We went to the Red Sox Game last night. Nothing unusual about that, you might think. But in fact, this is something we do only once a year, when one of our lovely daughters and her partner buy tickets for my husband Jay’s birthday present. In a way, this is a backhanded gift, since they are avid Red Sox fans and have even indoctrinated their poor misguided 6 year-old son. And they know that Jay is a rabid Yankee fan. With the Yankees current record, we were going to drive two hours to be humiliated.
So it was with some trepidation that I got into the truck in New Hampshire for the trip to Boston. Truck, you ask? This is Jay’s red pickup truck, with the number plate MY TOY. (They allow this sort of foolishness in New Hampshire, where we legally reside.) Our youngest son had texted just that morning, wondering whether we still had the Pier One sofa (circa 1991) that had been languishing in the basement. If so, he pleaded, could he possibly have it for his new student apartment at BU? I saw a chance to kill two birds with one stone. If the Yankees were to be ignominiously slaughtered in the Fenway amphitheatre, at least one positive thing would come out of it – Son would be comfortable.
I found the sofa in the basement, and even a matching armchair. No problem to get them up to ground level and into the truck. They were made of foam and some sort of balsa wood and weighed less than a bag of mulch… I suggested that maybe it would be a good idea to strap the furniture down, but this was met with a firm “No” from Jay, who was sure that nothing could budge these objects. (Jay failed physics in High School, I suspect.) And off we went.
We were 20 miles down I-89 when Jay asked me to look and see whether the armchair was still on board. I turned round and giggled. I am not by nature a giggler, and this was by way of a nervous reaction.
“Nope,” I said, “it’s gone.” Jay smiled indulgently. He thought I was kidding. “No, really,” I repeated. Language ensued.
Jay made an illegal U-turn and started back up the highway. “Keep an eye out for it,” he said.
New Hampshire being a rural state, there were forests between us and the opposite lanes, and the armchair was brown, so I knew there’d be no hope of seeing it. But I shut up and kept an eye out as directed. It seemed the armchair had decided to Live Free or Die. It was Jay who decided we should go back to the beginning of our trip, and it turned out he was right. (This happens sometimes…) About half a mile from where we’d joined the highway was our armchair, sitting sedately by the side of the road, its cushion next to it, and one of its feet lurking nearby. It was the work of moments (more or less) to tie the thing down, although we were hampered somewhat by having no idea of how to work the ratchet thingies on the straps and in the end resorted to the scouting knots of our youth. In the event, it took another two and a half hours to reach Boston, and we ditched the truck outside Fenway stadium, having contacted Son to come and drive it to his flat.
And then came the game. It took three hours and forty minutes before I could persuade Jay to leave, and we hadn’t even got to the top of the eighth (I believe that’s the expression – second half of the eighth inning, right? For foreign readers, eighth out of nine) He didn’t want to leave because the Yankees – unbelievably – were winning. Jay, of course, immediately claimed credit. On the way home he was planning our trip to the next Yankees game, wherever it is. Because, he says, they obviously can’t win without him. This could become very expensive, even if I don’t go with him. I’d rather deliver armchairs.