Abraham Lincoln said, "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."
The wisdom of this applies everywhere and I certainly have been able to think of people who should follow it in ballparks, but rarely in quite this manner.
Last night, I went to the ballpark with my Mom, something we do together several times a year. My Mom has been a season ticket holder for the Padres since 1985, so her seats are excellent and we don't often have the people drinking ten beers and screaming obscenities. For one thing, the ushers know to take care of the customers in that section. Jake Peavy owns the tickets directly in front and to the left, so someone yelling how he sucks is going to be politely told not to say so in front of his wife, for example.
But last night, we had Mr. "I'm on a date and I really want to impress her so she will consider me a suitable candidate to impregnate her" sitting behind us. And for nine innings, he could not shut his mouth. I know where he works, I know where he went to college, I know who he rooted for growing up and what he wants to name his firstborn... who, by the way,has no choice but to be male. I know how familiar he is with stripper names and that he thinks anyone who names their son William is foolish because it will get shortened to Billy and "Billy sucks." (Billy sucks as a name worse than Everett, which he wants to name his first born because "if he gives him a bad name to begin with the kid won't get a bad nickname from his peers"... and yes, he really said that.)
Luckily for him, he has a good job and he isn't bad looking. Plus, she wasn't the brightest star in the sky. Still, I did feel like telling him that it wasn't smart to tell the girl you are trying to sleep with that her taste in names for children sucks. And that it might have been wise to let her get a word in edgewise on occasion.
And I wanted to be a good teammate on the guy team. Despite the fact that about 40% of his baseball knowledge was dead wrong, I never turned around and corrected him in front of her. I resisted the urge to block his path... although at one point in my life I might have done it merely to teach him a lesson. That, or cornered him on a trip to the snackbar and told him he was blowing it. By the way, it took him two or three beer runs to realize that they actually serve people in those seats and that the people in uniforms bringing nachos to people seated around him were not family members.
And I held my tongue for nine innings of incessant babble. I even took a picture of them together for him and accepted the title of "new friend." Although I could have warned him that when she fixed the collar on my jacket for me and leaned forward to ask me questions, he was in danger of losing her regard.
Until the ninth inning. Warning to prospective idiots. I will allow you to give misinformation out with authority in search of a bed partner only to a certain extent. Chanting "OOOOver-rrrrated" about the all time saves leader while children around you are screaming with excitement? Talking about how the position of reliever has only existed for "about twelve years" and it's "no big deal" to close a game?
I let him have it. I asked him how a no doubt Hall of Famer could be overated? When he said no relievers were in the Hall, I named those who were. I told him (and his girl) who Lee Smith was. I disputed every counterpoint he made for a couple of minutes and then, having exacted my revenge for the previous nine innings, I turned and watched the game. Hoffy got two quick outs, but then a nubber to first base happened to be a single because it basically was not struck hard enough to roll faster than the batter could run. Which prompted renewed posturing from fool boy about how he was right. I gave him one long look. I didn't say anything.
I did notice that when Hoffy struck the next guy out, the girl did a little hop and the half-hand claps that screamed "former cheerleader" and that she was suddenly rooting for what he was rooting against.
And I noticed that he got her out of there in a hurry.
I apologize to my fellow guys, and I do kinda hope that I didn't keep him from getting laid. But friends, please...
Before you chatter incessantly for nine innings in front of the girl you are trying to impress... listen to Mr. Lincoln.