There were really two ‘events’ that happened yesterday, but I’m going to have to tell them in reverse order because my favourite happened first.
In the evening, we went to see Baseball. It was my first ever live game and I want to be clear I’M EXTREMELY GRATEFUL. The company paid for us to go see it, and I genuinely appreciated it.
…Having said that…
If I think twice about going to see a movie that’s three hours long – why, WHY would I sit looking at a baseball game for three hours? When, for at least 90 minutes of that, I’m watching guys stretching – without actually playing anything?
In order to fill the silence, they have little mini-games and so on. For example, at one point they wheeled on a giant shopping cart and someone tried to throw balls into it to win a shopping spree. Another time someone had to pitch three balls through a hole to win a car. Now I’m sure ‘The Price Is Right’ had it’s time and place. But that time wasn’t last night, and the place wasn’t in a field.
Then they have the entertainment. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I’m partial to standing in front of a crowd myself and telling a few jokes (and if you think a baseball game seems to run too long, you should see my act), so I’m not about to criticize someone that tries to entertain in the immediate vicinity of a large group of men with wooden bats –
But – He was called ‘The Wonderful Christopher’. And, in fairness, when he walked onto the pitch with three man-sized puppets strapped to him – all dressed as members of the Village People – I looked to the sky and thought ‘..wonderful.’ So I guess that’s truth in advertising.
At that point, my boss decided to starting dancing to ‘YMCA’. Now – in and of itself, this is a questionable judgement choice – but he then started to shout at the rest of the audience to join in. I remember him saying ‘Wow! What a boring section I’m in’. I remember that as unusual because it wasn’t just our section. No-one else in the entire stadium was dancing. Except my boss. Who was sat next to me.
Now – I don’t talk about my boss when I’m writing because.. well.. he’s my boss. I’ll either say something nice as I sound like a suck-up, or I say something negative and he ceases to be my boss shortly after. So let me step through this particular career-limiting minefield carefully..
Firstly, my boss is a really nice guy. A genuine, friendly, Midwestern gentleman who is always respectful and polite to people no matter how much they don’t want to be spoken to.
Secondly, he’s a little bit crazy. He wasn’t dancing to ‘YMCA’ to show off, or get friends, or as an audition – He was dancing because he’s full of the joys of life. Because he wanted to dammit, and that’s his right as an American.
So basically what I’m saying is – you know that crazy Uncle you visit every Christmas? The one that smiles just a bit too much?
…That’s my boss.
So the reason I’m telling you all this is because of the other thing that happened (which actually happened before the baseball, remember – I just prefer telling it this way).
We went to visit a customer – and on the way stopped for some lunch. There were a few of us, and the Maine-iacs amongst us took us to a Lobster shack down next to the bay in Freeport, Maine. On a more serious note – it was beautiful. And as I sat in the sun, with the sea-breeze in my face and lobster dribbling down my chin, I reflected on the fabulous scenery surrounding me and could really see why Stephen King sets all his stories about crazed murderers there. (Note – For legal reasons I should point out he doesn’t set them all at that particular lobster shack – just in Maine).
So I ordered the lobster roll. (Or in Maine-ian ‘lobsta roll’) and my boss ordered the lobster dinner (‘lobsta dinna’). Eventually it arrived and he started tearing apart the lobster and eating it.
Now while we’d been waiting I’d noticed the boss of this place wandering around. I noticed him because he was shouting at the customers in line, the directions for ordering. (I know – it doesn’t sound difficult. But I think he’d made it difficult just so he had a reason to shout at these customers). So – you had to go to one counter if you wanted food, and another if you wanted the lobster dinner. You would get a number from each counter and had to wait until your number was called (and then check it was the correct number from the correct counter).
Then he was telling people where they should stand so that they didn’t get in the way of the other people he’d stood elsewhere. It didn’t seem to occur to him that the same thing would happen whether he was shouting at them or not.
Anyway – my boss is eating his lobster, and has nearly finished, when this guy comes over. He says to my boss – ‘Do you want me to show you how to do that?’ My boss (ever the nice guy) says yes. And the guy picks up the tail of the lobster – then says ‘Do you believe in Magic?’ He gets the answer yes again and then twists the tail in a certain way and a ‘hidden’ piece of meat pops out. My boss is dutifully impressed which, unfortunately, encourages the guy. Then he tells my boss to hold another piece of the lobster like it were a book (at which point I would have laid back, put it over my face, and gone to sleep – but I guess that’s just me). He does – and he’s told to ‘open the book’ which then exposes even more hidden meat.
The guy then picks up the rest of my boss’s lobster and starts opening it up all over the place to expose more meat. My boss says that he’s beginning to believe in magic, and the guy says ‘You know what you get if you don’t fully believe?’ We say no, and he cracks open the last piece of lobster – which is empty. He says ‘Nothing’.
As seafood based magicians go, that’s a terrible ending to your show. Open the last bit and pull out a dove – now that’s magic. (And I know ‘Do you know what you get if you don’t fully believe? – Doves.’ Doesn’t make sense, but that’s not the point.
And then he was just standing there, watching my boss eat, like he wanted to make sure he ate every part of the meat he’d just discovered for him by pawing through someone else’s dinner.
Eventually we finished eating and my boss went off to use the restroom. I had visions of him entering a dingy poorly-lit room and the guy following him in going ‘Do you want me to show you how to do that?’.
Of course, that would pale in comparison to him asking, in that situation, if you wanted to see something magic…