TLB and I accompanied our friends SER and Bob and a couple of their friends from the Bay Area to the last home game of our local minor league ballclub. It was a perfect night for baseball, but little did I know what majesty awaited us inside.
At the concession stand, I ordered two hot dogs and two beers. "That will be four dollars," the counter clerk said.
"I'm sorry, did you get the beers?"
"Yes, sir. Two hot dogs and two beers. That's four dollars. Beers are one dollar tonight."
I almost kissed him.
The last time I ran into dollar beer was 1996, the night after I defended my master's thesis at the University of Missouri and proceeded to destroy nearly every brain cell that went into said thesis with dollar pints of Natty Light. I thought dollar beer was like two-dollar gas, a story I would pass onto my grandkids like our grandparents telling us how, back in the Depression, a nickel could buy you a drifter.
Even better, the dollar beer didn't apply to hoppy pisswater like Natty Light. You could pick from any of the standard brands -- Bud, Miller, Micheloeb. Lighter than the kind of suds I reach for normally, but for a buck, they were more than satisfactory. I even double-fisted some Budweiser Select, which was surprisingly decent.
Normally, teams don't like to mix cheap booze and sports, as things like riots tend to break out. I joked with Bob that this place would be ablaze and cars overturned by the sixth inning. Yet there was nary a fist thrown or an SUV flipped. I didn't even hear any swearing when our second baseman made an error that allowed the visitors to tie the game in the ninth. If that happened at a Cubs game these days, even the eight-year olds would be dropping a "c---sucker."
I really think if God had provided dollar beer and a polite sporting experience along with the free bread, the Hebrews would never have left the desert. And at least stuff grows in Iowa.
I managed to eat for the cycle. Here was my box score.
4 for 4
single (regular dog)
triple (jumbo dog)
double (giant pretzel with cheese)
home run (a dish of Blue Bunny ice cream that was the size of a toddler's head)
So much for putting my waistline on notice.