Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Office

Game 3 – Mets

Mets 13, Marlins 0
Record: 2-1

Not too long ago Rob delivered an expletive-laced, Crash Davis-ian rant on what it takes to be a fan – in particular a Red Sox fan, but also what the minimum requirements are for fandom in any Nation, Tribe, or Township. Last night I didn’t do anything that would grant someone automatic induction, but I stepped outside my normal boundaries of politeness, decorum, and professional courtesy to follow the New York Mets. (Of course, I’m hoping by now I’m more than fully qualified as a fan and don’t need these little episodes to scoot me through the induction process. If nothing else, I’d submit years 1 and 2 of this blog as my application for “real fan” status; as reads go, that body of work registers somewhere slightly more painful than Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, slightly less painful than John McCain’s Memoirs of a Geisha.)

Anyway, last night was nowhere as strenuous as any of those works, just a trifle annoying. A workplace happy hour at Peppercorns in Park Ridge, NJ (the nachos could use more salsa, the bar area could use fewer Yankee fans), mingling with a few fun colleagues and a handful of . . . other colleagues. (I swear I thought that lady was going to create a Microsoft Project plan for the group’s appetizer order.) Because I’d arrived at the bar early for a couple of primer pints, I had to close out my tab while they were seated at a table . . . meaning I got the last seat available, one which faced directly away from the Mets game on the tube back at the bar. IronPigs!

The thought did cross my mind that perhaps I should abandon thoughts of multi-tasking lame conversation with game spectation and forget the Mets for a night. I was, after all, getting free food and drink – from my clients, no less, I’m the newest member on the project, and perhaps I should have tried to dazzle them with my hilarious anecdotes. But here’s the thing. It’s April, the season has yet to reach not-so-fresh feeling, and the temptation of having the boys in royal blue and blaze orange over my left shoulder was too great to maintain interest in the status of the ‘09 contract for content development. And so I twisted, craned, and wrenched my neck, took unnecessary trips to the men’s room, feigned as if I heard my name called three or four times, looked for the waitress whether we needed more beers or not (this I do anyway), and generally took on a curious persona wherein I checked out the whole scene repeatedly. Ridiculous. Fortunately, by the middle innings, things were in hand as the Mets routed the Marlins.

So, while I didn’t feel like as much of a hardcore fan as I did after blew off work to take a 3-hour car ride/2-hour train ride/another 2-hour car ride/subway ride to Shea for NLCS Game 7 (and the reverse the next day . . . in the rain . . . wallowing in memories of that defeat), it was the first time in this embryonic stage of the season that I felt the tug, the pull, the draw of my baseball team against convenience and appropriate behavior. It’s good to have you back, boys.

Oh, and apparently my beverages comprised 40% of the table of 10’s drink order. Yeah. We don’t have an Employee of the Month, but oh, if we did . . .

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