Tiger Town.


Sports aren’t my thing, but hey — it’s fun to live in a World Series town, especially when the first game hasn’t started yet and you haven’t lost.

Kate and I went down to the ballpark on a mission. We weren’t there to soak in the atmosphere, but to buy a birthday gift for Nikki, whose stomach virus flew in and out the window within 24 hours. The birthday sleepover party was back on for Saturday and, for once, I didn’t need to think about what to buy for a present. Nikki’s a big Tigers fan, plays Little League herself.

“I want to get her a T-shirt and a big foam paw,” Kate said. And so we did. We probably could have found both in the Pointes, but we couldn’t have seen the park on the day of Game One, and we probably couldn’t have gotten the bonus free XL T-shirt being given away on the street by the Ball Park Franks people. It declares BP as the official hot dog of the Detroit Tigers.

(I wonder if Hebrew National has the Yankees account sewn up. If so, that’s a good reason to go to a game there. Love those Hebrew Nationals. I distrust a frankfurter that, like Ball Park, “plumps” when you cook ’em. Never mind the adolescent humor of watching a tubesteak grow tumescent on the grill. I want to know what, precisely, does the plumping? Cellulose foam? Oh, well. It’s not like I have tickets anyway.)

On the way home, Kate asked many questions about baseball, and I answered them to the best of my ability, which should be understood to mean: Not very well. She asked about the Fort Wayne Wizards and I explained the minor leagues. Then she asked about the Columbus Clippers and I explained about the difference between single-A and triple-A minor-league ball. Then she got off on a tangent about the Clippers, thinking the team was named for a manicure accessory, and I tried to explain about fast-moving ships and the Yankee affiliation. We discussed the World Series, and why the teams play two games in one city, then three in the next, and two more in the first city. Then I ran out of information, and tried to remember as much of the stupid Clippers song as I could — something about hometown heroes and ringing your bell. Thank God for the internet, so we can all sing along.

With the birthday sleepover back on, we were free to see “The Departed” after all. We chose to see it at the RenCen, the better to bask in the Saturday-night World Series glory. Alas, however, the projectionist was doing that thing I’ve read about — showing the picture with a dimmer bulb than is called for, resulting in a muddy stew of murk. It was really annoying, and how ironic that this was a Scorsese picture; Marty Himself is said to travel with a light meter and calls projectionists on this bit of miserly penny-pinching. (The low-light projection is believed by some theater managers to save wear and tear on the expensive bulbs.)

It was distracting, and almost, but not quite, enough to affect my enjoyment of the movie. I had to make a conscious decision, 15 minutes in, to will my pupils to open just a tetch wider and try to forget about the murk. It helped that this scene was in progress:

(Leonardo DiCaprio sits down at the bar in a tough Southie dive and orders a cranberry juice.)

BARTENDER: Cranberry juice?!

GUY ON THE NEXT STOOL: Cranberry juice is a natural diuretic. My girlfriend drinks it when she’s havin’ her period. How about you? You havin’ your period?

(DiCaprio smashes a glass on the guy’s head.)

Every woman who’s ever been asked, by anyone other than a medical professional, if she’s havin’ her period can relate to that.

It was a great movie.

I look forward to seeing it again on DVD, when I can control the brightness. If the theater industry is losing money, it’s their own damn fault.

Almost as good was the stroll, afterward, over the Greektown, where Tiger fans thronged the sidewalk. From the cheers I thought we were winning, then checked the score through a bar window: 5-1. Ouch. The cheers were for such heroics as base hits; no one was letting a little lopsided runaway get anyone down, and good for them. How depressed can you get when waiters are lighting cheese on fire in restaurants up and down the street? I ask you.


If you read one really long story today, I recommend this one: Doonesbury’s War, maybe the first profile of Garry Trudeau done with his cooperation in, like, ever. It’s by our beloved Gene Weingarten, so you know it’s worth your time.

Last week’s mention of “Meerkat Manor” revealed the little critters have fans, and then they have Fans. Here’s one, liveblogging MM every week.

Posted at 1:29 am in Current events, Movies |

5 responses to “Tiger Town.”

  1. Dorothy said on October 23, 2006 at 10:08 am

    Thank you VERY much for the link to the Garry Trudeau interview. Took some time to get through, but it was well worth it. Also – I got to see about half of Meercat Manor on Friday night. No wonder it’s so popular! We’ll be looking for that again.

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  2. John said on October 23, 2006 at 11:03 am

    Nice piece about Trudeau. I love his strip and his characters. But I do know people who still refuse to read him because of his treatment of the Richard Obenshain incident.

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  3. John said on October 23, 2006 at 5:18 pm

    The official frank at Yankee Stadium and pretty much all across the NY-NJ area is a Sabrett. They are an all beef dog, either natural casing or skinless, a little garlicky. Kosher style but not actually kosher. It’s the one sold by most push cart vendors also. It’s referenced in a Beastie Boys song, She’s Crafty:
    “I spent my last dollar to buy a Sabrett, when I seen this girl I could never forget.”
    People tend to think Nathans is big in NY but thats not the case. I do love the Hebrew Nationals now that I can’t get Sabretts anymore but when my parents come out for thanksgiving they had better have a 5-lb bag of Sabretts on ice.

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  4. brian stouder said on October 23, 2006 at 9:55 pm

    a digression – recently discovered a website called “TVgasm” – which is a bloggy-gossipy teevee review site (Pammy and I love Amazing Race, and she also likes Survivor, both of which are covered there) and they had this bit about NN.C fave “The Wire”


    Viewers of HBO’s The Wire have certainly gotten shivers from the work of Felicia “Snoop” Pearson, who plays Snoop, the stone cold scary nailgun assassin. When we saw her in the first scene of the first episode of the season, we thought she was a teenage boy, and replayed her scene three times trying to understand what the hell she was saying before we gave up, sat back and marvelled at just how good she is. Stephen King, writing in Entertainment Weekly, called her “perhaps the most terrifying female villain to ever appear in a television series,” and he should know.
    After that first show, we looked her up on the Internet and found that 26-year-old Felicia is new to the acting game, “discovered” on the streets of Baltimore, where the series is shot. But tomorrow’s New York Times reveals she’s had a lot of training for the role– and not from community theatre or acting classes.

    Tough girl Michelle Rodriguez has got nothing on Felicia.

    “I was a crack baby,” Felicia tells The Times. “I was, like, three pounds, and I had to get fed with an eyedropper.”

    Born to two drug addicted, incarcerated parents, raised in foster homes, “she added that she had so many drugs in her system when she was born that she was cross-eyed as a child. ‘Kids would tease me, saying that I’m cross-eyed and don’t have a real mother, and all those kids who said those mean things, I beat the hell out of them.'”

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  5. mary said on October 24, 2006 at 7:13 pm

    I have watch Amazing Race three times now. I have one problem with that show: the incidental music. It’s all dramatic and tense and stuff when the scene consists of sitting down on bus seats. If you watch the show without the music, it’s about 90 percent tedium. Look, people standing in line! Look, people talking to a travel agent! The music tries very hard to keep it all exciting, but just sounds inappropriate to me, although I confess i don’t know what standing in line music would sound like.

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