Mao took me to my first Blazers’ game last night. The game was great, despite a loss for Portland. Less exciting were my interactions with the man sitting beside me during the game. Mao acquires his tickets to games online, often from season ticket holders who sell seats to particular games. I happened to sit next to a dedicated season ticket holder, a man in his seventies who became quite agitated with these intruders to his Blazers’ routine. He seemed nice enough, sporting a long white beard, carrying a handheld radio which he proceeded to listen to the game commentary throughout the night, as well as wearing a magnifying glass so he could distinguish the players on the court more easily. He first inquired of me the cost of our tickets, then displayed his disgust at the low price and offered his own seat for an increased charge. He went as far as to force his phone number upon me, demanding I write it down, then double checked that what I had recorded was correct. He began to warm to me until immediately following the national anthem we had a bit of an issue. Mao somehow managed to knock a spoon out of a root beer float of mine, causing soda and frozen yogurt to spray nearly everyone within a certain radius of us, including the elderly gentleman to my left. Said gentleman became further agitated and I helped him pick out bits of sugary bits of root beer from his beard and clothing. He grumbled for the entirety of the game, occasionally elbowing me in the chest or rib cage either accidentally or to emphasize his annoyance at my presence. He then sporadically passed out or cheered enthusiastically for the Blazers’ dancers.
When the game finished, we quietly left and tried not to disturb the grumbling, sleeping man sitting beside us.