Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cold Blooded

Last week wifey and I had the opportunity to attend a real life charity event. For one night we were mingling with the pompous in-crowd. A friend of ours is a nurse at Children’s Hospital in Boston and takes a yearly trip to Ghana as part of the ‘Hearts in Ghana’ program.

This trip consists of a group of nurses and doctors traveling to Kumasi, Ghana in order to perform heart surgeries for children who don’t have access nor the means to get care. If you hit that link above it describes the painful decision making process on who gets the surgery, what other challenges are faced and the people who organize the trip every year.

This fund raiser included tables full of items available for silent auction. For example, one table had a Bose stereo system with wireless speakers. Another was a full martini set complete with cigars, glasses, and recipes (made by wifey no less) for different flavored martinis.

For those unfamiliar, a silent auction is set up so nobody knows for sure who’s bidding on what. You are assigned a number when you sign in then use that number to identify yourself on the bid sheet on each table. The first hour or so is open to allow everyone to browse all the tables and get an idea of what bids would need to be made on which items. There is a minimum bid amount at the top of each.

As a comedy bonus, the charity was held at the Harvard Club on Comm Ave. As I learned this night, the Harvard Club is there for any Harvard Alum to use when they visit Boston or need use of a function room. There are hotel rooms available for use for overnight stays, as well. This led to my buddy and me trading comments like this in front of any good looking women:

‘Hey, you staying here tonight?’

‘Not tonight. Got the boat in the harbor’


‘The Patriots package is only going for 2 grand? Feel like upping the donation?’

‘I just put a four grand bid in on the Family Getaway Package, but I think I can swing another two.’

Nobody fell for it.

From the beginning I had my eye on three items: The Bose system, a Blue Ray surround sound system that came with a ton of movies, and two sets of Red Sox tickets. I bid on all of them (with the hope that I wouldn’t actually WIN all of them because then I’d be screwed, broke and probably divorced), but focused my attention on the Sox tickets.

Both sets involved luxury box seats. One had four tickets, the other only two but with all food and drink included AND a game used, probably steroid tainted, autographed bat from David Ortiz.

The key to silent auctions is to keep an eye on the tables you really want to win. Win being a relative term as you still have to pay for whatever you get. I kept my eye on the Sox table with my hopes dashed on the Ortiz bat set when some hoity toity, rich doctor bid $1500 on them. Fucker!

That left the set of 4 luxury box seats. I had bid $400, which was a steal considering face value was well over $100 for one of them. Near the end of the bid time limit, someone out bid me by $100. So I bid $550 for them.

Bang! Done! Tickets were mine.

Why am I telling you all this?

Because last night was the game. Boo yeah! Last night’s never ending insanity and I had primo, luxury, your ass won’t kill you when you stand up to leave seats.

Before you get all happy for me (cause I know you all crave for me to experience joy), I should point out that it was about 40 degrees with an Arctic wind cutting across Fenway right into our faces all night AND we decided this would be a good time to introduce our youngest to professional baseball. Yup. First game and he’s in hundred plus dollar seats. Spoiled brat.

Two problems from the get go, our solutions and how everything worked out.

Problem 1: It was a school night. Usual bedtime for the boys is between 8:30 and 9 depending on their mood. The usual Red Sox game lasts around 3 hours which would get us around 10pm (as you probably heard, this was no usual game). If all went accordingly (and it didn’t) they would be up about an hour or two past their usual bedtime. I had figured in another hour to get home through traffic or subway.

Solution: Since youngest was being watched by my mother in law yesterday I let him sleep in. This way he wouldn’t be irritable and cranky when the game was nearing an end. Plus he loves trains so the ride home on the subway would keep him interested. Overall, things were manageable.

How it worked out: We made it into the fifth inning before youngest announced he wanted to go. It was almost 9 and I was thinking the same thing. We all agreed one more inning to see where things stood. If it went by quickly, we would try to finish up the game.

Man alive. The sixth inning featured three pitching changes, a home run, a Sox rally to take a 5-3 lead and us leaving to a standing ovation for the home team. By the time the inning ended it was past 9:30.

We hopped the train during which I checked my Blackberry to discover that the Angels had already taken back the lead with a four run seventh inning.

Sidenote: If you ever visit Boston try to avoid the Green Line whenever possible. It is a painful, laborious, uncomfortable trip that makes me want to scream. And it’s not like these are isolated incidents; it’s every fucking time I ride this line. It stops for no reason, travels about 2.5 miles per hour, and never gets to the actual stop I need to get to. I need to get to North Station, but the Green Line never seems to go past Government Center. This means we need to get off at Park Street and travel an underground labyrinth of tunnels in which Freddy Krueger would feel at home in order to get to the Orange Line.

Anyway, we get the boys home, washed up, in bed and get downstairs to discover….

…the game is still going. And it’s still only the eighth inning. We left at the end of the sixth inning, waited for the Green Line, took the Green Line to Park Street, walked the death tunnels, waited for the Orange Line, took that to our car, drove home, got the boys washed up, into bed, got ourselves ready for bed and an inning and a half had passed.

Not even twelve outs! What the fuck happened? Was there a rain delay? Did a fight break out? Were there fifteen different pitching changes?

Whatever, it worked out for us as we got to watch the Sox rally with questionable umpiring paving the way. When the game finally ended in a walk off, bloop, piece of shit hit by Alex Gonzalez it was past 11:30.

Problem #2: The weather. We were expecting it to be chilly. Really chilly.

Solution: Bring the heaviest sweatshirt for the boys we could find. Wifey took care of this, even IMing me to ask which coat I wanted her to bring. When I told her to just bring the blue one she started arguing with me. ‘Don’t you have a sweatshirt?’

Sidenote 2: This blue coat has been a stalemate between us for years. It looks lightweight, but is one of those running jackets that keeps your body heat trapped inside the light insulation. I love it because I’m always warm and cuts the wind at the same time. Why wifey asks me a question only to argue my preference is another entry. Or five. Just remember all women are nuts and that should get you up to speed.

How it all worked out: For the boys and wifey it worked out great. They all had fleece pullovers they donned the entire game. Youngest even had his hood up. As for me, well after arguing with me about my fashion choices wifey shows up and promptly says ‘Oh, I forgot you coat!’. While I was half convinced she did this on purpose for some arbitrary ‘I’ll show him’ reason, I didn’t care that much. I had dressed warm enough and figured I would be fine.

I was but really could have used that goddamn coat. When the wind blew it was bone chillingly cold. And the wind was blowing A LOT last night. In fact, it was so chilly that a quarter of the seats around us were empty. It was also a major factor in us bailing for warmer airs after the sixth inning.

Bottom line is everyone had a good time. We had a lovely waitress named Jennifer who took good care of me and my beer supply and now both boys have experienced Fenway.

If I wind up getting sick from sitting unprotected in 40 degree weather for three hours my opinion might change. I reserve the right to declare last night's success a failure should the need arise.

Today’s distraction: An infuriatingly addictive game called Multitask. Starts off simply enough only to keep piling on. Damn whoever came up with this game. Damn you straight to hell!!!


Rob said...

Great post, and a great game. You seemed to play it just the right way, with kids, but how much were you kicking yourself for bringing the kids and missing out on that fantastic finish?

I went Tuesday night and saw Dice-K's masterful performance against the Angels, in a game that ended at 9:45. It was great, but the back-and-forth of last night's game would have been a lot more fun.

That move by your wife sounds very calculated to me.

Hammen said...

Fantastic game last night! Even though that ball 4 call on Nick Green was total bullshit. We'll take it.

I call shenanigans on your wife, too.

BeachBum said...

I would call shenanigans on her, too, but she kept asking if I wanted her to go buy me a new Sox sweatshirt. It seemed like she felt bad about forgetting the coat, but I wasn't going to drop $75 on a sweatshirt.

Actually, Rob, I was ok with leaving because it was a miserable night. And we were up high and taking the brunt of the wind. If it was just me and her we would have spent the rest of the game in the protected State Street Pavilion bar watching the game from there. Alas, kids ruin all might grand plans.

A Tribute: deer a train and basketball said...

That game was ridiculous. That multitask game is the devil.