Today this little corner of the blogosphere is going to be called “A Reason To Light(en up).”
It’s been a little heavy around these parts and my snarky side went on a vacation. She’s back today. There will be no talk of poverty or sadness.
Just the tale of the blokes, the beer, and the bobby.
Number One Hubby is a big fan of major sporting events so when he heard that Manchester United was going to play Barcelona in an exhibition game, and that we had the chance to way overpay for tickets and sit in traffic for two hours with 80,000 of our new soccer-loving best friends, he signed us right on up. He even bought us shirts for the game.
Nothing like a little in-house rivalry.
The shirts actually made the (two-hour) drive to the stadium very fun because we watched for other
idiots fans who overpaid for their tickets and shirts who were showing their team spirit and waved to them. We looked for license plates to see who was traveling the furthest and we laughed. A lot.
We all went to bathroom right before we left the house – which of course meant that Angel had to use the restroom when we were stuck in traffic looking for a parking spot, along with 80,000 other people. And, nope, she could. not. wait.
Hubby dropped us off near a porta potty and even remembered to give us two tickets. We’d meet him inside.
That all went well. We reconnected inside the stadium, collected the free giveaways, overpaid for pizza and french fries, made a down payment on a souvenir brochure and signed a commitment to bring back 8 bars of gold to own the entire book outright, and found our seats. We even had a few minutes to take some photos. Yeah.
Slowly other fans started to trickle in and soon it was crazy crowded. Then I overheard this conversation between the two men sitting in front of us.
Fan #1: No, we’re good.
Fan #2: You sure?
Fan #1: Yes, if they were coming, they’d t0tally be here by now.
Me: This is totally going to be a problem later.
Fan #2: At least we got seats together.
Fan #1: Yeah, we’re good.
Me: Good luck with that.
Then about five minutes into the game, 8 brawny, bearded blokes came walking down the aisle way donning Manchester United shirts and trying not to spill beer on their tickets. And already cheering very loudly.
Fans #1 and #2 shifted in their seats and leaned closer into each other. Now, I am not a scientist or an engineer but I was pretty sure that two fatter than average men who did not have tickets squishing up closer together was still not going to make room for 8 larger than average blokes and their beers.
So the 8 English men scrunched into the space of the 6 remaining available seats – right in front of us – and tried to do the math while drinking more beer and standing up. They quickly theorized that if they drank their beers quickly it would free up their fingers for adding. Guzzle. Guzzle.
Shouts of “down in front” rang out from all over the section.
I got to explain to my children why the middle finger is not an appropriate response to “down in front”. And that, really, some words are better left unsaid.
Now, before you start defending these lads – please know that I understand that in anywhere in E.U.R.O.P.E. they would totally stand up the whole time. They would be expected to stand up. Heck they would probably climb on each others shoulders and cheer from the rafters. But they were in America and we don’t stand up here. Something about “When in FEDeX Field, do as those in FEDeX Field do”. No one else was standing up in the entire section and they were making it impossible for about 200 people to see. Namely me and my family.
Finally, I got one of the ushers to help sort it all out. As entertaining as it was to watch these drunkards figure out how it was possible that they had purchased 8 seats together but still did not have 8 seats, I wanted to watch the game. (Look to your right dear fellows – there are two men sans tickets trying to disappear into your paid for seats.)
The usher came – also apparently not an engineer or scientist and certainly not a math major – and managed to get one of the unauthorized fans to leave. The other guy had a ticket. Well, that makes perfect sense.
Musical chairs had gotten less complicated but the blokes were still minus one seat and that made them very confused and not at all pleased.
They remained standing and, unfortunately, continued drinking. As hard as they tried, they could not divide 7 seats into 8 tickets or 8 men evenly.
So, in my best “my children cannot see the game” mother voice I could muster, I asked the “gentlemen” to please sit down. This was amid the screams from the people behind us for them to plant an arse in a seat.
They paid a lot for their tickets F-U very much and if they wanted to stand (right in front of God and thousands of other fans who paid for tickets) then that is exactly what they were going to do. One man answered that he still could not figure out why they did not have all of our seats.
I kindly explained that since our seats were right behind his, he could imagine that I paid pretty much the same as he did and would love to be able to actually see the game. As entertaining as he was, I could watch his antics for free on any fraternity row in any college town, but I was truly here to watch a soccer game.
Did you say soccer? This is futbal you sorry excuse for a fan.
Okay – then could you please sit down so that I can watch the FUTBAL
game? Pretty please with beer on top?
They finally, thankfully figured out that they had dropped one of their tickets on the ground and the schmuck who stayed in their seat and lied to the usher about his right to be in a seat had picked up the ticket in all the fuss and was claiming it to be his. Then when he realized there were 8 drunk Englishmen v. him, he rethought his commitment to sacrificing his face for a good seat and left. And yes, he did move right behind us into another empty seat. Pretty sure he didn’t have a ticket for that one either.
Thank heavens. Now we can enjoy the game.
The men were singing and laughing and, for a brief bit, sitting. Albeit still drinking.
When something exciting happened in the game, the crowd naturally leapt to its collective feet and cheered or boo’d. As soon as the action was over, the crowd lowered into their seats and remained there. That is when one of the blokes decided he was going to get even. He turned to me and asked me to sit down. (Yes, you remember correctly that I was sitting behind him.) I wasn’t sure I heard him and said, “excuse me”. Could you please sit down, he repeated proudly. Clever this one.
I chose to largely ignore him and took advantage of the opportunity to explain to my son that this is what “drunk” looks like and that it is never pretty when testosterone meets beer. My husband told the chap to stop talking to me. And gave me a look that said “honey, I love you very much and if you could also kindly
shut the hell up stop talking to the drunk in front of you, he might stop talking to you. Pretty please, with diamonds on top.”
But he persisted. To the point where he even changed seats with his friend to “sit” in front of me and encouraged his neighbor to also
sit stand in front of me and Bear. I switched seats with hubby and then the guy moved again to be in front of me. He kept asking me to sit down and called me a popcorn fan. I am sure that was a tremendous insult but I love popcorn, so hmpf.
So now, he wasn’t watching the expensive game – but harassing me. Fabulous. And most of his friends were standing again. People were yelling for them to sit down – they were screaming obscenities back – and some idiot in the snack shack continued to sell them beer.
I went and got the usher again and told him to get help. The men were drunk and belligerent and were not sitting down. He probably didn’t want to take this mess on by himself.
And it is here that I have to ask that why it is always the mother in the crowd who is left to do the dirty work. Augh.
The usher came and brought in a guard from the stadium.
The crowd cheered. And not for the game.
The guard told them to sit down or they would be asked to leave.
The ones who had been sitting decided to stand as well.
The guard called in reinforcements.
The blokes stood.
Finally the police came and eventually escorted the men out of the stadium.
The police got a standing ovation.
The man sitting next to me told me that he had flown his grandchild in from California just to see this game. He missed 75% percent of it because of the drunk arses in front of us. We fist bumped when they got escorted out. And I gave my new bff a little tinkerbell wave just under my chin and smiled like a chesire cat that ate the canary, just so he would know how much I would miss him. Really. It was a
sad glorious moment.
I got to explain lots of other things to my kids on the way home – drunk in public, arrest, jail, obnoxious. Things like why it was such shame they spent all of that money and wouldn’t remember most of what happened – and how we would probably never forget it.
All in all, it was money well spent. 😉