That's not what the Death card means

All over my new chair, goddammit
written 2018-05-15 13:03:37

Sunday was Mother's Day. My mother was in town. My sister convinced everyone that everyone wanted to go to the Phillies game. This is obviously something my sister wants to do, and no one else. However, my brother and I were told that this was what my mom wanted, and it wasn't until far too late that we all discovered we were lied to.

Family context: my sister is a pathological liar, and this entirely on us for believing her.

So we went to the Phillies. On a rainy Sunday less than 24 hours after the Saturday night game was rained out. I am the only family member who lives in the city, so I took SEPTA. My suburban family feels like this is dangerous or repugnant in some way. I consider it a lovely time to myself, for reading or playing games on my phone or just sitting in peace.

While trying to enter the subway, I used my new SEPTA Key card. This is the technology they are introducing to remove tokens, cash, and other 20th century means of payment. Sadly, it did not work. While I was trying to get my subway paid for, I saw that $2 was missing from my Key card, which is impossible, as I have not used this new card ever. This distracted me from getting onto the subway as quickly as possible, which was fine, because there was no subway for fifteen minutes.

SEPTA context: there is a subway arriving every eight minutes at City Hall. Maybe at every station. I'm not sure; I don't use the subway much.

This meant that in addition to having to pay extra to use cash, I was also late. This was also fine, because the game wasn't starting on time, due to the rain. I arrived in South Philly to light rain, in which I had to walk from the subway station to the ballpark, and then to the football stadium parking across the way. My sister was tailgating, which in this case meant pounding beers and eating pretzels in a parking lot.

I had to walk around either in the rain or through inch deep puddles in the parking lots to find them. Between SEPTA, rain, and the general reason I was there in the first place (lies, see above), I was in a foul mood. My sister, on seeing my face, laughed at me and tried to take my picture. I flicked my cane up at her to try to ruin her shot, and instead whacked her in the gut.

Cane context: I have recurrent back problems, and spasms that sometimes rob me of my ability to stand unaided. When this seems possible, I walk with a cane.

My sister will use any opportunity to play the victim, the affronted, the good girl done wrong. This was her opportunity. She milked it for about ten minutes before accusing me of battering her with a stick. She would later upgrade this to "stabbing" her with it.

Am I the asshole here? Of course I am, I whacked her with a cane. But there are limits to what you can bitch about. You have to have perspective.

So, after she calms down a little and tries to simultaneously be the poor bullied sister AND the too cool to be bothered tough girl, we go into the stadium. Well, they go into the stadium. I get held up at the metal detectors because I have a pocket knife on my keys.

"That's a WEAPON!" says the south Philly guido who is determined not to allow another 9/11, not at his ballpark, not on his watch.

"It's... a Swiss army knife." I reply, a little bewildered.

"It's got a BLADE, don't it?!" Chachi says.

"Of course it does, it's a Swiss army knife."

"It's naht comin' in here, pal. Go complain to the manager, you don' like it!"

"Okay, can I have my stuff back please?" This seems a little confounding to him, as though he assumed I would throw my knife in the trash in order to watch a baseball game. He hands me back my cane, my bag, and my phone.

I walk over to the ticket window and talk to the lady at the Complimentary Tickets desk. I explain that I took the subway to get here, and I can't bring my keys into the stadium, but I have nowhere to put them since I don't have a car here. She immediately figures out a solution, takes my keys and knife and puts them in an envelope to be picked up after the game. So simple, so helpful. I make a mental note to praise her to Phillies park management later.

I go back to security, same line, same belligerent chach. I hand him all my stuff and he eyes me suspiciously. "Did you hide your knife somewhere in here?" he demands.

I smile big back at him and truthfully say, "Golly, I didn't hide my knife anywhere."

He turns red and barks at the bag-searching guy, "RIP HIS BAG APART!!!"

(This is the only part of our exchange that I regret, but I said it and I should cop to it.) I answer him, "Wow. So little power, and so quick to abuse it."

The bag searching guy goes over my stuff, doesn't find anything, tells the prick I'm clean. The prick is about to say something else, so I preempt him with, "Are you sure? Do you want to spend some more time searching it? I know it's full of pockets."

They angrily tell me to get out of there, and I walk to the game with my heart full.

--May 15, 2018, 12:55 PM EDT, living on reds vitamin C and cocaine

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