Sunday, September 26, 2004

in the belly of The Green Monster

There I was in Boston, unable to connect with my sisters; all dressed and nowhere to go, as it were. With a Red Sox/Yankees game scheduled for that night, what's poor boy supposed to do? Get to the ATM, pull out two-hundred bucks, and stand on the corner by Fenway and bid for a ticket, that's what. I needed one only for myself, so I hold up my index finger -- palm-in, of course, because I'm a buyer. Still, people approach me to ask if I have tickets to sell...this is Boston: what would they know about hand signals?

"Buyer!" I intone, holding up the finger. Two girls approach and shyly ask if I'm buying a single ticket. "How much and where?" I inquire. One calls a friend on her cellphone -- how technology enables efficient markets -- and we negotiate. He starts at threee hundred dollars. I counter with one-fifty, and she says that he says "no deal." It's getting near game time and I don't want to miss the National Anthem, so I hold up two fingers. I make smalltalk with the other girl while the first one tells her friend "he says 'two hundred.'" I learn that one works at Harvard and the other at Yale. Yeah, sure.

Before long a clean cut young man is standing beside me. "Are you the guy who wants to buy a single ticket for two-fifty?" he asks. Hmmm. They may not understand hand signals, but they do deal around here, don't they? I correct him on the price and hand him the money. He counts it and a few moments later I am entering the mouth of the Monster.

More on the "atmosphere" later. For now it is common knowledge that the Yankees had one of their major-league blowouts, much to the very in-your-face satisfaction of the Beantown natives, so I won't belabor it. As I inched out of the city in my rented Escape, they revelled in the victory until the wee hours.


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