Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Living on Landsdowne

I had a big entry I was going to do about performance enhancing drugs and how they are the spreading plague of pro sports, but I decided on a whim to be homeless and sleep outside Fenway for tickets and so that will have to wait for another day. I also have game notes I took from the ALDS and ALCS that I will be posting soon, and plan to take game notes for the World Series as well. You know, since plane tickets to Colorado were too pricey.

As of Friday afternoon at 3pm, my brother and his friends from school had set up shop outside the park in line for tickets and they were 15th in line. He calls to tell me this as I am leaving work. As I am getting ready to head out to nice dinner, he calls to tell me that he is having a ton of fun and has already been interviewed by 3 different news organizations. I become slightly jealous and the seed of a crazy idea is planted in my head.

Between 5:30pm and 9:00pm I get several more calls/messages stating things like “I just got interviewed by NBC”, “Some news dude totally interviewed me about JD Drew and since everyone else was shitting on him I told the reporter that he was the man and was going to be awesome” [Eerily enough, the corpse hit a first inning grand slam and won back half of the Fenway Faithful]. The clincher was as I was coming in my door from dinner at 9pm: “Dude, holy shit, Pedroia and Lowell just came by and shook our hands and gave us food! This is so awesome!” My cerebellum fuses.

In the next 15 minutes I toss some shit in a bag, call my brother and tell him to save me a spot and tear off towards Boston. The plan is to head to Arak’s house, park, pick him up and head on in to get in line. As a favor to those holding my spot in line I stop at the liquor store to get a fifth of vodka to go with the 24 beers we are bringing. Since my life is a rolling train wreck, I lock my keys in my car and have to call AAA. I wait for them inside the liquor store since it is raining and I don’t want to look like a vagrant street bum living off a brown-bagged bottle of booze, at least not yet. As the liquor store is closing, Arak arrives and AAA says they will be there in the next 10 minutes. Minor inconvenience, and will be back on track soon.
Not a chance.

Long story short, they send the first guy to the wrong place and instead of making him take the 15 minute trip to the right location, send him back to the garage and call another company. In theory, they would alert me of this and be choosing someone in a closer range, right? Well common sense doesn’t seem to apply to those working in the dispatch office and so they have someone come from a garage 45 minutes away who gets lost on the way. Meanwhile, Arak and I sit in his car in the parking lot of a closed liquor store avoiding the drizzle and watching random drug deals, possible prostitution and at least one meth addict pass on through, oblivious to the absurdity of what has transpired. After over 2 hours of waiting, we get my car open in all of 30 seconds and head out.

Once we get there we take up residence at he front of the line around 1am and break out the beers. By 6am we had finished all the beer among the 5 of us drinking and had spent a lot of time taking random photos, rubix cubing and eating chips and salsa. At this stage most everyone went to sleep for a bit, while Arak and I joined a random poker game down the street, which won me 20$. After pissing in the same alley for approximately the 17th time that night and playing footsie with a rat, I don’t really know what I did, but it wasn’t sleep.

After my mysterious two hour adventure in Kenmore Sq. I slept for a few hours and by 1:30 we were drinking screwdrivers on the side of the street and making lots of friends in line. Random highlights of the next few hours include getting 50$ and free food for letting a hot girl in line behind us, spending all that money on more booze, peeing in a bottle and solo cup against the wall of the Green Monster, Arak using this as a convo starter with the people behind us in line and it actually turning into something positive when they held space for us the next night in line and being so drunk that I confused my receipt with my ticket.

We got a sweet “Beckett Killed Kenny” poster from the guy we watched BP with, the JD Drew homerun was about 10 feet from us and FanFoto got a picture of us celebrating it and numerous drunk dials were made. The game was an unreal experience and that was with a bunch of kids and soft-core fans in our section. We sprinted out of the stadium afterwards and got back in line with those people who found my public display that afternoon amusing and after buying 18$ worth of soda and Gatorade we went to recruit my brother and his friends to join us. They only lasted until about 3AM before they bailed due to cold/fatigue/illness.

Sunday I spent the entirety of the day sleeping, drinking Gatorade or trying not to vomit. I came around about 4pm when vouchers came out and started socializing with the people I had slept with the night before. Made friends with a homeless guy staying in line with us who also happened to be from Maine and vigorously booed several Cleveland Indians fans, including a toothless woman who looked like she was probably married to homeless guy. Our entire group of about 15 people all got tickets in the same section for this game, which was awesome. Section 35 was also much more rowdy and typical of your average fan, evidenced by the 6 middle-aged men whom we befriended and traded barbs with all game. I almost got two home-run balls during batting practice and Scott and I waved to each other from our seats, air high-fiving over left field. The Dropkick Murphys played to start the game off with both "Tessie" and "Shipping off to Boston" getting the crowd into a frenzy.

I can’t even do this whole experience justice with words, but it was fucking surreal to watch the Sox blow it wide open in the 8th inning (cameo for our section during the inning on the national telecast) and celebrating every little thing with total strangers. Once Coco made the final catch deep in the triangle everyone went ballistic hugging, exchanging high-fives and spraying beer, water, soda and liquor everywhere. I ended up with gin down my pants and peanuts in my hood but it didn’t matter. The Sox had won the ALCS at home after being down 3-1 and I was there to see it. Best of all I didn’t max out my credit card or have to sell any organs to get in. I just had to subject myself to sub-human conditions living on the street and binge drinking myself into oblivion, but it was worth every second. If we games 6 & 7 of the World Series are necessary, I’ll do it again – work be damned.

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