A few nights ago, my husband and I went to our first Oklahoma City RedHawks game of the summer. We’ve wanted to go since the season began, but the heat has kept us far away from the stands until finally a nice 85 degree night presented itself. Our seats were in the Club Level, putting us above home plate with a great view of the entire ballpark. Not only was a very, very slow and defeating baseball game about to take place, but it was also Military Appreciation Night, presented by Devon Energy. Music was blaring, fans were searching for their rightful seats, mascots were dancing (who okayed those guys??), and the players were tossing the ball around – the regular pre-game ritual.
My husband and I took our seats and studied all the activities happening around us, talking and doing some obvious people watching. The crowd quieted down for the singing of the National Anthem and then burst into loud cheers and hollers upon the Anthem’s completion, all in anticipation for the first pitch to be thrown.
The vendors began making their way through the crowds by this time, obnoxiously announcing their plentiful amounts of ice cold beer – as beer vendors tend to do. Our section had a vendor too, only this vendor was more of a “broseph” than the usual gruff-looking tough guy type. He wore his RedHawks cap backwards yet also sideways; he had his shades on and some “tatts” down the front of his arms; he was tall and lanky and carried himself as though he was getting his swag on in an attempt to make carrying an oversized box look all too cool. And he wasn’t a beer vendor either, nor was he selling hotdogs. He was the popsicle vendor. He wandered around our section, casually suggesting that he had ice cold popsicles, but no one really took him up on his offer. After shuffling about for a few minutes, he disappeared back inside with his popsicles, suffering from mild defeat.
Excitement began to stir within the ballpark while 20 or so young men and women filed onto the field, all of them wearing jeans and gray Air Force shirts. They were new Air Force recruits and could not have been any older than 18. The recruits looked a little nervous as they stared back at the cheering crowd, and then suddenly at their commanding officer. The officer was fully dressed in uniform, and announced to the crowd that these new recruits were seconds away from being sworn in to the United States Air Force. The officer handed the microphone off, stood at attention, and began the swearing-in ceremony. Since the officer no longer had the mic, it was very difficult to hear what was being said. The entire crowd picked up on this almost at once and hushed down to silence in order to hear the recruits say their pledge.
Unfortunately for everyone, our popsicle vendor had no idea what was going on since he and his popsicles had left moments earlier. But out he came, almost as if he had a renewing sense of purpose. He stepped forth, grabbed his tray, and with a grand second wind yelled, “ICE! COLD! POP! SICLEEEEES!”
If he had yelled this at any other time, I’m sure many people from our section would have gladly bought from him. But instead of a selling victory, he only received shocked stares – from everyone.
Not the time, broseph. Not the time.