The problem with writing about the sausage guy is I’m not sure what type of story it is. It falls somewhere between a sports story and a love story. I have begun it several times. Once for my book. Once for my blog. But I always stop. So I am writing today about the sausage guy, and I will let my readers decide what kind of story it is.
Baseball has always been the love of my life. I have been compared to Annie Savoy in the past, which I take as the highest complaint one can give. Although, there has always been one significant difference between Annie and me. Crash Davis. When given a choice between baseball and men, I have always chosen baseball. If that means going on a date with someone to see a game, or not going on a date with someone to watch a game, it has always been about the game, not the man. Not many people understand this about me. I call Fenway, my church, but mostly people call me selfish. Imagine telling a good Catholic, it is selfish of them to go to Mass rather than lunch with you. Games are my Mass, my everything, and this is what makes this story a love story.
And here is what you need to know about the sports story. All season, Fenway has been breaking my heart. You know the sad songs you play after a break-up? Fenway has been playing that song all season. And the fans have been screaming the chorus at the top of their lungs. It’s just the sad love song is Sweet Caroline. Maybe it’s the cheap tickets; maybe it’s the lack of heart on this team (not you Ortiz, you are still the man). But this year fans have been more horrifying than Valentines choice to take out Miller at the Red Sox Yankees game on Friday. Our fans cheer for high E.R.A.s for our pitchers. They drink two beers two quickly and don’t wait for an inning change to get their next round, possibly blocking your view of the one good Atchison inning. And then they leave right after their favorite part, Sweet Caroline. As if it wasn’t enough to get heartbroken by the players, now the fans are making it impossible to get put back together.
Despite all of this, I keep going. Like any churchgoer, I’m compelled by a higher power, not just Gonzo’s hitting power.
My boyfriend, who understands the baseball lover in me, not just abstractly, but fully, secured tickets for the Red Sox Yankee battle long ago. To me this exceeds diamonds. Red Sox Yankees tickets the week of July Fourth. I treated him to pregame tacos before the game. Even with Beckett pitching we made sure to be prompt, as we heard the Navy Seals would be landing on Fenway, and he also had to get a magazine to keep score. Finally met my match.
Lansdowne is always distracting before a game. Now add Fleet week, parachutes in the sky, and a girlfriend who needs to see everything at the game, and also has a habit of losing things. So he wasn’t thinking about someone stealing his ticket as he placed it in his back pocket. He was thinking about getting a scorecard and getting inside the Park as soon as possible so his girlfriend won’t be pissed.
As security checked my purse and gave me the go ahead, I heard him yell. In all the excitement I hadn’t waited for my boyfriend. He was telling me he didn’t have his ticket. So I abruptly backed out of line, despite my bizarre need to see the Navy Seals land in Fenway. I figured it would be an easy fix. The amount of times I found my ticket in a secret purse pocket or tucked inside my media guide.
“I think someone snatched my ticket from my back pocket.”
In my teacher voice I assured him it was probably just misplaced, forgetting how little places men have to misplace things. He looked everywhere twice, and then I looked all the same places twice. We emptied my purse even though he is too smart to give me his ticket given my track record.
The Navy Seals landed.
“You go in. I’ll figure this out. I’ll go ask the guys at the box office.”
But I didn’t. Instead I asked a cop who told me to ask the box office.
Then I asked the guy selling programs, he told me to ask a cop.
I searched the ground, as if it might emerge from a crack in the concrete. The first pitch was thrown. My boyfriend sat on the curb, defeated. Even more defeated than after the Pats lost. The kind of defeat that eliminates any common sense. Defeat that blocks airways. Just go in, I’m an idiot, he kept saying.
That’s when I noticed the girl with the sausage guy. She was holding out two tickets. I ran away from my boyfriend and towards the two illuminating tickets.
“Are you selling those?” I asked in disbelief.
She looked to the sausage guy to answer.
“Yeah, but they are pricey. My seats, great seats,” he said.
“Crap. Do you know if anyone else is selling? Or could I just buy one of the pair? Someone jacked my boyfriends’ ticket from his back pocket. He’s over there,”
I said and pointed to my boyfriend.
“Are you kidding me? What a scumbag! Who steals tickets!”
“I know. And my boyfriend has been talking about taking me to this game for ages. He feels awful. We talked to everyone too, and looked everywhere.”
“Alright, Hun. That’s awful. Let me give you a deal,” he said and showed me his tickets.
$130 dollars apiece, six rows behind the visitors dug out. Seats where people either have Cartier bling or sold their kidneys for the seats.
“Because of that story, I want to help you guys out. That’s such an awful thing to happen. I’ll sell you the two of them for $160.”
“Yes! Wait, I need-”
“ATM is right up there,” the girl told me.
“Okay, I’ll be right back.”
“Put those tickets away, don’t want anyone trying to buy them now,” he said to her.
My boyfriend still sits defeated and clueless to my whereabouts. Looks like he let in a grand slam to lose a playoff game.
I come back from the ATM and hand the sausage guy eight twenties
“Thank you so much! He has no idea. I better go over and tell him!”
“No, let’s surprise him. Tell me his name, and I’ll call him over. He’s gonna be so excited. This is great.”
Finally, another Sox fan that wants a happy ending. After months of fans demoralizing my church, a Fenway fan sings a happy tune of inspiration.
I whisper my boyfriends’ name, which the sausage guy then shouts.
“Get over here. Your girlfriends got something to tell you!”
My boyfriend sulks over, probably thinking I am trying to distract him with a sausage the way he distracts my misery with chocolate.
“So I got us tickets. And we have a pretty big seat upgrade,” I say and show him our new seats, “don’t worry, we got a deal.”
“Couldn’t believe that story. What a jerk! So yeah, gave you guys a discount. Usually sell these for double the face value. Not today. All worth it too, to see your faces change!”
“Oh, here. Take our one ticket, maybe you guys can sell it. And if a scalper has the other of the pair, let me know what he looks like,” I say.
“Oh, he’ll look different after I talk to him! We’ll take the ticket, but come by after the game, if I do get some money for it, want to give it back to you guys.”
My boyfriend and I head into the Park. Beckett has already let in 5 runs. It’s still the first inning.
“Good news is you can still do the scorecard,” I say as we sit down in the most glorious seats we will ever sit in.
“Yeah you’re right,” he says and puts his arm around me.
“You know what the best part of all of this is?” he asks.
“I get to watch the game with the teacher who saved baseball,” he says.
“No, I didn’t save baseball. Tonight the sausage guy saved baseball.”