My July 4th in Pasadena

So, yeah, I missed back home on July 4th. And I reckon not just for the Block Burgers. Watching the Dodger game on TV, I wished I’d gotten tickets to be there and see the team win and the fireworks afterwards. I know a Dodger Dog ain’t no Block Burger…but it does come with fireworks (and mustard and relish.) I’ve heard the Dodger Stadium fireworks are pretty awesome. Probably not Disneyland awesome, but still awesome.

I did pick up one of the Dodgers July 4th ball caps online. They were pretty dang gangsterass – dark blue with a flag pattern for the LA logo. You get to show your love for your country and your team all at the same time.  (I reckon a lot of people thought they were gangsterass.  They’ve sold out nearly every size.)

We played softball on the 4th, but we had a hell of a time getting the game together. We had only three Parrots interested in playing (me, Keaton and team captain/3rd  baseman Josh), so we had to get at least seventeen more guys together from the other softball teams in Pasadena. Back home, we used to have too many guys wanting to play ball on the 4th (sometimes we had to arrange two games…meaning I played 14 innings of ball some years…no wonder I needed that ammonia Coke!). This year, Josh and I were practically begging guys to play. We finally got enough guys for two teams together and a field over at Brookside, but who’s got anything better to do than play ball on July 4th?

We were so desperate for guys that we didn’t realize we had too many shortstops. Like 2 on the team I was on. The only other open position was right field…and if you ask a dude who’s never played anywhere but on the left side of the field to play out in right, he’s gonna go nuts. Everything is gonna be on your wrong side. So I tried to explain that to the Kung Paos’ shortstop, and comes back with “I’ll arm wrestle you for it, pretty boy.”

He was a pretty big dude…the kind who should probably be playing 1st anyway…and he thought he had me. I sure as fuck wasn’t gonna back down, so we found ourselves a picnic table…and then I pretty much put his arm through it. I’ve always had a dang good arm. It’s good for more than just throws to 1st.

I could tell the jerkoff was pissed, so I tried to make it up to him by letting him bat before me. He was still acting like a total asshole. Seriously…dude…it’s July 4th and it’s only freakin softball. After the 4th inning, I thought I could get him to stop acting like the jerkoff he was by switching positions with him. So I offered to play in right. And what does the motherfucker do? He picks up his glove and just fuckin storms off without saying a word. Not a whole lot of balls were getting to the outfield, so we managed ok with just three guys back there. I homered in my last AB and we won 6-4 (same score as the Dodgers later on), but what the hell was that dude’s problem?

Keaton of course told me that I started it by being a little bitch about not wanting to play anything but short, but then he agreed that the other dude was a serious jerkoff. Acting like a gayass diva is a whole lot less bad in Keaton’s book than not taking your lumps when you lose a bet.

I also gotta admit that, yeah, it pisses me off to be called “pretty boy”. Trust me – it’s happened before. Lots of times. I’d have no knuckles left if I’d punched out every jerkoff who’s called me that over the years. Ok, there might could even some truth to it. I can even handle the “pretty” part – it’s the “boy” thing that pisses me off.

So don’t call me a pretty boy. If you gotta be super gay and comment on my looks, just call me “Heartthrob” like they did in Hickory. I won’t lay you out for that one lol.

It wasn’t hot enough for an ammonia Coke, but I was ready for a cool shower after the game. Then I picked up 40 wings at Wingstop and headed over to Keaton’s to watch the Dodger game. It’s been fun watching the team kick serious Pirate ass – although they didn’t kick ass 17-1 or with 6 long balls like they did earlier in the series.

Still, wings, a few Kona Brewing Co. Longboards (Keaton discovered them thanks to their cool commercials on the Dodgers Channel) and a ballgame over at your buddy’s isn’t exactly the same as Block Burgers, sweet tea and Mrs. Ward from next door and her secret recipe potato salad. (It’s dang good potato salad, but I’m not kidding: she really won’t give out the recipe. To anyone. Irritates Mom every single time she brings it over. I like Mrs. Ward, but it’s still only potato salad.)

And that’s without mentioning Meemaw’s blueberry, cherry and peach pies. (Meemaw’s peach pie was probably her masterpiece. It’s even better than her coconut cake.)

Truth is I did pass up an invitation to a cookout this year…the one over at Monica’s parents’ house in Huntington Beach. They have a pool – that could be a plus. But that whole crazyass family together? Not just Monica and her batshit crazy sister…but her even crazier seriously fucked up brother, her dad (total drunk) and her mom (total passive-aggressive)?

No thanks. I was way better off with softball (even with the jerkoff), Wingstop, a few beers and the Dodger game. It wasn’t July 4th like it was back home, but it was better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. Or Monica’s family. Still…I think I need to make more plans for next July 4th. Maybe the fireworks at Dodger Stadium.

Or maybe I need to ask Dad for the recipe for the chili that goes inside a Block Burger.


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