Thursday, September 22, 2005

Can't Even Escape Politics At Mets Game

I was very happy to accompany my wife, eight-year-old son and his Cub Scout den to Shea Stadium on Sunday for a spirited contest between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. It was a beautiful day and a wonderful bonding experience with my little boy.

But I have a couple of notes on a day where politics still subtly seeped in.

Right before the start of the game a very large man – OK, he was incredibly fat – came and sat close to us with his wife and two small children. The first thing I noticed was that the front of his orange t-shirt said "Club G'itmo." I then observed a couple of women clearly disgusted with whatever was printed on the back of his shirt – he was behind me so I couldn't see – and I asked my lovely and stealthy wife to get behind him and snap a picture. Here it is:

A true patriot enjoys the Mets game

How nice. Just a good little fascist out for a ball game with the wife and kids. It looks like this red-neck, right-wing
tub of goo bought the shirt at the "EIB Store" at Rush Limbaugh's web site. (Before you ask: I don't know. Maybe it stands for Extra Ignorant Bullshit.)

And there he sat for the entire game, ignoring his wife and kids, swilling beer and eating everything in sight. So he truly looked like a Republican: little self-control, no true family values and totally overfed. For the record, anyone who's met me knows I would never be mistaken for a Weight Watchers devotee and have little room to talk. But this guy was such a slob he made me look like I should be in a Calvin Klein undies ad
cavorting with Kate Moss.

But I kept my mouth shut for the sake of my wife, son and the other little Cub Scouts with us – though, I admit, it bothered me having someone like that even sitting so close to me.

The other oddity was the nonsense that occurred at the seventh-inning stretch, where we were all requested to rise for the playing (and singing) of God Bless America. When the hell did that start? I've learned to live with the National Anthem before sporting events but now we're forced to participate in that as well?

I would have remained seated had I been there alone or with my beer-swilling buddies. But I knew if I did, I would likely get into it with Fat Boy Slim and I simply wasn't prepared to deal with him under those circumstances. But as I stood waiting for the second, forced act of patriotism to end, I found myself thinking "I don't f___ing believe this." Hasn't this all gone a bit too far? Can we just stipulate that we all love our country and move on?

Fortunately, despite having Rush Limbaugh's lost brother sitting nearby and me questioning why our country has become so insecure that constant public displays of patriotism are required, my family and I had a wonderful time.

Oh, and the Mets won 4-1.