We sit by these people at Astros games. We both have a 27 game mini-season ticket plan that has seated us down the row from each other by a throw of the dice. He has a long bleached blond ponytail and yells at all the players as if they could really hear him. (We sit right behind home plate, four decks up.) She dances inappropriately after great defensive plays and homeruns. They are right out of the seventies. Their youngest son is maybe in middle school, and he joins in their antics. Their oldest son is in high school… and he just mostly tries not to be embarrassed. These people have a great time at games. They just didn’t fall off the same watermelon truck as everyone else.
So to date, this is what I’ve discovered about Gloria and Mark.
Before the after-game fireworks on July 3, that long patriotic song came over the loudspeaker where servicemen stand up during the playing of the theme song for the branch of the armed services they served in. You know the song I’m talking about because they play it in church all the time on patriotic days. Well, to my surprise, during “From the Halls of Montezuma”, Mr. Ponytail jumped to his feet and stood perfectly at attention without blinking or flinching the entire song. A proud Marine.
Mrs. Inappropriate Dancer works downtown and meets the family at games. Mr. Ponytail got a masters degree in physics at Rice. They always bring their sons. They never drink beer. They offered to walk me to my car one night after the game, when I was there by myself. And they always offer me one of the free “give-aways” you get for being one of the first 10,000 fans in attendance at the game. (Because they get four of them, and I’m never early enough to get anything.)
Maybe if Duane buys me a mini-season ticket plan again next year, I’ll get to pick up where we left off, with Gloria and Mark. I’ve decided that you can’t judge a book by its cover.