Friday Notes

Honor America, damn it: The New York Times had a story yesterday on the measures the Yankees take to get ballpark patrons to pay attention to the playing of the national anthem and “God Bless America.” It’s simple, actually: The team has ushers block the aisles with chains during the ritual musical moments. That prevents people from proceeding to their seats (during the anthem) or getting up to buy a hot dog or beer or to take a leak (during “GBA”), until the last strains of the patriotic airs have wafted out over the Bronx. I like the Yankees’ explanation: It’s not that the team wants to force its customers attention to the business of honoring America; it’s just that the team is responding to complaints from fans who were scandalized that other fans weren’t showing proper deference during this quasi-religious exercise. (Personally, I admire my fellow citizens who take time out from honoring America to make sure the rest of us are, too. I also believe the seventh inning of major league games and half-time of pro football and basketball games should be suspended forthwith for the mandatory playing of, and listening to, patriotic songs and speeches. Medals to be awarded to those who spot and report those whose attention wanders.)

Today’s jay report: Two scrub jays — not knowing any different and influenced by my straight upbringing I assume a male and female pair as opposed to a same-sex couple — are still attending their little nest in our back-porch trellis. The number and condition of the nest’s occupants are mysteries; they seem to be completely silent till the adults show up, then they give out with enthusiastic though wheezy chirping. The only drama to date of which nearby humans are aware: the appearance of a black cat prowling the backyard in the early morning. The apparent parent jays get pretty excited about the cat, which is wearing a bell. This morning, we let out Scout, resident dog, to try to send a message to the jaguarine visitor; but Scout’s not given to chasing cats — digging up pigs’ ears he has buried around the yard is more his speed — and I’m not sure our intent was clear.

‘Death Ray’ inventor dies: Really.

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2 Replies to “Friday Notes”

  1. Last year while on vacation in NYC, we took in a Yankees game. I don’t remember the forced listening. I do remember that the concessions were horrible bordering on pathetic (like I had to go to another level to get a beer other than Bud Light). And getting into the stadium, though understandable, is far more onerous than at Camden Yards.

  2. I’m curious what the ushers are instructed to do if a person comes up to them and says, “Man, I really have to go.”
    On Kem’s point about concessions: That was a problem in New Orleans, too. The Superdome had awarded an exclusive contract to Ogden foods. At the time, they dispensed hot dogs and hamburgers in those foil packages. Not quite as good as airline food. In towns, like New Orleans or New York, known for their great food, that is a disappointment to locals and visitors. That problem has been remedied. There are a lot of choices at the games now as there should be.
    My dogs used to chase and bark at the neighborhood cats only if the cats made the first move to get away. If they chose to stand and fight, the dogs were hopeless.

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