24 August 2011

do you actually understand baseball?

Tonight, I'm headed to a Cubs game, my once-yearly sojourn to Wrigley Field for a hot dog and the ability to throw my peanut shells on the ground.

I suppose I could do that at home, but then I would have to clean it up and that, as much as I like cleaning, limits the fun factor.

Peanut shells also make me think of pre-school: we had peanuts for a snack one day at Small World Pre-school {our fight song, if pre-schools can be said to have fight songs, was that song from the Disney ride}, and I ate the shells.

I liked the salt and the crunchiness. I even liked the little stringy pieces of shell getting stuck between my baby teeth.

Also, I didn't know you weren't supposed to eat the shells; my parents and I hadn't covered that lesson yet.

The teacher came over slightly alarmed that I did not have a growing little pile of shells, just like the other children. When I heard the tsk-tsk in her voice, I realized that one of these kids was doing her own thing and that one kid was me.

Ever the quick thinker, even as a 3-year-old, I told her that I'd already thrown them away.

The only way this would've been possible is if I were magical—had invisible powers or speed of light powers. That is the only way I could've made it past her watchful eye to the trash can, but I think she preferred the idea that I'd magically made it to the trash can {all in the name of cleanliness}—to the alternative truth that I'd just crammed in a bunch of salt and fiber.

You can see, then, why I get so excited about throwing peanut shells. It's as if I'm announcing to the world, "I learned in pre-school what to do with these things! NOT EAT THEM! Or maybe just eat one, just because you love salt that much, but make sure nobody sees you!"

At the Cubs game tonight, I admit, I'll probably be more excited about the food than the pitching. But just because I rarely talk about baseball—or watch it on TV or listen to it on the radio—my boss misinterpreted my "sportiness."

Today he asked, with a bit of hesitation, "So, will you even understand what's happening at the game tonight?"

The whole office laughed in shock.

I laughed so hard, I cried, which I think made the boss feel worse. He made me cry!

To give him the benefit of the doubt, he is English. Baseball is foreign to them, just as cricket is foreign/crazy/confusing/what's a sticky wicket to us.

But as I reminded him, I was born in America, and we're born with this basic knowledge of what to do when faced with a ball, a bat, and a diamond-shaped field.

You start taunting the pitcher, clearly.

Or you order a hot dog by yelling at the man carrying around a hot dog container made for such a time as this—big and hanging around his neck.

Or you get some more peanuts to throw on the ground.

And then you clap when your team gets a man on base. You stand up when he gets home. You stretch in the seventh inning.

Everyone knows this.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I have a team to cheer for.


  1. I've never eaten Peanut Shells....but I do love sucking all the saltiness from them before throwing them on the ground. :-)

    Hope they won and that your hotdog was wonderful!


  2. You should try eating the shells. So yummy.

    And an update on this: I did actually eat most of the shells on Wednesday night. I tried to do it without my friends noticing, but I'm not exactly a sneaky person. Which I realized when one of them said, with shock in her voice, "Oh my gosh, did you just eat that whole thing?"

  3. I read a comic today, and it made me think of this post.




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