Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Rainless Delay.

TLK, the avenging angel of summertime, arrives eastbound and truckin' at sixish pm in the evening, approves of the emergency pre-storm tie-up of the tomatoes here at 709, and the two of us boldly go out in front of said storm to Burlington, to the prettiest little ballpark you could ever wish to see, and we get there late, and the game's not started, and the tarp's on the diamond, and the two of us think, well, yes, we'll have a beer, we'll wait—and then we sit lawn-chaired (they allow lawn chairs in Burlington) through a one-hour rain delay in which there is, friends and fans of weather, no rain—we have seen the grail, is what I'm wanting to say: We have seen the rainless rain delay.

It rained here, in 27401, but not in the way it looked like it would on the radar. It rained some—some—eventually—in Burlington, but not enough to cancel the game, which was canceled anyway—precanceled, if you like. TLK, on weathering: That's why you don't cancel a game based on the radar you can see on your phone. We spent a lot of time looking at the radar on TLK's weatherphone. When I own a minor league baseball team, all weather-based cancellation decisions will revert wholly unto TLK and/or his designated second. Me, I'll be sitting in a lawn chair and eating hot dogs and drinking America's favorite light beer at a fair, fair price out of a plastic, plastic cup. Lots of wind out there in 27215. You understand why they might have panicked. But they did panic. They could have played the requisite 5 1/2 for sure.

Still: A summer night, a storm, beer and hot dogs, tomatoes tied off to the deck and safe and sound. And this, the second grail of the night: more minor-league ball than you could ever want, and all on the radio, the way God intended. I remember how for the bulk of my mid-childhood—say, the years age seven to age whatever I am now—I would listen to the Braves on my red clock radio until I fell asleep. If you don't love a ballgame on the radio, then there is, I think, something lacking in your soul. I know the Braves aren't, except for the late innings this season, minor league, and I know I don't know a thing about the Fresno Grizzlies, whose game I'm now listening to (v. the New Orleans Zephyrs, in the seventh, the announcers currently thanking The Elephant Bar for the food, and, I hope, American light beer, Grizzlies leading the Z's 5-0)—I've lost this sentence, this paragraph, this whole damn deal—

Baseball. Summer. Waning days of each. Two outs in the top of the seventh out there in Fresno. Hey, internet. Little more rain trying to come our way here at the very end of the night. Probably ought to cancel whatever you have planned.

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