Thursday, December 08, 2005

Some mornings are colder than others. I needed to take the ice scraper to the outside and inside of my car windows this particular morning not that I needed to see the road because I wasn't going anywhere after my car died on the side of the interstate. Good thing I keep a cell phone in my car for emergencies - wrong ! the sub zero temperature had rendered my phone useless, oh sure it claimed to have a signal but believe this - you can dial as many #'s as you want there isnt anyone waiting for you at the end of the line. I had placed my faith in Japanese engineering and forsaken by my car and phone here I was on December 7th caught with my pants down. My faith in technology had left me so blind that I didnt even have the forseeability to keep blankets, boots, gloves, and hats in the trunk. Clearly Darwin would say I deserved to die which is exactly what the rush hour commuters were hoping for as they sped by at 7 a.m. Who could blame them? Like me they were in grave danger of being 5 minutes late for work doing 80 in a 60 and cursing any object which triggered the appearance of brake lights in front of them. I should have seen it coming that morning when my car, brutalized by an overnight low of -10 degrees, for the first time failed to say its good morning ding ding ding when I opened its door to leave for work its cold silence indicated I was to be alone on this trip which is exactly where I found myself. In any other city in America a cab was likely to go by but this was St.Paul where the taxi apparently hasnt been introduced yet. I actually found myself hoping to see a police car but cops only come out at night unable to appear until darkness falls. The sun was quickly setting on my ass as I realized I could no longer feel my extremities so I assembled a checklist of items in the car to enlist in my battle against time. The only assets in my car were a cigarette lighter and yesterdays newspaper. I should have wrapped the paper around me as an extra layer of clothing but just the thought of the hot stove league brought a temporary flicker of warmth to my soul and I was unable to to resist going straight to the sports section. December 6th Pioneer Press page 4-d item #1 - Twins manager Ron Gardenhire commenting on the acquisition of Luis Castillo said he wasn't sure where to bat him in the lineup (although every Twins fan I knew had automatically penciled in Stewart - Castillo - Mauer - as our 1-2-3) and Gardenhire added that he would wait until he had placed a phone call to both Stewart and Castillo to see where they would feel most comfortable. I immediately felt ill and it had nothing to do with hypothermia - Stewart leads off and gets to 1st base - the hole on the right side is easier for Castillo to find because he can hit left handed it has nothing to do with gauging a players comfort level. I wish I had started the paper on fire right then and there not only for the immediate warmth but perhaps the sight of a car on the side of the road in flames would call attention to my plight. I knew guys like me running 5 minutes late in one degree weather were not going to stop for any reason but there might be that 1 Samaritan in the 1000 humans flying by who would get to their cubicle at work and place a phone call on my behalf (cop or cab) during that awkward moment between getting their computer to wake up and waiting for someone else in the office to make a pot of coffee. While I waited for the calvalry to arrive, I read news item #2 - The Twins haven't eliminated the possibility of bringing back Terry Mulholland. While the arms race escalates all around us we are interested in checking the expiration date on our 43 yr old biological weapon. The roadside barbeque was no longer a pipedream. What other choice did I have? Throw myself into the traffic you say? you make a strong point the speeding bullets passing me on the interstate had melted a narrow strip of pavement, it was clearly the warmest place to be, but like sheep being led to slaughter I stayed on the wrong path and chose instead to read item #3. I repeat taken directly from page 4-d of the 12/6/05 Pioneer Press - Ron Gardenhire dropped to his knees in a Chicago hotel for Ozzie Guillen. I looked at it again, it was no misprint. Apparently thats how Gardy gets down. The story even added that Gardenhire bowed to Guillen (no doubt while still on his knees) and that he did it in the middle of a busy hotel lobby. What could be more degrading to a Twins fan? (besides signing Frank Thomas). I never felt more alone in the baseball universe but my innate reptilian survival skills wouldn't let me give up. I grabbed my frozen cell phone and made one last attempt at a connection. Nothing ! I conjured up the remaining hot air from my body and blew on my phone in desperation. My last ditch effort no doubt looked ridiculous to anyone driving by seeing a man with a phone in his mouth but at least I wasn't in a Chicago hotel getting on my knees for the White Sox manager.