So, a professional beach volleyball player, a medical marijuana dispensary owner, a finance student, and a cop are hanging out at a baseball game...
Sounds like the beginning of a joke. And it kind of is, considering my life sometimes feels like a big joke, but in actuality it's who I spent Monday afternoon with during the Cubs' 3-2 win against the Giants at Scottsdale Stadium. The cop, otherwise known as Officer Wein, is a big Cubs fan from Indiana, and now works as one of Scottsdale's finest. I wouldn't even mind being a cop if I got to work ballgames! We talked everything from the legality of scalping tickets (it's illegal, but unenforced) the demographics of the most troublesome fans (middle-aged men away from their wives) and about his extensive wine collection (mostly California). The dispensary owner, Ed, is positioning himself to be "the man," if the green stuff ever goes totally legal. The beach volleyball player, Stacie, works as a bartender at Scottsdale Stadium and trains and travels regularly for tournaments all over the Southwest. And the finance student, Anthony, was hoping to make some time with Stacie.
You never know who you'll meet at a ballgame.
Sure, it's fun to hang with family and friends and watch some baseball, but in many respects going to games alone is a just as fun because of the strangers you meet. This particular motley crew, save the cop, went out for drinks afterwards at The Blue Moose, a Giants bar, and were joined by some other stadium employees, and we hung out for a few beers, some ping pong, and pool. Stacie smoked all of us at the bar games. It was honestly the most fun night I had in Phoenix, and it was with complete strangers. One of the stadium employees, an ex-Army dude, described to me a book he is writing about the unintended consequences of all actions, kind of a butterfly effect sort of thing. Another guy was a ball buster type from Boston, and yet another fella offered me a place to crash Wednesday night. Stacie's volleyball friend, who was our waitress until she got cut (restaurant lingo for "off work"), also hung out and received a fair amount of grief for some an escapade the other night where she drunkenly bit Stacie on the neck. Wish I had been there. Sounds fun.
What was not fun was having to ride my Airbnb hosts bike home at 10 p.m., and getting lost with no GPS because I had let Ed use my iPhone case/charger to stay connected with clients. Does that make my IPhone accessory an accessory to a federal crime? Well, at least I have a Scottsdale Cop Cubs fan in my back pocket. It took me about an hour and fifteen minutes to find my way home. Just to be clear. I was sober at this point, having switched to water.
So, why am I telling you all this? Well, I just wanted to encourage all of you to catch a ballgame alone sometime. Baseball people are the best, and the game itself, which often times provides about 15 minutes of action out of the average three-hour game gives you tons of time to meet people of all stripes. For example, a beach volleyball player, a weed dealer, a finance student, and a cop.