This weekend we decided it was high time we fulfilled our duty to American nostalgia and take our boys to a baseball game. The Kansas City Royals generally are an affordable stadium experience, so we bought nosebleed seats and watched the Royals jump out to a 6-0 lead in two innings. Since the Big One was starting to get a little restless, my wife decided that she would take him to look at some of the shops and other things while I stayed in the stands with the Little One. The Royals somehow managed to barf up 7 runs in the 4th, but our baby was flirting with everyone in a six-foot radius so it was still pretty enjoyable.
But as with any late-night event with little kids, we had to leave in the bottom of the 6th, when my wife called me to inform me that all the Americana in the world was not keeping our eldest from melting down and going a little crazy. So I hoisted our 24 lb. baby and walked allllll the way down to the parking lot, and waited for my wife to meet up with us. I then received a call from her, telling me to go ahead and walk to where we parked, get the car, and then pick them up.
It was at this point that I noticed a tactical flaw in my evening of memory-making: I had neglected to look at what section we parked in. All I could sort of remember was the view from where we parked, but I was so wrapped up in gathering small children into a large sporting event that it never occurred to me to incline my head 45 degrees in the air to see where I actually was. But thankfully, I had the panic button on my key fob! That would have worked great, except the fob apparently has a range of about 18 inches. So I wandered all over the parking lot, holding a fat baby in one hand and holding my keys in the air with the other as I jabbed the panic button over and over again.
It was at this point that I started to panic a little bit. Not only could I not find where I had park, but I suddenly became very aware of how many Royals fans seem to own a 2003 Ford Taurus. I began having visions of myself in 50 years, still carrying around my 51-year-old son, both of us with sparse patchy beards from 50 years of searching for our car instead of shaving. At least at that point I might have found our car, assuming the 2003 Taurus was no longer as popular.
Well needless to say I stumbled onto our car through sheer dumb luck, and not a moment too soon, since the arm carrying my son had basically decided that we were no longer on speaking terms. But now came a new challenge: how do I find my wife and other son? This whole time I had been trying to call her, but in the growing cosmic prank being played on us, my phone had no inclination at completing a call. I had a signal you understand, but apparently that wasn’t good enough for it. After finding the car it magically started working again, and I was greeted with voicemails and texts that my phone had been withholding from me for the last 15 minutes, all from my wife.
She informed me that she and the Big One were at the exit where we had entered, so I tried driving over that way. I couldn’t seem to find them, so I called again. In increasingly frantic tones, we tried to explain where exactly we were and where we were heading. Here is a list of all of the places we traversed while we tried to connect:
- The home plate entrance to Kauffman
- The enormous line of charter buses by the stadium
- The statue of Lamar Hunt over by Arrowhead Stadium
- The line of port-o-johns by the charter buses
- Traveling in circles in the parking lot
- The end of Arrowhead that says “Arrowhead” (This is where I was)
- The end of Arrowhead that says “Chiefs” (Apparently where my wife was)
- An alternate dimension where every exit in both stadiums is switched (I assume)
I found them almost by accident as I went to the parking lot on the other side of the stadium. My wife had circumnavigated Kauffman with the Big One so much that she wasn’t entirely sure where she had exited the park. We listened to the rest of the game while we drove him in order to really complete that sense of exhaustion, since two whole innings had passed during this ordeal.
The Royals came within one run in the bottom of the 9th, and then popped out.