Fact is stranger than fiction.
That familiar philosophy can be altered appropriately to “fact is often funnier than fiction.” And, it becomes especially true when four eccentric old men get in the same car to attend a professional baseball game. Quickly, let us qualify that the other three may not appreciate the description we tied on them, but it fits this one perfectly.
To further clarify ourself, the elder is 86, and the youngest, the driver, is 58, and us other two are 59, so certainly senior citizens applies, by legal standards. We are
familiar with basic baseball, but it was the first time we’d been to a big time game. The others had been to the city stadium before, so we assumed they could handle the logistics.
It was early afternoon when the elderly bunch boarded our coworker’s nice Cadillac for travel to the big asphalt parking lot for what the in-crowd refers to as tailgating. The fine barbecued hamburger supper concluded with the group moving all vehicles into a large lettered and numbered parking lot near one of the main entrance gates.
Fortunately, everyone had their high-dollar, gimme tickets allowing us inside only to walk back and forth the quarter-mile lobby alleys many times before determining we had to go down three floors to the “first-base dugout suite.”
An impressive national anthem and colors presentation gave us a warm feeling for our troubled country, and the first pitch drew a crowd’s cheer that was not repeated again in what seemed to us a monotonous game.
Our boredom must have been apparent and contagious as the driver asked if we were ready to leave after the first inning. We stayed six more, until it was pitch dark, and the limping foursome hobbled up the stairs and exited the first door in sight. Up and down the parking area for a very long time, we were all confident that’s where we left the car.
After calling our younger office group that was still inside and seeking assistance from a kind policeman, we figured out our transportation was half a mile away, just exactly
where we’d parked. It was in M-65, not A-45, where we were looking after coming out on level two, instead of level four, on the opposite side of the field.
Backseat-drivers and right-hand, direction-giver proved a true detriment as the vehicle left the parking area going south instead of west with no place to do a u-ball for miles and miles. Finally, we turned back west, went through a major city park, honked at fishermen, got directions from another lawman and arrived much later than intended at our origin.
Our retelling doesn’t do justice to the unforgettable humorous and enjoyable day that it really was to four old men. Yet, it does remind us of Luke 15:32: “We had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was lost and has been found.”