Ballparks and Mud Baths
Trip Start Apr 17, 2001
272Trip End Ongoing
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The sign posted in the lobby of our Oakland, California hotel read:
"Proposition 65 - Detectable amounts of chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm may be found in and around this facility."
What one will do in their quest to visit all of the Major League baseball parks in America never ceases to amaze Ellen. But it wasn't sleeping in this toxic wasteland that scared me. The game was well under way when we struck out on our hike to the home of the baseball Athletics and the notorious Raiders of the NFL
Midway through a tight A's/Twins match-up I was beginning to wonder how the hell we were going to get back to our hotel room. I looked into the sky. Darkness was no more than fifteen minutes away. Panic welled, then consumed me. Should we bolt? I looked at Ellen. She was simply bored at being there. Suddenly, the fans went wild. A's outfielder Jack Cust had just hit his team leading twenty-fifth home run. Ellen's boredom turned to annoyance at the cheering of the unruly hometown fanatics. Ellen feels that anyone who even visits a baseball park has at the very least a moderate social handicap. I kept my Coliseum escape fears to myself. Shaking, I took a half tablet of Lorazapam. Fifteen minutes later, in a mildly drug induced state I realized that if we waited until the game was over there'd be 30,000 or so others in the same pickle - strength in numbers.
Back in our potentially lethal hotel room, I willed my pores closed and breathed only when necessary. Oakland Coliseum had been my twentieth Major League ballpark. As horrible as it was the Coliseum will be one I won't soon forget. Sometime during Sarah Palin's address I passed out from oxygen deprivation
Yesterday we drove up to Napa. I was expecting wine. Instead we went to a spa and had a mud bath, followed by a soak in a hot mineral spring bath, then a sauna. After fifteen minutes in the near boiling, claustrophobic mud my attendant asked if I'd like to stay an extra two minutes.
"Sure", I replied macho-ly.
After ten minutes in the hotter mineral spring bath he asked the same question. "N,no. I think Ellen will be finished and waiting for me." I lied meekly.
The bugger then hauled me out of the tub and led me staggeringly towards the sauna. I asked if he thought the sauna was really necessary. With a dirty smile he pushed me in then fed me a cup of water through on hole in the wall.
Afterwards, the cursed attendant covered me in a linen sheet which was supposed to cool me down
Today we're in San Francisco. The restaurants will be Ellen's choice, as will the boat cruise around San Francisco Bay...as was yesterday's mud bath. That's the trade-off for the game I love.
And I still have mud oozing from crevices. Places where mud was never meant to be.