My son Sam and I recently visited the Motor City to see a Detroit Tigers baseball game. It was the first time I’d been to a professional game with one of my kids so it was a much anticipated event for both of us.
We set out for Detroit around 4 p.m. in order to catch the 7:05 p.m. game against the Toronto Blue Jays. The ride was pretty ordinary until the traffic became heavy and then I realized we’d missed our exit.
I am horrible with directions and I get easily lost in unfamiliar territory, and having a child acting as navigator wasn’t the best idea. Sam did everything right, but what neither of us knew is the printer failed to print out one step of the directions – the one telling me what exit to take.
In Detroit and lost I stopped at a gas station and called Anita back home to act as my GPS. As she looked up our location on a map, Sam spotted some “hobos” as he called them, washing car windows at an intersection. He suggested I talk to them for directions.
Correcting him on the hobo comment, I explained this was probably not the best way to get directions – and I was pretty sure I didn’t have enough to pay for such a service.
But Anita, our savior, got me back on track and a few minutes later we were near Comerica Park.
Once inside the park we checked out the place and Sam quickly pinpointed several souvenir shops he planned to visit before the game was over. We then found our seats and quickly discovered a row of college age kids (for lack of a better word) seated behind us who were sounding rather loud and boisterous. One member of this group quickly (and loudly) began to heckle the Blue Jays until a bit of profanity slipped out of his mouth and he realized there were minors present. He leaned forward and said to Sam: “Sorry about that, kid.”
“It’s OK, I’ve heard it before,”
I pretended not to notice and accepted no responsibility. I also ignored Sam’s insistence on telling everyone around us how his dad got lost driving in
The young man then went on to teach Sam the finer points of heckling, like suggesting a youthful member of the Blue Jays “go back to high school” and asking a Toronto fan wearing a Jose Bautista jersey how he liked his favorite player being sidelined all season.
When Sam started helping the heckler identify Blue Jay players to insult, I decided a sportsmanship talk was in order. I think he got it, but he and the heckler – who did promise Sam if he caught a foul ball that he’d give it to him — were now “buds” and even said their goodbyes before we left.
I got out of the park to return to the car only after Sam had made his business transactions with the vendors (he tried to haggle with some of the merchants to get them to come down on their prices). We retrieved the car and started back home, only to become lost in Detroit, at night.
Another call to Anita and an unexpected turn which took me onto the front sidewalk at the Cobo arena (don’t ask) and we were finally on the way home. Between all the comedy, it was a great game and we made some good memories along the way.