Lemon Icehole Saturday 8/3/02
After an aborted trip to find the Lemon Ice King of Corona—and I know you’re out there, you trick, I’m-a find you, and when I do I’m ordering two lemon ices and one in mango. Knuckle up!!—Ellen Hoobler and I ventured even farther west into Queens, towards Shea Stadium.
This is the part of Queens that is greasy with auto shops and guys with tire irons in their hands, held at angles that make you think that, perhaps, they’re not using them for lugnuts on tires. Maybe they’ll use them to beat your nuts until they’re tired. And there were shady shops, people driving on sidewalks, and one house per block for a span of four blocks. Looked like a great place to be late at night.
We walked up to the stadium and were immediately accosted to buy tickets by scalpers. I was surprised when the first guy offered box seats, and I said no. The second scalper offered us Loge Seats at a loss—20 bones for the pair. It was the fourth inning of a hot, humid day. Made for the ballpark. We bought them, headed inside—
When I was informed that security measures dictate that I leave my bag in a trailer. “The one with the American flag on it,” the officer said. I grunted. I was wearing the boots from the night before. But I picked up my feet/ hauled ass/ jogged over to the tent, trying not to miss any more game. It was fine, and pleasant, out in the parking lot hinterlands, with a red headed kid giving a quick look in my bag for nail bombs or a bottle that said “small pox + anthrax cocktail.” But I don’t carry such things on me.
Inside the game, there was a loud whistler in the enclosed space—we were separated from the Mezzanine deck by an overhang—and the three frat boys who’d sold the tix, who immediately ask me if I think the beer vendor, an androgynous sort, was a man or a woman. The mullets in front of me commented on how he/ she (he) looked like Pat. The frat boys repeated that over and over again. There were wildly screaming children, and Diamondbacks’ fans.
On the field, the Mets spat in the face of my blind fan faith, repeatedly giving up leads until they lost in the 10th, 8-5.
The Friday game had been rained out. So it would be replayed as the second game on this Saturday. Good fortune. Most people cleared out and I stayed to spend the early evening at the ballpark. I met some guys, a fellow named Jason, and a pleasant family who watched the Mets lackluster their way through a second game, highlighted by Jeromy Burnitz’ horrendous play. “We’d better check for the suicide note,” Jason said. “How can you go home after playing like this?”
That’s what I have to ask, also.