Editor’s Note: Today’s post was submitted by travel baseball mom, Linda Kelly of Long Island, NY. I laughed out loud reading this, not just because it was really funny (which it is)… but, because I could so relate to the pain of a slow concession stand. (I’m pretty sure you can too.)
It was Labor Day, and it was 9 am and already 80 degrees. Where was I? Florida, of course. Ft. Myers to be exact. What brought my family to this wonderful place that enabled us to take a steam just by stepping out of doors? Baseball. Yes, America’s favorite pastime. Both of my boys were invited to play in a tournament, so naturally we accepted.
I should start by saying I love baseball and there is no place I would rather be than watching my boys play. I will lug my camera and all of its lenses, my chair, snacks, extra drinks, sweatshirts, and countless other belongings that will never make it out of the bottom of my day tripper floral bag. I have these things, just in case.
Let me also be honest and state that there are drawbacks. I won’t list them all, I will instead get to the one that prompted me to write this: the food you are forced to eat more times than you’d like.
This particular steamy day, I got on line after the first game and before the second because my son was hungry and I was too. I had noticed earlier that there was a large grill set up across from the concession. So I observed when I got on line the procedure for getting a burger, one with cheese. You wait on line. Then you wait some more. And then you wait a little longer. When it is your turn to order and the second game is dangerously close to starting, you order your burger, with cheese, if you desire. You pay and are handed a bun with cheese. That’s it. Then you head over to the OTHER line where a young lady is cooking burgers and dogs and sausage. Okay I thought, maybe someone was on to something here when it came to crowd control. Seems like it could work, except when two games end around the same time and you have players, parents, grandparents, siblings and coaches all hungry at once.
So now I wait again. The lady in charge of grilling is clearly overwhelmed. I wait patiently. Getting impatient will likely result in more sweat. The line moves two feet. This is progress! Finally! I am first in line and have a clear view of the grill. What’s this? Not one burger has started its stint on the fire for the next wave of burger bun holders. She throws a few more burgers on, and is also able to satisfy a sausage customer quickly from the end of the line.
I was really hungry now, and borderline hangry. I just wanted my two burgers to be plopped on my buns with cheese. I was envisioning my first bite of the undercooked greasy cheeseburger when something entered my peripheral vision, violating my comfort zone. Since I was first in line, my comfort zone was ginormous. It was an older gentleman and he was trying to put dibs on MY burgers!
I pointed out for him where the end of the line was as politely as I could under low blood sugar conditions. I was starting to fade, so I have no idea what became of him. Then I started to feel bad. So many emotions! I was wondering if I had been too harsh with him, and not paying attention to my open-faced buns with cheese that I was holding. When I came to and glanced down, I noticed a fly had taken up residence on my cheese! I shrieked. The lady grilling was now ready to place the greasy undercooked burger on top of my cheese. She said “Do you want a fresh slice of cheese?” “No!” I said louder and more frantic than need be in hindsight. I knew where she would have to go to get the cheese…..back to the concession where this all started.
I decided to take my chances that the stories I heard when I was 12 about flies regurgitating when they land wouldn’t kill me.
And so I got my two greasy under-cooked cheeseburgers and started heading back to the field to deliver the fruits of my labor to my son, only to hear “Batter up!”