If ever, for the rest of your life, you go to the Royals-A’s game on September 5th, 2011, your experience will assuredly unfold exactly like this:
1. You’ll wake up, entirely healthy, in a small bed in Berkeley, California.
2. You’ll have an apple turnover and Americano at Berkeley’s Caffe Strada. Regarding the turnover, you’ll think, “I wonder how much longer I can eat these for breakfast without consequence?” The answer, unbeknownst to you, is “Slightly over a year ago.”
3. In a brief phone conversation with your wife, she’ll inform you that a husband you both know has left a wife you both know for one of his undergraduate students. Regarding this information, your first and least attractive thought will be “That probably lowers the bar, in terms of my wife’s expectations of me.”
4. In a brief phone conversation with Jeff Erickson and Chris Liss of RotoWire’s satellite radio program, you’ll be asked for your MVP picks. Regarding this question, you’ll have zero interesting actual thoughts and will attempt to hide this fact through humor.
5. In a brief phone conversation with your mother, she’ll inform you that everyone falls out of love and dies — only, not in those exact words.
6. You’ll take a BART train to Oakland Coliseum. Regarding the train, you’ll think, “Carpeting was a bad choice.” Regarding the similarity of that thought to a line by Will Ferrell from Anchorman, you’ll be painfully, shamefully aware.
7. Arriving at the Coliseum, you’ll meet Ken Arneson at the D Gate, as arranged. Regarding Arneson you’ll think, “He’s among the more interesting baseball writers in English ever.” Regarding other languages, you’ll have no criteria for judging.
8. During the course of the game, you’ll see (a) a red-winged blackbird, (b) an usher being unusually kind to a paraplegic, and (c) Johnny Giavotella. Regarding these sites, only one will have been expected.
9. During the course of the game, you’ll drink two beers. You’ll wonder, very much in passing, how something so excellent is so abundantly available.
10. You’ll go home on BART, saying goodbye to Arneson awkwardly. Regarding everything else you do, it’ll also be awkward.
Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.