I don’t like baseball at all, but I love going to see the Chattanooga Lookouts. My record is about 10 games per season, which I’ve found is more than enough to quench my minor-league baseball craving. During opening weekend-and because of the skydiver incident-I thought it might be fun to recount some of my favorite Lookouts memories. None of them really have anything to do with baseball. Feel free to tell me your stories in the comments below.
The Wednesday Sunburn
It’s a yearly tradition that I hope to continue in 2014. It involves taking a half day off work and blistering myself in the mid-day sun during the middle of the week. Nothing exciting ever happens at these games, but I get a sort of naughty thrill (so naughty!) whenever I participate in an activity that involves beer and hot dogs when I should be at work. The best seats are directly in the sun on the lower level of the first base side. There, I can boil myself like a crab while sipping domestics. Go alone and wear dark sunglasses.
It was the 2012 Chattanooga Tweet-Up with cigar fans from around country invading the city for a weekend of events and smoking. One of the planned activities was an outing to a Lookouts game with an “exclusive” area for all of us smokers. We get there-blazed in every possible meaning of the term- and adjacent to our smoker-friendly tent is another event. The Chattanooga Allergy Society (or something like that; possibly “children with breathing issues” or “Lungless Chattanoogans”) was also having a friendly gathering at the Lookouts game. Nobody smoked for long and the icy stares still sting to this day.
In college, my friends and I thought we were the funniest people in Chattanooga. This was the reason we brought books to the games. No, we’re not those people who read Tolstoy at bars on a Friday night. Our method was to use a dictionary and thesaurus to research clever puns and obscure jokes as the situation dictates. It never worked because we drank too much and didn’t want to scare the children around us. So, we just used random, audible noises as our way to communicate. People didn’t understand and we thought it was hilarious. The goal is to get an acknolwedgement or chuckle from the players; the true sign of a winning peanut gallery.
It’s probably happened before at a Lookouts game, but I’ve never been witness to a live streaker (or a dead one) until this one evening when everything went down. The group was sitting behind me and were intoxicated. It is unclear to me whether or not streaking is a premeditated activity or just a spur of the moment kind of thing. I have a feeling this guy had it planned. It’s the end of the game and fireworks are going off. I think we won (does it matter?) and all of the sudden he stands up-already naked-and leaps over the dugout onto the field. He was a fast runner and managed to climb the centerfield fence and disappeared long before the police caught up with him. And that’s why I think it was planned. You have to make arrangements for a getaway driver, right? If not, what are you supposed to do the moments after? Nakedness is not common, but you knew that.
A group of dumb teenage boys sat a few rows in front of us one night. We got the “expensive” seats directly behind home plate and the boys were seated on the front row. A microphone was placed behind the fence to capture ambient sound for television and radio broadcasts. Someone had just left it there not thinking a bunch of teenage boys would bother to mess with it. Which is, of course, exactly what happened. They picked up the microphone and starting, innocently enough, with the classic raspberry. But then they got bolder. One put the microphone up to his butt and flatulated. Another just started listing every swear word he could think of, which was a bunch of terrible words. The worst part, however, was when they took turns “dropping the mic” like Randy Watson. Finally, a portly guy came down and told them not to touch the microphone anymore, that “people were complaining.” I bet they were.