Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Patriot's Day and the Red Sox

The Fan has found the key to solid sports writing: Write about the Red Sox. It only took this writer 150 posts so far this year to figure this one out. Yesterday's FanDome featured a story on David Ortiz and readership jumped 200%. Well, this post is again about New England baseball...sort of. It's more about Patriot's Day. But, though it might seem like a cheap shill to hold onto those new readers, the Fan is more noble than that. Right. And the Fan just decided to add, "and the Red Sox," to the heading because "Patriot's Day" didn't seem strong enough.

For those of you who do not live in Massachusetts or Maine (which until 1820 was a district of Massachusetts), Patriot's Day is a quaint holiday that commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord, the first skirmishes of the Revolutionary War. It's a weird holiday because state offices and many businesses in the two states close, but it's not a national holiday so you still get mail.

The day got off to a crappy start. Around Sunday afternoon, the Fan and his faithful and lovely wife heard this strange gurgling noise. We tramped around the house looking for this unusual sound and after many turns and twists, discovered that it emanated from the oil tank. That's not a good thing. It seems the bloody thing had gone bone dry and we hadn't noticed. Well, to those of you who actually live in places where spring has arrived, you may not understand that we in the frozen tundra of northern Maine still need heat. It was 20 degrees last night. The faithful and lovely wife was like an octopus in bed last night and not for the good reasons you would hope for that kind of description.

So the Fan set his internal alarm (the Fan has some uncanny ability to wake up at whatever time he envisions) for six o'clock in the morning so a trip to the oil company could occur and take care of the heat problem. Well, like clockwork, the Fan woke up at 6:30 (well, it was close) and managed to get to the oil company office exactly at 7 when they normally open. A handmade sign on the door informed the Fan that the office was closed due to the holiday that 48 other states do not celebrate.

Uh oh! Now what? Then it comes to mind that Number 2 fuel oil is really the same thing as diesel and some people use them interchangeably. But the Fan doesn't have a gas can that isn't tainted with gasoline. So a quick trip to the hardware store, proudly owned by the family of Senator Susan Collins since 1845, yields a five gallon can for $15. The next stop is to the gas station. The first thing the Fan notices is that the diesel tank doesn't have a debit card sliding thingy. So the nozzle is lifted, the numbers go to zero, but nothing happens. A quick run into the store reveals that the clerk said she authorized the thing to pump and it should work.

After looking things over more carefully, the Fan notices a little button that says, "Start." Silly, right? Well, the fuel is purchased and taken home and poured down the pipe. The Fan then goes in the basement and pushes the restart button on the furnace and it acts like it wants to go but stops dead. Four more attempts are made with the same results.

So the Fan then calls golfing buddy, Mike, who is much more of a man's man then this writer, who though he writes about the past more than the present, would be dead in seven days if he actually had to live back then. Mike states matter-of-factly that the furnace ran out of oil and has to be bled. "You mean I have to suck on a pipe or something?" asks the Fan incredulously. Mike, the man's man says he'll be right over.

Mike had been working on a motor this morning (which is the kind of thing men's men do) and had dropped it on his finger. So he shows up and he's bleeding on the floor and on the furnace and on the Coke bottle that acts as the reservoir for the bled oil, but the furnace kicks on and life is much better in the Fan's household. Thank goodness for men's men who take pity on good friends, even if they drip blood all over the place.

Well, this escapade puts the Fan's schedule a couple of hours behind and there was an order to fill and deliver and by the time all that was done, it was 2:30 in the afternoon. The Fan then figures there is still time to click on NESN and watch a little baseball. But the game is actually over!

One of the fun things about Patriot's Day is that the Boston Marathon is run, which was a lot more fun before it was won every year by an Ethiopian. And then the Red Sox always play right before noon. But this is American League baseball and these games always go over three hours, right? But not this one. Though it was a blowout by the Red Sox, the game was played rather quickly and NESN was showing Boston Bruins' highlights. Ugh!

So a quick look over at ESPN reveals that the Red Sox clobbered Hendrickson and the Orioles, which shouldn't surprise anyone and young Justin Masterson pitched well for the Red Sox. David Ortiz had two hits, including a triple, to once again make the Fan look like an idiot or something. But one triple doesn't mean much in the scheme of things and we'll see what he does from here.

The Fan decided to take the rest of the day off. Since the morning was traumatic and it was a holiday (for two states out of 50), it seemed justified. Except there was nothing baseball related to watch. So the Fan played Rocket Mania and fiddled around until the East Coast games were due to start, except they didn't because they were all rained out.

It actually hit fifty today so the Fan did get to sit outside, but since it was a darn two-state holiday, the kids next door had the day off from school and were endlessly running their dirt bikes around and around and around. That's probably what the children of men's men do.

What a strange day. But at least the Fan wrote about the Red Sox, so readership should be great again tomorrow. Except when they read this drivel, they will probably recognize it for the shameless attempt it was for readers. So hello, Red Sox Nation. Looks like your team is back on track and back in juggernaut mode. Enjoy.

1 comment:

Josh Borenstein said...

Ouch, tough day. 20 degrees outside? And I thought we had shitty Springs...