Sunday, November 27, 2011

Story Twenty Five: Theories

As the month winds down, the prompts I've tried avoiding need to be looked at again. Today's pick: someone with a fingernail disease throws a beer to Jacoby Ellsbury from the Green Monster seats. I decided that today I needed to give a nod to Sr. Johnette of blessed memory and my mentor in high school. She used to say "Not me Lord, the students you gave me," all the time and kept encouraging me to write, write and write some more.

I don't understand the obsession these kids have with spilled, falling or otherwise flying beer, but there it is. So here's today's theory about flying beer.


“It would never happen.”

“I’m telling you,” Hannah insisted, “that it could happen. It may be unlikely, but it could happen.”

Jerry shook his head.

“It would never happen. End of discussion.”

“What are you two bickering about this time?”

“Mom, I’m saying that if someone dropped a beer from here,” Jerry indicated the seats on the top of the left field wall, known as the Green Monster, where they were sitting, “that Jacoby Ellsbury could pick it up and have a cold one on a hot day.”

“I’m saying it wouldn’t happen,” Hannah rebutted. “Between the physics of dropping the cup, and the reality that a ball player just wouldn’t drink a beer falling out of the sky, even if he wanted a cold one.”

“I’m saying that nothing goes off the wall from these seats after every thing I went through to get them,” their mother stated, “because we would be escorted out of the park faster than I could ground you for life. Capice?”

“I’m not saying I’d drop one off the wall, even if I could buy a beer… which I can’t because I’m only eleven and can’t buy a beer for another ten years. I’m just saying that if someone wanted to buy a beer for Jacoby Ellsbury that you could do it by just dropping it down to the field for him.”

“I’m saying that, even if you did that, since Ellsbury plays center and not left field that the efforts would be pointless.”

Their mother rolled her eyes.

“What did I do to deserve this?” their mother cast her eyes skyward, “Not me, the children you gave me.”

It was something she said a lot.

“Why is it the good Lord on high thought it would be good idea to give me both of you?” she sighed. Her smile reminded them that she wasn’t serious when she said these things.

“Aw ma,” Jerry sighed, “what would you do without us?”

“Yeah,” Hannah interlaced her fingers under her chin and batted her eyes at her mother, “your life would be so boring with out us.”

“The curse of living in interesting times,” her mother sighed. “At least you both like baseball, unlike some other people we know.”

“Speaking of which, where’s dad?”

“Working. Of course it’s probably a good thing given where his baseball loyalties lie.”

“Mom,” Jerry gave her his serious look, “he can’t help it. He was born and raised in New York. Had nana and grampy raised him properly, he would have been a Red Sox fan behind enemy lines.”

“Yeah and then he would have had a secret shrine to Wade Boggs in his closet where his friends couldn’t see it while pretending to like the Yankees. So when he went to MIT it would have been, ‘Well it is the best engineering school in the country…’ so they wouldn’t know he was coming here to finally live out his destiny as a true believer.”

“No such luck, but we love your father for the man that he is and hope that he will eventually see the light.”

“These are wicked good seats mom,” Jerry said.

“Um yeah. I would hope so given how hard they are to get.”

“I can see the whole park from here.”

“I don’t know,” Hannah said. “I think I like the first base grandstands better.”

“Seriously? Look at this view. Besides, you can’t catch home run balls in the first base grandstands.”

“But you can catch foul balls.”

“Not the same thing.”

“You’re right. It’s better.”

“Nuh uh.”

“Yeah uh.”

“Both of you stop it.”

The sat for a minute and watched the players on the field.

“What if the person dropping the beer to Ellsbury had a finger nail fungus but didn’t know and somehow infected the cup of beer. Then, when Ells had the beer, he got the fungus and his fingernails started falling off?” Jerry asked.

“OK, again given it’s impossible to do that and it would be impossible to not know you’d have something wrong with your finger nails like that. But, given your stupid single minded obsession here, let’s say someone drops a beer to Ellsbury and he drinks it, it would have to be someone who wanted to sabotage the Sox in general and Ellsbury in specific. Which is, again, why I maintain that Ellsbury wouldn’t drink a beer that someone dropped on him from the stands.”

“OK, so he doesn’t drink it, but the guy launches it so it hits him to make sure he gets the finger nail infection, thus ruining the rest of the Sox season.”

Hannah thought for a moment.

“Yeah, I guess that would work. What do you think mom?”

“I think that you guys are focused on the wrong guy.”

“What do you mean?”

“If I wanted to take down the team, I’d either take out Cap’n Tek, since he’s the heart and soul of the team, or I’d take out Dustin Pedroia since he’s the hustle and drive of the team.”

Jerry thought for a moment.

“I could see that. Maybe I’d pull a Tonya Harding and take out his knees.”

“Yeah, age is doing that to him without the police baton,” Hannah snorted.

Her mother shot her a look.

“Don’t diss the Cap’n in front of your mother.”

“Pedroia you can’t keep down,” Jerry noted watching the player make an impossible dive to catch a line drive and make a play robbing the other team of a hit. He jumped up and cheered with the rest of the crowd.

“Two words,” said Hannah, “bore and ing. Pedey always makes plays like that. It’s more exciting when he doesn’t. Oh look, there’s Pedey making a leap ten feet in the air robbing Robbie Cano of a homer. Oh, Pedey’s a dirt dog doing a triple somersault, back handspring and double twisting spiral to make an unassisted triple play. Oh look there’s Pedey lighting up the Boston sky with a laser show that let’s all the SETI know that you don’t mess with Boston when you land to enslave the humans as part of your world domination. Now Kevin Youkilis, he’s the guy I’d take out.”

“To dinner,” Jerry laughed.

Hannah punched him in the arm.

“Seriously,” she said. “He’s the Greek god of walks dear brother. Hit him once, hit him twice, hit him a thousand times with a 90 mile an hour fast ball and he’ll get up and knock you down with his stink eye.”

“This is true,” said their mom. “Think about it, he’s the definition of success as being getting up one more time than you get knocked down. But still, Cap’n Tek is the man and anyone disagreeing with me can walk home.”

“From the Park or the T stop?”

“Both. For a month.”

“Woo Hoo Tek!” Jerry said.

“Cap’n Tek rules, go Tek!” Hannah replied.

“That’s what I like to hear.”

“So we’re agreed, Tek is the man and there’s no way to drop a beer to Jacoby Ellsbury from these seats - with or without a finger nail disease.”

“Agreed,” Hannah emphatically called out.

“I guess,” Jerry sighed. “Still…”

“Walking home…”

“I think that you’d have to do that from the centerfield bleachers and with the trajectory factor, the beer would spill and it wouldn’t make any difference if you wanted to take him out with a fingernail disease because it would be all over the field and warning track.”

“So we’re agreed?”

Jerry sighed, “Agreed.”

“Good, let’s watch the rest of the game.”

They spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the game which was made sweeter with a Red Sox win. As they left the park and walked towards the T stop, Jerry thought for a moment.

“What if you were sitting in the field boxes and ended up with a ball player stealing your beer after going for a foul ball? I mean, think about it. You go over the wall into someone’s lap, steal a sip or two while you’re down and then pop back up and rejoin the game.”

“Not gonna happen,” Hannah stated. “You’re not going to risk drinking someone else’s beer that you don’t know. Not to mention the cameras on you and everything else.”

“I’m just saying it could happen.”

“I’m saying that it doesn’t work on any level.”

“Walking,” their mom sang.

“Fine,” Jerry muttered.

Their mom sighed, “Not me Lord, the children…”

“You gave me,” Hannah and Jerry finished in chorus.

They all laughed.

“Hey mom, thanks for taking us to the game today,” Hannah smiled.

“Yeah mom, thanks for taking us to the game,” Jerry added.

“Not a problem kiddos. It’s nice to have someone to go to the games with these days and I can’t think of two better people I’d rather spend the afternoon with than you two.”

“Me too mom,” Hannah said with hug.

“Whatever,” said Jerry before he laughed before adding, “me too.”

They followed the crowd onto the train platform and boarded the train back towards Framingham.

Jerry thought it had been a good day at the game, even if no one threw a beer to Jacoby Ellsbury.

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