I’m engaging in at least one all-American activity this Memorial Day weekend. Along with my wife and kids, I’ll be attending a professional baseball game! I’m going to go see the Pirates vs. The Cubs in the beautiful metropolis of Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon. I’m not a big Pirates fan and I’m not a big Cubs fan. In fact, I’m not much of a baseball fan at all. What I AM a fan of and am particularly looking forward to is eating a hot dog and drinking a beer in a ballpark. Is that weird? This is part of the Cageboy charm, I believe. We’re just wired to enjoy certain things. I’m sitting here at my desk right now wondering what I’ll have on my hot dog – what condiments will be available? Will there be some exotic topping like Kraut or coleslaw. Since it’s Pittsburgh, I’m assuming my beer choices will come down to Iron City or IC Light – and I’m good with that. In life – when being presented with food and drink options – you should ALWAYS go with the regional offering if available. You don’t go to a beach town restaurant and order a steak. That is just universally disordered. If you’re in New Orleans – eat the gumbo. Visiting St. Louis – get a factory fresh Budwesier. Cincinnati – Skyline chili. Kansas City – any local barbecue. NYC – dirty water hot dog and bagels. Following this logic you will ALWAYS enjoy the best of the best. Don’t question my logic – trust the Cageboy – ESPECIALLY when it comes to gastronomic pleasures.
Now as for the game…my extended family hails from the Burgh – so I have some manner of obligation to cheer for the Pirates. My better half spends much of her professional life in the Chicago area and therefore she’s going to feel some pang of loyalty to the Cubs. My grandfather was a loyal, die hard, black and gold Pirates fan. It’s one of very few things I remember about him. Even if I didn’t personally hear alot of it – the popular nostalgic image of him is sitting on the front porch of his house, smoking his pipe and cursing at the radio whilst listening to the Pirates. Then he’d get into it with the neighbor over some boneheaded managerial decision by the Pirates front office. He was the quintessential passionate fan. He never missed a game. So, in honor of my grandfather, my plan is to make my way down to the Pirates dugout at some point in the game – lean over the rail – give the manager the finger and yell at him to “F**k off!!!”. That one’s for you, grandpa!