Before attending the first game of the classic Cardinals/Devil Rays interleague series, I had the following conversation with my dad:

Me: We’re going to all three games.

Dad: Wow, how’d you get tickets?

I think I need to clear something up here. Seven (count ‘em: seven) Devil rays games have sold out in the history of the club, and all of them were against either the Yankees or the Boston Red Sox (with the exception of the first home opener). My Dad called me while the game was going on and was surprised at the number of empty seats he saw while watching the game on TV in St. Louis. And this game had more folks in attendance than all but about ten games this season (again, because the highly attended games are always against the Yankees and Red Sox). No one goes to D-Rays games. We paid five bucks a piece for ten dollar tickets and sat in much better seats than we paid for. That’s the Devil Ray way.

Anyway, some highlights from the evening:

I got a free beer because I insulted a woman who cut the line. You know you’ve won an argument when the adversary starts giving you their resume. “Listen son, I have a college degree and I work for Pinellas County.” Wow lady. That must have been tough. Why did you just cut in front of twenty people again? Afterwards, the entire line was smiling at me, telling me what a great job I did and generally joining me in bashing this harlot (though none of them had the stones to insult her to her face). It was awesome. I felt like nominating myself for congress right there. But the best part was the free beer. I mean, when the beer lady looks at you with that wink and says, “Thanks hon, we needed that.” Well, you know you’ve done your job. If only I could insult line cutters for a living…

Brain got drunk, took off the wrong way as we left the stadium, couldn’t find the car, and decided to walk home. 15 miles. We picked him up on the way. Freaking moron.

My shorts, sometime after the game, became unwearable (I’ll spare you the details). On a dare, I walked into a St. Pete Sunoco carrying my shorts and wearing my boxers while my five friends looked on. Here’s Peek with the play-by-play.

“So Nate walks in there, grabs the beer like it’s nothing, and goes up to the counter. The guy in line behind him is just freaking out. You can tell he doesn’t know what to think. The lady asks for Nate’s ID, so he puts his shorts on the counter and pulls out his wallet. Nate’s all cavalier, like there’s nothing even remotely weird about this. You have to give credit to the Sunoco Cashier Chick. She doesn’t bat an eyelash. She’s acting like half-naked people carrying their shorts with them are a regular occurrence. It was a midnight battle of weird. Call it a draw.”

Oh yeah, the game: Cards pitcher, Mark Mulder looked kind of shaky. A D-Ray named Cantu had the game of his life (two homers, three hits) and I had five beers and a foot-long hot dog. The Cardinals won six to four thanks to crappy defense by the D-Rays and some timely hitting by the Birds. Oh, and I had the following conversation with some random schmuck:

Random Schmuck: Check out this throwback Jersey. It’s Vince Coleman.

Me: Nice.

Random Schmuck: It’s not just nice, brother. I paid four hundred dollars for this.

Me: Well then, it’s very nice.

Random Schmuck: You got a problem?

Me: Yeah, I have this tendency to overpay for glorified T-shirts. Know how I can get help?

Random Schmuck: F— you.

I love baseball.