As is customary in all great adventures, this one started with a journey. I knew not entirely what awaited me, but the camera of my mind was loaded and I would be capable of plenty of snapshots. I was going to take a daring trek. I was to travel to the "Ballpark." My traveling companions were quite familiar with the terrain, and would assist me as much as possible. For the first leg of our journey I would ride in hospitable surroundings, a posh Mercury. Here my mates and I chatted and readied ourselves, as we ventured into the mists. AT&T Park in San Francisco.
Sitting on a jetting peninsula in the cold waters of the north, as millions had done before us, we arrived at the park. Ping was responsible for the expedition and was able to barter passage into the mightly fortress. Once inside my survival instincts kicked in. Our guide on the inside, The Storekeeper, deftly maneuvered the crowds and located our dwelling for the next 5 hours. A choice location by which to study the locals and their customs.
Ando and I were off for the second necessity of survival, nourishment. The local food supply leaves little to complain about, pork in abundance, pizza, and the crème de la crème, garlic fries. This last item coupled with fermented beverage was the local’s way of securing what little territory they were able to occupy. As was the custom, one buys pork, garlic fries, and beer. The beer is then slashed on your feet, pants, and shirt as you return to your chair. It is acceptable to holler and beat others as long as they bear your markings.
Being an outsider, I proceeded at once to the local mercantile and purchase an overpriced itchy headpiece. The choice of colors was limited. I noticed even though a number of different marking were worn around the ring, I could only purchase one. I have to say it turned out to be a wise choice. I was able to walk amongst them unnoticed. With the smell of garlic fries and sausage on my breath, my camouflage was complete.
As titans battled for supremacy in the center of our arena, the locals observed their own customs. Our job, besides watching the battle unfold, was to respond to a large glowing billboard that bombarded up with commands, "Stand", "Make Noise", "Louder", "Smile", "Stretch", and so forth. No one seemed to find these instruction odd, and I followed with the group. Additionally we were required to quarrel with each other, beating our chests, and waving our arms. At this point I could only watch. The dance was quite complex, and the language needed to be scary, loud, or witty to win support from your clan. Some were skilled; others were removed due to poor performances.
All in all it was 5 or 6 hours well spent. We all stood in unison when the board went out. We followed its lead once again, and also departed. My throat was horse, my odor horrific, but my spirits were high. I hated to leave those Ballplayers in the Mists.