West Coast Time
By Lisa R. Neilson
With the New York Mets on the West coast this past week, it’s been difficult for me to watch a game. I’ve been able to catch a first inning here and there, but the 10:10 start time means that 7th inning stretch comes during my REM sleep time. I know it’s summer but I’m a morning person, and even my boys from Flushing can’t keep me up at night.
Optimistically, I thought that the 11-day road trip might give me some free time to get a few things done. That’s almost 33 hours to really accomplish something, like prep my courses for the upcoming semester or help my 18 year-old pack for college. I could even start my novel, right? Unfortunately, my good intentions have been marred by circumstances that make the Mets’ shaky defense against the first-place Dodgers in the sixth inning Monday night seem sweeter than cotton candy.
First, I made the mistake of sitting in front of the television instead of doing something productive. That meant tuning into some bad programming, and I mean bad. Naturally, popular shows like Revenge and Grey’s Anatomy are on hiatus. They’ve been replaced by a lineup of idiotic series like the Discovery Channel’s Amish Mafia, which follows community leader Lebanon Levi “protecting” his people in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Naked and Afraid, which pairs two strangers together for 21 days struggling to survive in the middle of nowhere with no food, water or supplies and yes, you guessed it, naked. Instead of seeing Zack Wheeler strike out a career-high dozen batters, I’ve been watching rogue buggy races and trained survivalists weave loincloths out of rodent skin. Cleaning my bathroom tiles with a toothbrush would have been more entertaining!
Second, I decided to see what the crosstown rivals were up to so I switched over to the Yankee game. It’s still baseball even though it’s not my team, and I figured it would give me the fix I needed (and help me avoid that 365-page biography I assigned for class). Unfortunately, I found myself running from the television screen. There were missed pop-ups by first baseman Lyle Overbay, horrendous calls by the umpire crew that my 75 year-old father with failing eyesight could have gotten right, and Sabbathia’s failure to cover first. Even the broadcasting was dreadful in my opinion, or just not the Gary-Ron- and-Keith show I am used to. I started to wonder if staring at bare butt cheeks of strangers was better than bad baseball.
Third, I failed to curse my husband out three years ago when he brought home a rescue dog and asked if we could give her a home. Unable to refuse those big brown puppy eyes (the dog’s), I said yes, unaware that little Libby would one night take a liking to the neighborhood skunk. When my younger daughter came running in from the driveway Tuesday evening plugging her nose, I cringed at the realization that Libby was outside! Needless to say, the next few hours were spent scrubbing that four-legged friend clean! Even bad broadcasting and leach-covered extremities would have been more appealing!
Maybe the moral of this story should be to stick to good intentions and be productive when the Mets go out West. I could avoid all kinds of disasters, including bad visuals on television screens.
But instead, I think the moral is this: get on West coast time when the Mets take an 11-day road trip!