In general, I’m too cheap to be a V.I.P.
For those with enough money to use hundred dollar bills as toilet paper, V.I.P. options are available almost everywhere—the special booth at a restaurant, the private dance at a strip club, the extra attention at the exclusive bar, and even first class on an airplane. Mindless, uber-polite plebeians cater to your every whim, showering you with dancing Champaign bubbles and buttered lobster tails. It’s the ultimate indulging experience, but it costs money.
And like I said, I can’t afford to have that kind of fun. Last night, however, Mr. Joel Brigham became a Very Important Person at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. I’ve seen many a White Sox game there, but never from the party suites. All that’s changed now. I’ve had a taste of the good life, and it tastes like caviar and diamonds.
All of my previous experiences were spent circling the concrete concourse before the game, paying exorbitant prices for proletariat food like hot dogs and nachos. There’s nothing quite like rubbing elbows with the delightfully sweaty patrons of Chicago’s south side, especially in the midst of July when the temperature is hot enough to bake a lasagna in the open air.
Then we’d head out to our seats and watch the ball game. If it’s sunny the heat smothers your face like a black rubber ski mask, and if it’s rainy you just have to let your heavy denim jeans soak up the water so you can feel like a used diaper the rest of the night.
Had I been out there with the common folks last night I would have been that used diaper, but instead I was safe inside the dry confines of the White Sox party suites.
There’s some sort of hidden secrete passage entrance to get up there, but I’ve never even seen it before, probably because my eyes are legally blind to things that cost more than $50 in a sitting. Once you get in, everything is carpeted, wood-paneled, and air-conditioned. Elevators scoot you up to your level, and there’s a giant four-star hotellish hallway that provide entrances to all the suites.
The suites themselves include a bar, a couple of flat-screen TVs, leather couches, stadium seats, and a buffet with chicken wings, barbecue ribs, and varied delicious salads. When it rains (and my goodness did it ever rain) the windows just roll shut, creating a soundproof waterless haven while waiting for the precipitation to lighten up.
Basically, it was awesome. Strangely enough though, I didn’t prefer it to watching the game out in the stands—heat, water, hot dogs, and all.
When the rain delay ended, my buddy Kevin and I went seat-vulturing and ended up sitting about three rows behind the Yankees’ dugout. As the Sox started to rally we were right in the thick of the action, standing up and cheering with the rest of the common folk. There was noise and energy that just couldn’t be experienced up in the private boxes. Plus, we got to yell obscenities at Derek Jeter, which was fantastic.
Conversely, Amy kept telling me to quiet down when we were in the suites because I was jumping around and whooping like I was some low-class moron in the stands. She’s right there going nuts with me for most games, but like everyone else in the party box she was quiet and relatively stoic.
Me, on the other hand, I couldn’t sit still. It reminded me of that scene in Ace Ventura when he goes to the high class party with Courtney Cox’s character and is acting like an idiot amidst a sea of men dressed like the Monopoly guy. People in the suites around us were sipping on bourbon whiskeys and watching the game soberly in their khaki suits.
And that’s just not me, folks.
I wear a hat backwards and yell a lot. I get excited and stand up for something as mundane as a called first strike. I eat hot dogs and pay $9 for a 24 ounce MGD. I high five the black guy behind me who’s been yapping at the opposing team all game, even though there’s not a chance in Hades that any of them can hear him.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is baseball.
Don’t get me wrong—I’m glad I was given the opportunity to partake in the V.I.P. experience; it was nice to live the high life for a few hours—but that’s just not the way I roll when it comes to live sporting events.
Oh, and if you’re wondering what inspired me to pay up for the suite in the first place, I didn’t. It was totally free, compliments of a friend’s business. You didn’t honestly think I’d pay for something like that, did you? I thought I made it very clear in my first sentence that I’m too cheap for that…