Sometimes it's good to have faith in the hat.
This morning, I went out for my morning constitutional. As I've mentioned, I'm in Chicago and staying with my dad. As I was walking out of the residence, one of the executives here saw me with my Cubs cap and called out to me. "Oh, that's right, you're a Cubs fan," she said. "My husband has a couple of extra tickets for today's game, would you be interested in them?" I was planning to watch the game with my dad, and this was sort of last minute, but I was intrigued. "They're pretty good seats," she said. Hmm, I thought about it some more. How much are they, I asked, since "pretty good seats" at Wrigley Cubs can be pricey. "Oh, he isn't asking anything, these are from his law firm," she answered. "I think they normally go for $250."
Yes, I said! When I told my dad about the offer and the cost of the tickets, and that I was told the seats were supposed to be "pretty good," he laughed, "Pretty good? Where are they?? On second base?!" Anyway, I finished up some work and quickly left, taking the El down to Wrigley Field Two things: First, these were indeed "pretty good seats" -- they were in the fourth row, literally next to the visitor's dugout.
And second, no, the ticket didn't go for $250. Of course not, that was silly to think so. No, the cost on the ticket was $289! Fourth row literally next to the visitor's dugout.
How could were the seats? I told the fellow that I would give him and his law firm top billing. These seats were courtesy of Alan Goldman, Chief Financial Officer of Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP. All made possible through the fine auspices of ticket maven Lori Goldman.
I called my dad, and let him know where I'd be sitting, so that when he watched the game, he could keep an eye out in case I got on the air, which I was sure I would. I was that close and next to the dugout, how could I not get on the air. (I didn't really care much, but I knew he'd get a kick of out it.
It was a great afternoon all around. I got to be in Wrigley Field during its 100th anniversary season. There were three very nice fellow-fans (including Matt and Bailey of Northern Trust Bank) to enjoy in the group. And most happily of all, the Cubs beat the Colorado Rockies 3-1, in front of 31,000 fans, who exploded with joy when reliever Hector Rondon struck out the pissed-off last batter (who angrilly threw down his bat and slammed his helmet to the ground at the umpire's call) with the tie-ing runs in scoring position.
And so, I returned home. My dad said he'd watched the game with Elisabeth, our wondrous caregiver, but they didn't see me. No big deal, of course -- I've often gone out of my way not to appear on camera...except I just couldn't believe it. I mean, I was right there, right in the midst of the action, and in the fourth row. But nope, they didn't see me.
Yes, that's where I was sitting, in relation to the action.
As it happened, I had set the DVR to record the game before I knew I'd be going. And I figured it would be fun to see the big inning when the Cubs' scoring took place. And so, I began fast-forwarding through.
In the top of the first inning -- right after the first batter -- I stopped. "There I am." Where? "There, in the Cubs hat and sunglasses." Oh, right. "And there" as I continued fast-forwarding. Where, oh, right...there. "And there I am." "And there." And then, "And there." And -- "There" And...well, okay, you get the point. After we went through the entire game, we counted 10 times I was on camera. And neither my father or Elisabeth had once recognized me!
Perhaps I'd make a great spy. Blending in unnoticed, though I suspect that would only work in my own household. At one point when I noted me on me, my dad peered at all the bodies in the stands and asked, "What shirt are you wearing?" I pointed to the shirt I had on at that very moment, sitting next to him. "This! This is what I'm wearing!" He laughed, "Oh. Right..."
In fairness, if you didn't know exactly where to look in the stands, you could probably miss them -- or at least many of them. And if you didn't know I was wearing sunglasses, maybe you could miss them, too. And for most of the "appearances," it was probably hard to spot in normal time. It was significantly more easy when I'd go slo-o-o-w motion and freeze frame. In fairness.
But as I told my dad, I just couldn't believe that when one has seats that great that a person wouldn't get on camera. It seemed almost metaphysically impossible. And thus it was the case. I was indeed there. And there and there and there. The universe is safe.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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