The story I am about to tell is 100% fiction, but based on a actual event. I have become ‘somewhat’ addicted to my Greater Lansing Public Safety scanner which sends police and fire crews to all emergency situations.
Last week at the Lansing Lugnut’s final baseball game, I happened to be watching the Tigers on TV while keeping one ear on my scanner. A call came in that a five-year-old boy had been hit in the face with a foul ball. He had a broken nose, concussion symptoms, unconscious, but breathing. An ambulance was sent to transport him to the hospital.
Mom, Dad, and I were sitting up in the stands and there was almost no one around us. The stupid game was boring as all get out. Looked to me like nobody wanted anyone to get any hits. What fun is that? The pitchers were throwing so hard, I couldn’t even see the ball half the time. Nothing like the real ball games I played in during recess at pre-school this last year.
We didn’t have somebody throwing the ball as hard as they could. We had a T stand that the ball sat on. We could swing as many times as it took to get a hit. I think I’m pretty good, didn’t knock the T over too many times.
I usually missed the thing altogether or hit the ball. Our ball looked bigger than the one used in this phony game. The only thing that I didn’t like about our games was that the batter couldn’t run any further than second base when he got a hit.
I was totally robbed one time by that stupid rule. I smashed a liner that rolled at least five feet beyond the 3rd baseman. He was down on his hands and knees picking four-leaf-clovers and didn’t see it. I could have easily made it to third. Oh well, at least our games were fun, not like this boring thing.
Suddenly, there was a bunch of yelling and screaming from the handful of people around us, loud enough to wake me up from my day dream. “Aaaaaaaah!’
That’s when I saw the baseball a foot from my face. I have no idea why I hadn’t seen it before. Must have had something to do with me watching the kid two rows ahead and down from me eating his ice cream sandwich. I didn’t have one. Didn’t have a hot dog either. I thought I was going to starve to death.
Dad wouldn’t buy me anything. Said stuff here cost too much money. I could wait until we got home to eat.
Before the ball blasted me in the face, Dad decided to go up to the top to walk around a bit to ‘loosen up his aching joints.’ He had been sitting between me and Mom, so, when he got up, he shook his finger at me and told me not to move a muscle or get out of my seat.
Like a good boy, I didn’t move out of my seat. However, I did slide over three or four feet so I could get a better look at what that kid two rows in front and below me was eating. Before his ice cream, he’d had a hot dog with catsup, mustard, relish, and onions. What could have been better than that?
The first thing I remember after seeing that ball a foot in front of my face was this dude in some kind of funny looking outfit stuffing something that looked like short white pencils up my nose on both sides and wiping my face.
Why? I know how to clean myself up. Besides, I didn’t even know it was dirty. I mean, like, I am five-years-old. What did he think he was doing?
Lying on the bench, I looked and the paper towel, or whatever it was he was wiping my face with, was all red. Then he reached down and tried to twist my nose off my face—at least that’s what it felt like. I screamed loud enough, and he let go.
Then the guy in that weird outfit looked up at Daddy. “It’s broken. We need to take him to the hospital and get him checked out. I’m suspecting a concussion. Look at his eyes. They are both turning black and blue and swelling shut.”
“Uh, can’t I take him after the game?” my dad asked as he stood there with a large beer in his hand. “He is awake now, and here are only two more innings.”
“Hector, no. We are going now. I’m riding in the ambulance with Alphie. You can follow.in the car.” Mom said, scowling at him. That was almost funny. That’s the way she usually snarled at me.
On the way to the hospital, the ambleance dude told me that those things I thought were white pencil stubs were really cotton nose swabs that were intended to stop the bleeding.
He was putting in the second set that I knew of. Who knows what they did before I woke up.
After I’d been in the hospital torture chamber for an hour or so, Dad showed up. Mom glared at him, and said, “We will talk later.”
He ignored her and looked at me. “The Lugs lost.” Then he looked at Mom and asked her how I was doing.
“The medic in the ambulance was correct. Alphie has a broken nose and a concussion, He will be staying here overnight in the children’s ward for observation. “
“Overnight? Why? Will we have to stay here with him?”
“You’d better get your head in gear. The nurse told me that the medics had notified Child Protective Services. He wasn’t happy that Alphie wasn’t close enough to a parent that he could be protected. He couldn’t understand why you hadn’t taken him with you. Like he said, normal fathers go out of their way to protect their young sons.”
“What were you doing? Why didn’t you protect him?”
“I was texting back and forth with a couple of my girlfriends and didn’t notice when he slid over several seats to his left. Since he’d been sitting beside you all game, I really hadn’t paid a whole lot of attention. As it was, I wasn’t close enough to deflect the ball. All I could do was watch it hit him.”
As I lay there in pain listening to them blame each other for not protecting me, I figured it must have been my fault. If I hadn’t been starved enough to move my seat so I could see what that kid was eating, I wouldn’t have gotten hit. Maybe I should apologize? Hope I don’t get grounded.
I guess I’ll have to agree with Alphie. It has to be the five-year-old’s fault that he wasn’t protected at a professional baseball game. I mean, let’s face it. Dad’s beer run was a lot more important, and Mom’s texting her friends and not paying attention to her kid was normal as well. Oh well, the problem can be easily resolved the future. Never take your kids anyplace.