Sticker shock at the ballgame
Fast forward five years, when a trip to a ballpark has morphed into a major financial commitment,.
The first hit came with the tickets - $11 each in the cheap seats that grew to a $66 tab by the time "convenience" fees were added on. Back in the day Before Kids, the tickets were $30 for better seats bought through a season-ticket cartel at work.
Next came the souvenirs - something that wasn't routine purchases Before Kids unless I happened to forget a jacket or Dad needed to update his Dodger jersey.
This time, the guys spotted the giant foam hands just after we'd entered the stadium.
"Is that necessary?" Dad asked.
"What was the first thing you bought the first time you went to Dodger stadium?" I asked.
"A foam hand," he mumbled. We bought two.
After an inning or so, the guys grew bored with batting each other with the oversize hands and the munchies hit. Chocolate malt ice creams: $9. Dodger dogs an inning later: $10. Boots didn't finish either of his, so at least I got some sustenance out of it. It wasn't as good as the garlic fries and microbrews we used to buy, though.
Next came the battery-operated fans that spritz water through the air. These became essential gear when we discovered that the Dodger Web site had lied when it said our seats were "in the shade." Plus you can't discount the amusement value of soaking your shorts, your shirt and your hair. Luckily, the folks seated near us "in the shade" didn't mind.
Then the munchies hit again, and at that point I was tired of trekking down the bleachers and decided to load up. Three bottles of water, one Coke in a souvenir cup, a box of Skittles and a helmetful of popcorn. Total: $34.
It was money I'll spend at the start the next time rather than spending six innings running concession and souvenir stand errands and missing most of the game, including my second chance to see Randy Johnson pitch. Sort of pitch. He's not what he was even two years ago on a Double A rehab start. I consoled myself with popcorn and the knowledge that at least one person older than I am still is hanging on in the majors.
We almost needed Randy Johnson's salary - a reported $8 million this year - by the time we were through, though.
The total for the day: $186, not counting gas. Ouch.
Of course we'll do it again, but not the five or 10 times a year we did it in the day Before Kids. Not unless we hit the lottery or Randy Johnson donates us a chunk of his pay.
Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.