"Who does he think he is? I've been in this line of traffic for half an hour and he thinks I'm going to let him in ahead of me? No Way!" said I as I sped up to close the gap to prevent his ugly rotten orange colored Pontiac Vibe from getting ahead of my much more worthy and attractive blue Subaru Outback. As we inched our joint and mutual ways through the lugubriously creeping line of cars to the far, far, extremely far away back 40 - called the west lot (or, more accurately, the bordering on California lot), we kept track of the orange Vibe and saw it zip ahead of us to park nearby in the pack of baseball fans who, like us, had been fobbed off into the wild, dusty nether fields of Glendale, Arizona.
We reached our seats in time for the beginning of the third inning and watched as the Cubby's kept the White Sox at bay almost effortlessly. I'm guessing there were about an equal number of fans for both teams in this, the first sell-out ever for a spring training game. Warm - very warm - sunshine and little breeze. A couple of beers for both of us, and a cheesy chili dog for me added to our experience, and Sue and I had quite a nice time cheering for the Cubs. We experienced a moment of incredulity when someone near us was overheard expounding that A.J. Pierzinski should eventually become a manager because he really knows the rules and loves the game. It occurred to us that A.J. might also need some people skills to become a successful manager, but then what do we know?
The game was played in the beautiful new White Sox spring training stadium at Camelback Ranch. I actually like White Sox fans. They seemed pleased about our new ball park, although there was some feeling that the team should reserve the right to play at the Metrodome in April and September.
We left in the eighth inning to get a jump on the traffic - which, as it happened, was a pretty meaningless gesture. Where our arrival at the game was accomplished by creeping along for many, many minutes, our departure from the game was marked by a gridlocked sea of vehicles, out of which no one was allowed to depart. During the seemingly endless period of our mutual forced immobility, we began chatting with our fellow prisoners, and particularly with the man in the orange Vibe, who was, as it happens, idling beside us in the "exit hopefuls" line. I hoped he had forgotten my unfortunate rudeness on the way into the game. Another driver encouraged me to follow through on my suggestion to cut the string barrier and take off across the field, assuring me he would certainly follow. I could envision doing this, then falling back and letting the followers take the lead and the consequences. Suddenly our line began to move and kept moving until we were out the gate and onto the road and, surprisingly, motoring rather expeditiously out of the area. I did, however, feel a pang of what might have been guilt, but somehow came out as glee, when I looked back across the field towards whence we had come and there still sat the ugly orange Vibe. As I recall, it is said that retribution belongeth to the Lord, (or something similar) and I'll be doing heavy penance for a time until this injustice has faded from memory or been repaid by my future good deeds.