I am a fan of the Boston Red Sox, partly because I come from a long line of frugal, impassive New Englanders, and partly because I grew up with a deep, abiding hatred for the Evil Empire. My painful memories range from Bucky Effing Dent to Aaron Effing Boone, though coming back from down 3-0 in the 2004 ALCS did a lot to purge the demons. As I
age mature, I've tried to make my sports loyalties about the love, rather than the raging, volcanic antipathy. It's easier now that my boy is such a huge Yankee fan. (Although the rings help.) And I'm especially happy that when the Sox and Yankees play each other, Robert feels no hesitation when it comes to trash-talking his old man. ("Hey, Daddy! Giambi just hit a three-run ding-dong! How 'bout them apples?")
In the city, the relationship between Sox and Yankee fans has mellowed. Gone are the days when I would attend Yankee games with my Sox hat on and be told by pinstriped yobs to go attempt something incestual or biologically impossible. The bar scenes can still be a little sketchy, however, so many of us Sox fans feel most comfortable in the handful of Soxeasies that dot the five boroughs. These are places were a fella can bust out the red and blue and scream lustily for Papi and Yook to knock one off the Mawnstah.
One such Soxeasy is a few blocks from the apartment, and after I walked in the door the other night the ID checker tapped me on the shoulder and handed me a $10 bill. "This dropped out of your wallet," he said. I thanked him, and he said, "It's no bother. Hardly enough to buy a gallon of milk and a gallon of gas."
So I went and bought a gallon of beer.