As promised, I had more stories from America, so I shall continue from there.

I found out the hard way that I don’t like baseball. It is unbearably dull, yet hugely popular. My main gripe with it was through the use of ‘enforced fun’ from the scoreboard and PA system. It quickly became rather irritating, and soon I found myself no longer with any interest of the game. Instead, I started watching other little parts of the culture. Call me old-fashioned, but I like scoreboards just to tell the score. The clue’s in the name.

For example, I became fascinated with the beer guy. A rather amiable chap, dressed in head-to-toe Seattle Mariners gear, replete with a plastic tray holding various bottles and cans. His trick was to yell out ‘bottle o’ beer!’ at regular intervals…at a comically high pitch. However, people would simply yell out for one, and a beverage would be passed across the seats to its destination, at which point the money would be passed back. Imagine doing that at Elland Road!

It went from bad to worse in terms of surreal nonsense- at a certain point in the game, the sand used to mark the playing field needed to be raked, which is done by a team of guys armed with huge brushes. Both myself and Dan (the same guy from the aeroplane- he’ll turn up quite a few times in these stories) began laughing over the idea that they could break into a Dick Van Dyke-esque dance sequence….which they did. Somehow, it was far funnier in our heads- perhaps more heel-clicking took place.

At that point I was starting to get a little hungry, so I made my way down into the concourse  to the snack bar, pausing momentarily to have a quick gander at the various knick-knacks on sale in the club shop- Big League Chew!!! Baseball Cards!!! But first, snacks.

The first wave of anxiety hit me as I approached the counter- the chap serving was rather…outspoken and excitable- I noticed he seemed to enjoy whoooooooping and high-fiving customers. A lot. I also noticed that they were selling something called ‘World Famous Garlic Fries.’ Hmmmmm…I’ll have to try those. But…I could play a trick here…let’s see…I went up to the counter completely deadpan, and began talking to the clerk in the more received pronunciation I could do, simply explaining that these ‘World Famous Garlic Fries’ simply cannot be that famous, or else I (and by extension, the UK and by further extension, Europe) would have heard of them. This slight beration alone was enough for him to make me a packet…FOR FREE. And for me to ‘go back and tell everyone about them!’ Shall do, skipper.

However, there was a problem. I was not aware or indeed ready for what they would be, exactly:

I couldn’t finish them, and soon I was scurrying back down for some Big League Chew, anything to get rid of the taste. Thankfully, it worked. Shredded bubblegum to the rescue!

This put another dampener on the game- after this, we descended to giggling and oddball remarks about the match, the players, the officials, the other fans, anything.Needless to say, “Bottle o’ Beer!” became something of a catchphrase.

So that’s the second part of my America story done. I’m quite glad I chose to break it up- otherwise it would be a long effort to read. Anyway, I’m hoping you are enjoying my nonsensical mutterings and doodles- I do enjoy it. There’ll be more soon!

(Dial Tone)


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