IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO CARRY ON A CONVERSATION over lunch when there are 18 people huddled around the table. It can be hard enough when there are only two people, but the additional sixteen can really throw a monkey wrench into the process.
It ends up sounding something like this:
“So, how have you…seen my green beans, they…flew in last Thursday on…your Aunt Martha just before she…slid into third base.”
IN MY SECRET LABORATORY deep within the castle walls and high in the fog shrouded mountains of Terre Haute (That’s French for “What hump?”), Indiana a new San Francisco Giants fan has been created.
When my wife, the ever lovely and perceptive Dawn, first met me she did not know that I was an avid fan and recruiter for the Sacred Fandom of The Giants. I had lived in San Francisco for 25 years and with that long an exposure the infection was inevitable.
I knew that Dawn had been a baseball fan (of sorts), growing up listening to the St. Louis Cardinals on the radio. Little did she know or even suspect that I was a carrier of Giants Fever.
In a similar sense I became a “Texan – in law.” You marry a Texan, pass the oral exam, which consists of mastering the proper pronunciation of the word “Pie” and you become a Texan – in law.
However, becoming a Giants Fan involves a more difficult process. Dawn had to learn such basic tenets of the Canon as – Who was the “Say-hey Kid?” Where is McCovey Cove? Who is “The Thrill?” and, of course, Quote Duane Kuiper’s Home Run Call.
I admit it, gleefully even, that I infected Dawn with Giants Fever. It has taken hold and is now part of her DNA. She and all true Giant Fans DNA consists of the usual Adenine, Thymine, Cytosine and Guanine, plus the additional and key ingredient – Humm Baby.
Dawn’s infection is quite virulent and has manifested itself in glorious fashion. Her favorite colors are now Orange and Black. She dresses in them for every Giants game. She has constructed a lovely shrine to The Boys that is pictured above.
It moves my heart to see her so.
Dawn is also a Minister and she tries to keep her religion and her Church duties separate – although one Sunday, when she said to the congregation, “You may be seated,” she came very close to saying, “Grab some pine, Meat.”
We try to get to a few Giants games each season when they journey east to St. Louis or Cincinnati. When we go we wear our Giants uniform shirts. On the back of my shirt it has my name as “Krafty,” my nickname since childhood. On the back of Dawn’s shirt it proclaims, “The Rev.”
Dawn has stated that her goal is to be named the Official Chaplain for the team.
She makes me so proud.
The old adage is that, “The family that plays together, stays together.” I’d say that Dawn and I and the Giants are that family. Sure, some members come and go or are designated for reassignment. Sometimes one of the older, retired players is optioned to that Great Dugout in the Sky, but they will always be Giants.
There is no cure for Giants Fever. Who would want a cure when the benefits are so magnificent? Who would not want to rub elbows with Mad Bum, Buster, Hunter, Angel, The Baby Giraffe, Dawn’s favorite – Brandon Crawford, and the rest?
When the game is about to start all of the bobbleheads on the shrine nod in unison as the lineup is announced. They know that The Boys are about to take the field and that a fourth World Series ring is just waiting to be collected.
Dawn has become a consummate fan of the San Francisco Giants.
My work here is done
All I can add is:
“He hits it high! He hits it deep! It is outta here!
When we first met it almost never got off the ground. We were just talking, me being smooth and virile, and her being an adult. She asked me when my birthday was. July third I told her. She got real pale and things got real quiet. The temperature in the room dropped 20 degrees. It turns out that I have the exact same birthday as her ex-husband. How thoughtless of me to pick the same day of the year to be born. It’s not my fault.
We got past that, and she has finally come to the realization that, fate being what it is, she only marries men born on July third. I’ve told her that if this marriage doesn’t work out her next in line is Tom Cruise. My wife is 5′ 2″. Tom Cruise is about what – 3 feet tall? I figure I’m safe.
Of course, my wife says that she no longer believes in divorce. She now believes in mysterious circumstances.