|Hang Loose, yourself!|
By Brian Murphy
Special to Page 2
Thirty-nine thousand feet over the Pacific Ocean. Cooler, packed with guava juice, in the overhead bin. A complimentary cocktail from Aloha Airlines on the serving tray. A return flight to California from Maui, a place so perfect that if any other plot of land on Earth tries to call itself "God's Country," its residents deserve to be stoned to death with coconuts and leftover ice cubes from empty mai tai glasses.
What are you, nuts?
I'm in hell! I've got room-and-board in the seventh level, dwellers! I'm in sheer, flaming hell! The flight left Maui at 2 p.m. Hawaii time -- otherwise known as the exact time of the first pitch of Game 2 of the World Series!
My flight attendant might as well be the ghost of Sam Kinison, patrolling the aisles in a beret, trenchcoat and orchid lei, leaning into my seat and screaming: "YOU'LL NEVER SEE GAME 2! BY THE TIME YOU LAND, IT'LL BE OVER! YOUR TEAM IS IN THE SERIES FOR ONLY THE SECOND TIME IN YOUR LIFE, AND YOU'RE MISSING THE ENTIRETY OF GAME 2! AH! AHHHHHHHHH! AAHHHHHHH!" I wish I had Kinison, truth told. Instead, I've got The Guy Who Has No Clue That The Giants Are in The World Series. I've got Mr. Flight Attendant who is more hellbent on serving the, and I quote, "Hoisin BBQ Chicken?" or "Marketplace Meatloaf?" -- and apologizing in advance if my choice is not available.
Yo, I've got your marketplace meatloaf right here, pal.
Now get me a damn Series score!
I've asked twice now, and been politely rebuffed by Mr. Flight Attendant, who, I'm sure, if asked to throw a baseball, would throw it like the Sean Hayes character from "Will and Grace." He's made the empty promise to "ask the captain," but I know what's going on in that cockpit. Captain Atu and his co-pilots are roasting a pig in a makeshift luau pit, rehashing the play-by-play of Hawaii's big win over Tulsa from Saturday night, and have no eentrest, brah in my silly little mainland game.
It's 6 p.m. Pacific now, and who knows what historic events are unfolding at Chez Disneyland? Has Bonds gone yard again? Has Troy Glaus continued to do his Frank Howard-on-creatine thing? Has Russ Ortiz changed expression on that placid mug of his? Has Kevin Appier thrown so many split-fingers in the dirt in front of home plate that resident gophers have filed an official complaint with the SPCA and Major League Baseball?
I don't know. I can't get a score. I can get "Marketplace Meatloaf," but I can't get a score.
(By the way, just asked for a score. Third time. Got the "Uh, sir, we're trying to serve our customers here, so you can let us do our job and stay out of our Marketplace Meatloaf grills right now?" Hey, Waiter Boy. What do I look like, chopped Spam? I'm a customer. I want the damn score. What part of "Aloha spirit" don't you understand?)
Some of you may think: What the hell are you doing in Hawaii when the Giants are in the Series for only the second time in your life, anyway?
Or, more to the point, what the hell are you doing flying home during Game 2, when the Giants are in the Series for only the second time in your life?
I know what you dwellers are thinking. You think I deserve this poi-flavored pain, don't you?
Cut a braddah a break, will ya? My boy Robbie scheduled his wedding in Maui months ago, back when the Giants were nothing more than a 10-games-over-.500 club more known for the Bonds-Kent Smackdown than any October promise. There was little indication they would show the hearts of lions to blaze through the National League playoffs. And if it makes you feel any better, my babe and I spent all of a Saturday in Da Islands locked up in our hotel room, sweating through Game 1. Our wedding cohorts spent a pristine afternoon day in a private plane over Molokai, swam in the seven pools of Hana, snorkeled and took a kahuna-sized bite out of the Islands. Me and my babe? Room service and Tim McCarver.
There is this silver lining: I Tivo'ed the game at home. If this flight goes much longer without a score, I'll go high-wire and try to make it through without hearing. Then, through the airport, through the baggage claim, through the drive home: No radio, no scores, no nothing. Maybe, just maybe, that's the answer. Home near midnight, then fire up the TiVo.
Except for the fact that Mr. Flight Attendant just came by:
"Seven to five, Angels. Sixth inning," he said.
"Check that," he said, "Giants just tied it up."
I'm a wreck.
On to the Weekend List of Five:
1. World Series observations, Part 1
2. World Series observations, Part Deux
3. An apology
Dwellers, I need to apologize.
Clearly, the adrenaline rush produced by the ball flight of Benito Santiago's Game 4-winning home run in the NLCS caused unclear thinking patterns. Such a rush can cause embarrassing turns of events -- not unlike the awkward lunges, fueled by alcohol, you've made at hot chicks in bars, or not unlike those best man toasts that bleed into the profane.
Hey, Sinatra had "L.A. is My Lady." U2 had its "Pop" tour. AT&T hired Carrot Top.
And I had my Thunder Stix column.
Can you find it in your hearts to forgive me?
4. Obligatory football interlude
Beauty is, Jackson lives in L.A.! He's dropping those bons mots, then heading over to Sky Bar to work on a deal with his agent, before driving over to Brad's and Jennifer's Malibu mansion for a screening of "The Good Girl" over some sushi. Awesome.
Also: Have you pondered an NFL weekend in Hawaii?
Get your best pals, roll out to Maui, turn it into an all-night mai tai fest, stay up partying, and, presto! At 7 a.m., NFL action on the big-screen. Wager to your heart's delight, catch the "late" game at 10 a.m. over Hawaiian Eggs Benedict, nap before the Sunday "night" game at 2 p.m., then back out for mai tais at sunset.
I'd say that plan is strong, to quite strong.
5. World Series Observations, Part e
A loud groan throughout the 737.
After all that?
Are you kidding me?
Who's my pilot? The Fox voodoo guy?
Brian Murphy of the San Francisco Chronicle writes the "Weekend Water Cooler" every Monday for Page 2.