Saturday, July 12, 2008

Baseball and Smelly Man and Fireworks, Oh My!

We just got home from a Frederick Keys baseball game, the first one we've been to since moving here in 2003. That's pretty weird, considering we live less than a mile from the stadium. Every Friday and Saturday we get to hear and see the fireworks display from our deck, so we should have gone long before now. This morning I decided to log on and buy tickets for hubby and I. The Boy had plans to go out with friends in Columbia tonight, since he will be having carpal tunnel surgery next Friday and will be out of commission for awhile. We had the evening to ourselves.

After a morning of tree pruning, yard mowing, weeding, watering, and car washing, we went out for a coffee together and shopped around for cell phones. Our plan is up for renewal in September, so we have been considering whether to stay with our current carrier or go to another one. In the past, we've had T-Mobile (back when it was something else...can't remember what), before that it was Cellular One. We've been with Sprint for years now and are pretty happy with them.

The Boy has been on his own plan for about a year: first T-Mobile and now Verizon. He did lots of research before selecting Verizon, because he hit a lot of dead areas with T-Mobile and didn't want to come back to Sprint, claiming the same problem (though he'd have to prove it by me). He has a nice new phone with an upgraded camera, video, web, email, and so on. It slides open to expose a QWERTY keyboard, which is really nice, since he does a lot of texting. I've been catching myself casting lingering glances at his phone and experiencing cell phone envy. My Katana seems so outdated next to his phone, and when I bought it, I complained that I didn't need a phone that was a camera. Ha! How times change.

Recognizing that it would have been nice to have a broadband card for my laptop while we were traveling last month, I started asking hubby about getting one of those. Turns out, with the right phone, who needs the broadband card? We have decided that Sprint has all we need, so we visited two retailers today to browse the wares. I thought I wanted the new Instinct phone, which is a knock-off of the iPhone, but I fell for a little pink Palm Centro. It can hold my music as well as PDA type stuff. It has a 1.2 megapixel camera (enough for a cell phone, I think) and takes video (and plays video and streaming media). It can be used as a GPS, should I find myself lost somewhere, and has a Windows interface that would let me do email, texting, web surfing, blogging (oh, did I say BLOGGING?). Maybe some of you are snickering. Yes, I'm a little behind the times with my old-fashioned (so 2 years ago!) Katana, but until last year I didn't even know how convenient texting was. My son got me started.

So someday soon, we'll be toting around new phones, and I'll never be without my blog again!

We also popped into Costco while we were out, because we had a $60 off coupon for a new HP printer (L7555) which will replace our current (old) printer/copier/fax. This one is a very updated version of that. I'll be able to scan in my old photos at much higher resolutions and can print photos on it from my computer or the scanner/copier part OR by inserting the memory card into the available slots on the front. Way cool. I can't wait to unpack it tomorrow; we got home too late today to play around with it. I can finally stop bugging my hubby when I need something scanned into his computer from the old HP All-in-One that was attached. Yay!

By the time we got to the baseball game, I was already exhausted. We grabbed junk food on the way to our seats, which were just over the Away team's dugout. (We ate more junk food during the course of the game...ugh). The field was nice and we had a great view. There was a little breeze coming in, and the sun set ever so slowly as the game went on. It reminded me of the games we used to go see down in N. Carolina, driving over to watch the Kinston Indians play, which was great fun. Back during those days, our son was young and in Cub Scouts. The last game we went to, the boys had on their special t-shirts and hats. Our daughter was in her first year of middle school.

This time, we were surrounded by other parents who had brought their little ones out to the ball game. And there was screaming and blatant overuse of cell phones to record each other screaming (and then play it back). Before the third inning, my head was throbbing! And then it happened. The wind changed.

An acrid odor hit my nostrils and my face contorted. I'm not easily frightened off by odors. After all, I have two bulldogs. But as my hubby pointed out, I have one of the world's most sensitive noses. I couldn't figure out, at first, whether the odor was coming from the little kid in front of me. Had he forgotten to wipe when he went to the bathroom? If so, it smelled like one major skidmark. Was it his shoes sweating in his little sandals? Hmm.

Or was it the man next to me who, for the exterior view, was decently dressed, neat and tidy. He was dressed in the requisite summer outfit--shorts, polo shirt, socks, shoes...oh, and a baseball hat, of course.

The smell. It was horrible but only really hit me when the wind shifted. The doggone wind was fickle, though. It would make sudden shifts so that I couldn't really tell if it was blowing more from my left or from the front. When it blew, though, I started holding my breath or turning to my hubby to bury my face in his shoulder. ("Are you tired already?"..."No, I'm just starting to suffer brain damage.") I finally told him what was going on. He looked at both of the possible suspects and agreed that it was most likely the kid.

And then...smelly man stood up. My eyes began to burn with the blended aroma of a vinegar-y, rather moldy smell, a little like badly made cheese, and the smell of poo or something like it (had he rolled in manure recently?), add to this the peppery odor of male body odor after 3 days sans a bath. Multiply it by 10 and you might have some idea of the onslaught my poor olfactory nerves were enduring. Was he bad at hygiene? Was he a wino? How does one - in this day of an entire aisle devoted to personal hygiene products (soap, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant, powder, yada yada yada) - become that rancid before going out to the ball game with half of the town? And for pity's sake, WHY?

And get this...he appeared to be on a date with a girl who appeared to like him! Was she of unsound senses? Was her nose dead? Did she not smell him at all?? Or did she smell just as foul, therefore canceling out his pungent cloud?

Oh, my friends, I didn't think I was going to live through the seventh inning stretch. I wanted to turn to him and say, "Please sir, for the love of God, don't stand up again! And put your arms down, because I can tell you - you are NOT SURE!"


But I made it, and despite the need to contort myself against the right side of the seat close to my good-smelling husband, I enjoyed myself. They wrapped up the evening with an amazing fireworks display so loud that it had me plugging my ears even as I leaned back in the seat to revel in the blues, the greens, the reds, the shimmers coming at me from the sky, looking so close I could touch them. When the last bomb exploded and the smoke drifted into the night, I was glad I persevered through the green cloud of moldy Man-cheese.


Dear Mr. Section 116 Row H Seat 4. Next time you plan to go out among a crowd of people, for our sake - the huddled masses who part when you come near - bathe!!!

Peace - D


enigma4ever said...

I don't know you,..I stumbled here after reading what you wrote over at explained Aspergers to her in an eloquent sensitive way...thank you for doing that.....I was moved by what you wrote....

now about the MrSmellman....oye- isnt amazing when you sit near something like that it effects your whole eve....

come visit me at Watergate Summer anytime....

RiverPoet said...

Enigma - I will definitely pay you a visit. Thanks for the kind words about my Asperger's comment. It is a very complex disorder, hard to diagnose, and it can be heartbreaking as we try to help our loved ones lead as normal a life as possible, when they are anything but ordinary!

Peace - D

Maggie May said...

I could almost smell that was awful! Sometimes I go into a supermarket & wafts of unwashed body drift by my nose. How can anyone work in a supermarket smelling like that?

I did not see what you wrote about Asbergers but I am interested as my eldest grandsone is having some tests this week to see if he is borderline for this. I strongly think his daddy has it too.
I was wondering how anyone could be diagnosed ? I suspected ages ago that the 12 year old was on the autistic spectrum as he had definite traits but now school are picking up & its getting more pronounced.

Daryl said...

Oh Doris, I feel for you ... I am not a fan of most sports but to go and sit and be assaulted by someone's gross BO .. tooooooo much


Jennifer H said...

I wish I hadn't been eating lunch when I read this! (Don't worry, I powered through...)

I've experienced this at the poker tables, and it's endlessly frustrating to me. People know they're going out in public, so take a shower!!

RiverPoet said...

Hi Maggie - I actually talked to my son's psychiatrist about this. The reason he was seeing a psychiatrist is because of anxiety and depression, particularly as he entered college. The doctor assessed him and determined that he does have mild AS. There are a lot of good books and websites out there that provide information for families and the individuals who have it. Hope you can get some answers.

Daryl - Yes, I'd wager the athletes smelled better after 9 innings than this guy did. On the outside, he looked okay. But there was definitely some funk in the trunk.

Jennifer - Sorry I ruined your lunch!!! I don't know what's so hard about bathing. I know that my daughter seems to have an issue with it. She claims dry skin. I claim she's lazy. Oh well. What can we do?

Peace - D

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Oh. Wow. It's then that I would have run out of the stadium to the nearest pharmacy for some soap and deodorant and a hand-off to Stinky.

So sorry hon. But glad it was a great day!

RiverPoet said...

CMGD - Oh, it was a wonderful day. I'd love to have a repeat, minus the Smelly Man!

Peace - D