The other day Momma was invited to a Minnesota Twins game at Target Field. She was quite excited! Visions of the cool new stadium, the buff ballplayers, the food, the all-around fun danced in her head. She was in a magnanimous mood and even gave me extra treats before she left.
When she came home, however, Momma was upset. She said it wasn’t that the Tigers beat the Twins, but that she wasn’t happy with her experience at the ballgame. In fact, she had the distinct feeling that the world as she knew it was over. Momma said that this was no longer a country she recognized.
It started with the wait for her host outside the stadium by the big bronze glove. She was enjoying the sunshine and the activity when suddenly the fake-cheery, yet authoritative voice of the announcer came over the loudspeaker with his pre-game remarks. He started off on a positive note with, “Welcome to Target Field,” but things went downhill from there when he launched into several minutes of annoying announcements regarding security and rules of behavior. Momma knew that rules relating to security were necessary these days (for example – no bags larger than 16″ X 16″ X 8″), but she was outraged with rules designed to make sure that no one ever did anything that could possibly offend anyone. In her opinion, his announcements sucked all the fun right out of the game.
After the obligatory announcements about bag sizes and inspections, he continued that there would be no smoking in the stadium, there was no designated smoking area and if anyone left the ballpark (presumable to have a cigarette), there was no reentry! He also warned against using umbrellas in the event of rain as they blocked the view of other fans. (This caused Momma to wonder when one could use an umbrella.) On and on the announcer went: there would be no walking in the aisles during at-bats, no signs allowed with offensive language or that hindered the views of others.
I think what finally drove her to the brink, though, was when, in the middle of the game, she spotted a message on the giant screen stating something like, “if you witness any inappropriate behavior, please report it immediately by texting the following number…” Really? thought Momma. What if she saw someone picking his nose? Or using an umbrella? Should she text?
Momma’s mood was darkening. This was not the ballgame experience she remembered when she saw the pennant-winning Twins play at Metropolitan Stadium in 1965. Then, she told me, the only thing you had to worry about was whether the Twins would win and remembering the words to “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” during the 7th Inning Stretch! People didn’t need rules then, she fumed – they knew how to act. And if they did do something wrong or offensive, it was no big deal. People dealt with it – it was part of life!
Things were to get worse for Momma that day when, later in the game, she headed for the restroom. She had a cup with her to dispose of (no doubt it was a beer cup), but she couldn’t figure out which trash bin to throw it in. The bin in the restroom virtually screamed, “Paper Towels Only!”
She was at a loss what to do, so she carried the cup out into the concession area to find a container in which she could deposit regular trash. However, to her horror, Momma was foiled again. Every bin she saw dictated that only organic or recyclable items could be disposed of there (and she didn’t know if her garbage qualified as either).
Now Momma was really rattled and noticed that people were beginning to look at her with suspicion. Scared that someone might text the number for inappropriate behavior, she stuffed the cup into her (not bigger than 16″ X 16″ X 8″) bag and went home.
Sensing that her baseball game experience wasn’t a homerun (I’m a trained support animal after all), I licked her face and all was well.
WOOFDA! (GO TWINS!)