Thursday, June 25, 2009

I kneed baseball

I'm a bit of a creature of habit. (Shocker.) Most mornings I start off with the Mets' radio broadcasts on the Internet; most days off, if the Samsung Lions are at home and the weather's nice, I go to their games.

This morning, the Mets defrocked the Cardinals, 11-0. Then I went across town to a steakhouse for Ray's unofficial going-away lunch. (His last day of work is tomorrow; Saturday, he heads off for South Africa missionary work, via Seoul and Hong Kong. I'll miss him. A lot.) Anyway, the steakhouse has an overpriced but pretty impressive salad bar, so I ate well. I don't believe I've seen a salad bar with escargot on it before, by the way... and here's a tip: the next time you load a nice big green salad on your plate in Korea, that ain't Russian dressing; it's hot pepper sauce.
:: gack ::

Anyway, after lunch I took the four-mile walk home. It's hot in Daegu, plenty hot, in the low nineties every day, but not particularly humid (yet) and it was a nice walk, meandering through every shadow I could find.

This evening, I headed out for the game between the Lions and the Hanwha Eagles, who, perhaps thinking they'd be combating actual Lions, dressed in blaze orange. Anyway, I sat in the back of the crazy-people roooters' section, with all the plastic inflated sticks and dancing girls and kiss-cam and singing and chanting and a limbo contest during the stretch, and a good time was had by all, with four homers for us and two for them, and then...

Going into the top of the eighth, I realized I hadn't deleted any photos from my camera for quite awhile... every picture that's been on the blog in the last six weeks was still there, and I think I saw one of Buster Keaton, too... anyway, as the game was a laugher and the Lions had a new pitcher warming up, I proceeded to decimate the digital detritus. What could happen while I delete a few photos, right? The only time a foul ball ever came near me at a game was at Yankee Stadium, 1966, when my friend two seats over caught a ball...

I was also half-thinking about what I was going to write in this blog post; the tentative title was "Calling out around the world, are you ready for a brand new beat?" because, you see, summer's here and the time is right and I'm so dang clever. I was going to post, in part, about how odd it is that the Koreans name their teams in English, and don't attempt to even actually pronounce the English, but rather phonetically put it into Korean writing with all its odd rules, and then pronounce that, so the team's jingle is "La la... la la la la... la Sahm-seong La-ee-own-jeu!", and their other jingle is "Ah-ee lub La-ee-own-jeu" (I love Lions)... and how odd it is that they have trouble telling their Ls from their Rs but have no trouble with "La la... La-ee-own-jeu."

Well, I looked up and here came a soft liner, undoubtedly to be caught a bit in front of me, but the young women in the two rows in front of me all leaned out of the way and I had my camera in my right hand, and a can of Max beer ("fresh idea!", it says) and... and... well, apparently my reflexes have slowed a tad in the last 43 years...

"Whack!" the ball exclaimed, ricocheting off that little bony bump just on the outer side of my naked kneecap. (Oh, don't get excited... I was wearing shorts.) Unlike in the States, not a single person asked if I was okay and not a single person laughed at me. Sadly, one of the craven girls who lhad eaned out of the way had the ball bounce back right into her lap. The little bony bump is no longer bony, nor is it little.

I'm fine, no pain at all, but if you, as a reader of this blog, feel a little guilty that it only happened because I'm dedicated to your enjoyment so it's all your fault... well, then, ow ow ow it hurts I need cookies. Stat.

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