D.C. was a trip

Just in case you haven’t been paying attention – and even if you have – last Friday I made a trip to Washington, D.C. to watch the Kansas City Royals play the Washington Nationals.

I thought my trip started off great when I found a spot in long-term parking just in time to catch a shuttle bus to the airport terminal. I jumped on the shuttle and thought, “Man, that was easy” and then realized it was easy because I didn’t have my suitcase.

So off the shuttle and back to my car to get my luggage, which initially seemed like a pain in the ass, but turned out to be fortunate because I found my boarding pass lying on the pavement where I dropped it on my way to the shuttle.

Clearly I do not have the right stuff to be an astronaut because during the final countdown I’d probably say, “Wait…was I supposed to bring my helmet?”

I was flying Southwest Airlines so we had to do that thing where you line up according to the boarding number you’ve been given.

I had B33 and a young couple in front of me had B31 and B32 so we thought we had things under control until a woman built along the lines of an Amana refrigerator – the double-wide model – announced loudly that she was B35 like she was letting us know the Queen of England had just arrived and one of her rights as a monarch was to cut to the front of the line.

The couple turned to me and gave me one of those “some people” looks and I said, “I think the three of us can take her.”

I said it loud enough for the Q of E to hear and apparently she didn’t like my humor – join the crowd – because she then cut into the line next to us which was already boarding the plane.

The psychiatric community has a technical term for this kind of behavior: being an asshole.

Do not be this person.

If you’re doing stuff like cutting in line or taking foul balls from kids – which I also saw on this trip – and you’re thinking, “Oh, nobody cares” I’m here to tell you everybody cares and with any luck you’ll have the lead role in a story somebody posts on their blog.

Your shit is not more important than everybody else’s shit unless you actually are the Queen of England and I kinda doubt she flies Southwest.  

The hotel

My experience suggests that checking in to a Washington, D.C. hotel on July 5th can be difficult because so many people are checking out of Washington, D.C. hotels on the same day.

Everybody who came to celebrate Independence Day in our nation’s capital was headed home and back to their lives of corporate slavery.

The hotel stored my luggage while I waited for my room to be cleaned and with time to kill I decided to walk over to the Washington Nationals ballpark and pick up my media credential for the weekend series.

While doing so I discovered something fascinating: it was really fucking hot in Washington, D.C. which actually kind of impressed me because Kansas City, Missouri in July isn’t exactly Shangri La either.

I thought almost four decades of living in the Midwest had allowed me to build up an immunity to heat and humidity, but this was some special kind of hot that made my wardrobe inadequate.

When packing for the trip I underestimated the D.C. heat like George Armstrong Custer underestimated the number of Indians within the Little Bighorn area code.

Me and George got our asses kicked.

Instead of going through one set of clothes a day I was going through two or three because I was sweating like Donald Trump with a broken teleprompter. By Saturday morning it was clear I was going to run out of clean clothes before my flight home on Monday.

That being the case, I decided to amble down to the Potomac and beat my Fruit of the Looms on a rock so I’d have clean underwear for my flight home. (Actually, I used my bathroom sink, so next time you wash your face in a hotel sink, remember: the last guest might have used it to rinse out a pair of boxer briefs.)

By Saturday night my room was hung with damp clothes and I’d say it looked like a Chinese laundry except that’s probably politically incorrect, but face it; if I said it looked like a Canadian laundry you would have said “What the fuck is a Canadian laundry?” so any political incorrectness is actually your fault once you think about it.

Plus you need to clean up your language.

The Spy Museum

Baseball players and the people who write about them spend way more time at the ballpark than you might think.

For instance, Sunday’s game started at 1:35 PM, but the Royals clubhouse opened at 10:30 AM. Tack on a three-hour ballgame and hanging around afterwards to interview players and a day is pretty much shot.

The only chunk of free time I had was Saturday morning and I spent it visiting the Spy Museum, which I’d heard good things about and lived up to its reviews.

When you start the tour they give you a security badge and have you check in on a computer for your “mission” which turns out to be visiting the museum and spending as much money as possible in the gift shop. But first you look at a series of pictures and click on the ones you like and the computer generates an alias and backstory for you.

I don’t know what bizzare algorithm I set off with my picture selections, but my alias was: Adrian Gonzales, a dancer from New York.

There are three-year olds who believe Barney is a real dinosaur that wouldn’t buy that cover story, so I figured I’d be waterboarded about 15 minutes after setting foot in Ghana which is where my mission was supposed to take me.

On the other hand, James Bond – who is supposed to be a spy – tells the bad guys his real name about five minutes into whatever mission he’s conducting and just in case they missed it the first time he repeats it – Bond, James Bond – so maybe the people in the spy game aren’t all that sharp.

After all, the villains seem to be able to construct fake island mountains big enough to hide nuclear missiles without anyone knowing what they’re up to. You’d think at least one construction worker would come home at night and say, “Honey, you cannot believe the shit we’re building on that island.”

Dr. No must have had one helluva non-disclosure agreement.

Back to baseball

A surprising number of Royals fans (because I didn’t expect any) were on my flight to Washington and staying in my hotel.

It just goes to show you:

There are always frontrunner fans who jump off the bandwagon at the drop of a hat or foul ball and those fans are often the most vocal and get on social media to tell everybody the team stinks.

Those fair weather fans can – and do – drown out the fans who stay loyal because it’s their team for better or worse and those fans are willing to fly to Washington, D.C. to see their team play.

Plus, they could work in a trip to the Spy Museum.

On Friday night those fans were rewarded with an extra-inning win, on Saturday Max Scherzer kicked the Royals butt and on Sunday the Royals made a late comeback, but their bullpen couldn’t keep the Nats down.

Pretty much the story of the Royals season, but even some of the Nationals personnel said the Royals have a core of good position players and might be closer to being competitive than some fans think.

So that’s the story of my weekend and I’m currently sitting in my hotel room, getting ready to fly home. The plane’s on time and it’s a non-stop flight, so everything should go smoothly.

Unless I forget my suitcase.

P.S. I would have posted this yesterday, but my laptop didn’t like the wifi at the hotel or airport so it had to wait until I got home…and I didn’t forget my suitcase.