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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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This Was No Day at the Beach
2003-06-04 08:49
by Jon Weisman

A guy walks into a bar - not a stranger necessarily, but someone from the neighborhood who comes around only rarely.

He hangs out, minding his own business for most of the night, when some of the regulars' uncouth behavior disturbs him. They're just a little too rowdy. There's a certain way you conduct yourself at a bar, he believes.

So, this humble stranger turns to the regulars - a large, boisterous bunch - and tells them, calmly, to cool it.

Can you just feel the bar's collective jaw drop?

Now imagine that you came to the bar with this guy.

That was how I felt Tuesday night at the Dodger game.

For about five innings, my wife, my Dad, a friend of his from high school and I sat in nondescript fashion, watching the Dodgers get baserunner after baserunner against the Royals without scoring most of them.

Then sometime in midgame - almost belatedly, one could argue - a beachball materialized in our section. The crowd, like a group of grade-schoolers whose leader is throwing around a paper airplane in class, gets giddy with excitement. And then the beachball landed at the feet of my father's friend.

As methodically as a factory worker, he picked up the beachball and put it under his seat.

My mouth was open wide. So was my wife's.

My dad's friend is a nice guy. A fun guy. The action seemed totally out of Brian Jordan field.

Morally, I think the guy he was in the right. It's always sort of bummed me out when fans are more interested in what's going on in the stands than what's happening on the field. There is a reason that ushers are charged with the task of taking beachballs away.

At the same time, it's clear how much people at Dodger Stadium enjoy a beachball - especially the keepaway game they play with the ushers. It's hard to begrudge them their fun - and I never would be the one to begrduge it.

But this guy did, and the reactions were interesting.

The catcalls came immediately - "Hey, you were a kid once!" - and then ceased just as immediately. It really was like Short-Term Attention Span Theater. By the time the next batter was up, it was as if the fans had forgotten about the ball.

Except for my wife.

She, who has never taken any passionate interest in the beachball follies, was embarrassed. And appalled. Morally appalled. Who was this guy to take away the fun of so many people?!

For an inning that seemed to last an eternity, she stewed like Lucy Van Pelt in a primo funk. She was as mortified, I think, as if someone had lit up a cigarette in the seat next to her and given it to our baby to smoke.

Finally, she seemed to come out of it. The seventh-inning stretch came, and we got up and swayed easily to the strains of Nancy Bea .

And then, my Dad's friend went to the men's room.

Immediately, it was clear that no one had forgotten about the beachball. The clamor came up from the crowd to get it - and my wife needed no clamor. She immediately had my Dad reach down and get it for her. She handed it to the girls next to her, who were eager to get it. With great enthusiasm, they batted it joyfully into the air.

Right into the hands of a Dodger usher.

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