"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice
Tag: Extra Innings

Breaking Bad: We Mock the Thing We Are to Be

One of Mel Brooks’ 2001 Year Old Man bits had him saying that we make fun old an old guy who is bent over and spitting and pretty soon we’re bent over and spitting. I thought of this tonight when the Yanks lost in 18 innings to the A’s, 3-2, because just last weekend the Mets lost in 20 innings. I didn’t take pleasure in the Mets’ misery, necessarily, I was just relieved it wasn’t happening to the Yanks.

The only relief I got from this game was that I didn’t see a pitch of it. I followed the early innings on Game Day, and hours later, followed it some more from my phone after Em and I finished dinner at a restaurant downtown.

“They’re still playing,” I said to the Wife. We got soaked on our way to the subway, which is when I took a picture of the Mariano Rivera New York Magazine cover at a newsstand (pictured above)

And they were still playing when the 1 train got to 125th Street. I put the phone away and didn’t bring it back out until we approached Dyckman. I asked Em if she had a good feeling. She hesitated to say anything and half-smiled which was her nice way of saying she didn’t have a good feeling.

Sure enough when I checked the phone again the Yanks had lost by a run. Upon further inspection it was worse–Mariano was on the hill when they lost. I cursed and gave a short, quick punch to the empty seat next to me.

“Cool it,” said the Wife.

Then came texts came from friends: “Brutal,” “Stab Me Now, Please,” “Way to Ruin the Day.”

Here’s what made it better. As my anger rose I looked up at the young, scraggily-looking couple sitting across from us. Mid-twenties, I guess. Chick has long blond hair and is reading an old paperback copy of a Herman Hesse book. Dude has long hair too. And he’s talking about the world, about politics, about Serbs and Turkey. He’s not just talking, he’s pontificating. Loudly. Finally he puts his head back and closes his eyes and says, “I’m not saying we should all get along but why can’t we all just hang out and enjoy the fruits of our society, man?”

I look up from my phone at him. The Wife squeezes my hand and whispers, “Easy.”

The train stops, we get out and laugh. That help take the sting out of a dispiriting loss for the Yanks.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver