“We have more runs than that. I know we do.”
“I really think Dustin looked that guy back. He didn’t score.”
“It is the fourth isn’t it? Or is it the fifth?”
A cell phone rings and seven people reach for their pockets and purses. The six people without a ringing phone look disappointed. The seventh talks, oblivious to the setting.
“That was definitely a strike.”
“The ump is being generous.”
“How are Aunt Helen’s hemorrhoids?”
The batter sends a fly into shallow right field.
“Call it! Call it!”
They may be in high school, but they won’t call it, thinks the woman in the third row.
“Did you try giving her prunes?”
Three players stand in a circle and watch the ball drop. The crowd groans.
“Fundamentals Bobby,” a woman shouts. “You’ve got to remember fundamentals!” Bobby’s middle finger twitches.
“Mom! I’m hungry,” whines a teenager.
Her father sighs and pulls out his phone. “Siri, where is the nearest Chipotle?”
Another phone rings. Five people reach into their pockets and purses. The lucky winner answers. It’s a call from the office.
“Well you tell Lorton he’s full of shit if he thinks I’ll settle for that!”
“You can’t leave Aunt Helen in the bathroom alone.”
“And two cokes with that please.”
“Does anyone know what the score is?”
“5-2. Top of the fifth.”
“8-4. Top of the sixth.”
It’s still 5-3, top of the fifth, thinks the woman in the third row.
A man nudges his wife. “I don’t see Calvin. Are you sure this is the right game?”
She rolls her eyes. “He’s the tall blond kid.” That phrase describes half of the team.
“Cover the base, Bobby!”
A small child runs back and forth in front of the crowd. His mother tries to wrangle him in.
“If you don’t stop, we’re going to the car.”
“And some guacamole too.”
“Lorton can kiss my ass.”
The toddler’s mother shoots the man a disapproving look. He shrugs an apology. The little boy continues to run in front of the bleachers.
“Kiss my ass, kiss my ass, kiss my ass.”
We need a toddler whisperer, thinks the woman in the third row.
“Alright Calvin!” the Dad yells.
“That’s not Calvin, that’s Riley.” She rolls her eyes.
“Bobby, are you sleeping out there?”
Bobby yells from first base. “Mom, will you please shut up?”
“Don’t talk to me that way!”
Please shut up, thinks the woman in the third row.
“No biting. If you bite me again, we’re going back to the car.”
“She has one of those blow up doughnut thingees? Why doesn’t she use that?”
“What is the score?”
“If you bite me one more time we’re going back to the car,” says the toddler’s mother. Again.
Please, please bite her, thinks the woman in the third row.
The teenager returns, Chipotle bags in hand. She knocks her coke over onto Bobby’s mother.
“Try epsom salts.”
“Fax it to my home office.”
“Kiss my ass. Kiss my ass.”
The boy at the plate hits a screaming line drive.
“Way to go, dude. Run! Run! Oh yeah!” The woman in the third row stands and pumps her fist. “Who’s your Daddy?!”
The crowd is silent.
The woman in the third row sits down.
“For the record, I know who his father is.”
Bobby’s mother turns to Aunt Martha’s niece. “Some people just don’t know how to behave at the ballpark.”
Words by J. B. Everett
Photograph “Fall Bleachers” by Nick Weiler © 2008 Creative Commons