Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Day 3: Flying high and low

Good morning! It's day three of our very Texas adventure and Tink and I have enjoyed our birthday weekend with the big kid. Granted in the 72 hours that we are there, we see him for a total of three hours. But it was just enough to spread love and support and allow him to be his own man with his team mates and friends. After all, the guy is 21 and does not need momma to follow him around...although he mentioned that he was running out of money...uh-huh..this is where BP mom comes in very handy. He loves the words: "No worries, I have the check....." Gee mom, thanks....yeah, like this is a big surprise....It's fine. I, too, went to college and know the pitfalls of not having any pocket money. Not that I know abut it now since I use the credit card to pay for everything (we get a percentage back), so I never have quarters for parking meters.

Anyway, it is now Sunday in Texas and the weather is a-maaazing! Leaving cold Pennsylvania for this weather was like walking into a spa....upon exhalation, the sky is blue, the breeze is cool, and the temperature is moderate. What is there not to like?

The game was at 12 pm so we did not see the kid in the morning and I finally figured out what to buy him for his birthday. He needs money, so I was going to give him a gift card. Dad say 'no' to that idea since he carries one of our American Express cards, therefore, he has a gift card in his back pocket...just waiting to go through the washer and dryer....

Then I had the idea for artwork from the region and leave it at home for when he has his own house and not a decrepit college party house. By the way, one of my new college buddies, told me that Buddy lives in a pit. I just nodded my head and said....yep. I hope that you weren't one of the guys who punched a hole in the wall....."Oh no, not me....BP mom....not me...."

Back to the gift....I could not find anything significant to purchase so we drove to a Barnes and Noble bookstore...one of the few left in society and picked up two Curb Your Enthusiasm DVDs for the bus trips. He loves Larry David and now understands why his hero loves his Prius.
We also bought a LSAT workbook (it's a mom-thing) and the Andre Aggassi autobiography. I read the book a few weeks ago and noticed some similarities in my player and the tennis star.

Off to the game.....watching...watching.....no one scores...finally our team posts three runs on the board.....the Nebraska team cannot score any runs....it's the 7th inning...no Buddy.....it's the 8th inning...what do I see? yes! He is warming up in the bullpen! Yahoo! I think....yes, it's him. Quick, Tink...the camera.....He is warming up with Big Red....I see him bringing the heat....more....more...it's the top of the 9th...who runs out to the mound? The big leftie! That's right. Tink and I have watched 26 innings of baseball, traveled thousands of miles, spent a small fortune and finally in the 9th inning, we get a glimpse of the kid.
Click, click, click went the camera.....then it was time to pray for a good outcome...strike 1! Strike 2! Strike 3!!! Wahoo...one out......Strike! Pop up to the outfield! Yeah...he threw six balls and has two outs.

Then he threw the next fast ball...the batter hits a goofy ball toward the middle. He dives and almost has it. The shortstop missed by an inch...base hit. Deep breath....time to spit.....The kid jumped back to the mound undeterred and did not use the rosin....he throws the ball and hits the next batter....oye! Runners on first and second...no problem....or is it? The coach walks to the mound. I think that he is going to settle his closer down but no! He takes the ball without saying a word and brings a freshman in. Yikes...the look on my lefties' face scared the stands...no spitting was needed.
The frosh threw a ball.....pop up.....done! Game over.....we win....in a general sense.

After the game, I flagged the kid down to give him the gifts and tell him adios. He whispers in my ear: "that was bs...." Yeah, it was. I know that he would have had the next batter and his hand slipped. Obviously, the coach needs to be convinced that he can still pitch. It's a process kiddo, a process...enjoy the books...we are off.

For the final leg of the trip, we stopped at the gas station to fill the Prius before returning it to Hertz. The total bill for the gas was $8.85. I felt like I was in the 1960's and filling up the Rambler with leaded gas. This was quite a pleasant surprise.

As Tink and I boarded the second plane from Atlanta, we walked for the third time to the last row of the airplane next to the bathrooms and stewardesses (who again, had bad attitudes...). Settling in, drama erupted in the bathroom next to me.  The stewardess was fumbling for a blanket and began to reluctantly scurry around. I could not see but I could smell what was going on. I asked Tink was the trouble was, and she said someone was sick. It was an elderly lady who had some sort of stomach virus and soiled her clothes. She refused to leave the bathroom, so the stewardess gave her a blanket to wrap around her waist and got the woman's husband. She then asked me to move in to the window since the lady and her husband had to take the two seats next to the bathroom. I got up and the woman was still in the bathroom. The door was open and the little room looked like a poo bomb had gone off. It was everywhere.....I asked her if she needed help and she said that she was fine but needed her husband. The odor was tough to deal with but she needed assistance, so I stood there since the stewardess had bailed out of the plane with a parachute. She obviously wanted no part in this action.

As the husband walked back, Tink's eyes opened wide. "Mom! It's Barbara and Leo...." What? The Pringles chips lady from Friday? Yes! (see blog from Texas day 1 for more about L and B). The sick lady and her husband took their seats in the last row and the stewardess locked the bathroom door with Barbara's purse and shoes in it. Now what?

Finally, the plane landed and as we started to gather our bags, Tink and Barbara made eye contact. She asks Tink how the games went...here is a lady wearing a red Delta airlines blanket with her shoes and purse locked in the bathroom. She is in the last row of an airplane and has to catch a connecting flight to Mississippi and she is asking a complete stranger whom she bought Pringles for against her husband's wishes how she was doing?

Given that we were in the last row and the last  to deplane, we had plenty of time to watch the interaction between the staff and the sick woman. The stewardess who literally checked out listened to the husband as he asked for their suitcase so that his wife to get a change of clothes. The stewardess contacted Customer Services and said that it was up to them. I asked about her shoes and purse and got the same answer. Not pleased, I wanted to stay and help but had a tight window to catch our last flight on the other side of Atlanta. After all, the stewardess told me that no one schedules flights with a 40 minute stop in Atlanta. What was I thinking? They won't hold the plane for us. Got to love the great customer service on this flight......

Today, I still think about Barbara and Leo and how this sweet woman was treated by her husband on the first flight and the staff on the second. It left a bad taste in my mouth and a sadness that I could not help her when the qualified people who could refused. In hindsight, I had my bags and could have offered her pants to help her off the plane. But at the time, I could not figure out what to do when the experts had the tools to make a difference.

Anyway, looking back on the three day trip, we had a terrific time. The big kid was thankful that we made the journey. He asked us to come to this weekend's series of games in Houston but we are not going to be able to make it. The team travels to our region in two weeks and I will be there for every pitch waiting...waiting...waiting.....Until then, his friends asked for a sheet cake from the infamous bakery.....chocolate chip vanilla with vanilla frosting......got to talk with Sparky...

Peace out!

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