How’s this for a “Lucy” moment?
On Saturday I had a busy day planned. The Dodgers were playing a day game and I had to hustle down to the ballpark to prepare for my postgame radio show.
I began grabbing my daily vitamins and gulped them down hurriedly. That’s when I realized – Oh shit! I also took two Advil PM’s – mild sleeping pills.
I barrel down to Dodger Stadium. I figured I had at least a half hour before they would take effect. But just to be safe I kept the windows wide open and played “the Best of Otis Redding” at ghetto blaster levels.
Arrive at the park and head down to the field for the daily Joe Torre managers’ Q & A with the media. A scrum of reporters surround Joe as he sits in the dugout and answers questions. He goes into a lengthy monologue on his philosophy of managing. Really great stuff. Everyone is paying rapt attention – except the guy standing right in front of him. I’m yawning. This does not go unnoticed.
I spot the Dodger trainer and ask him what I should do. First he said, “Read the labels” then suggested I should eat something immediately to help absorb the drug.
Great advice. I hadn’t eaten since last evening. I’ll go up to the press box dining room and wolf down breakfast. Some fruit, and I think those are eggs – I’ll be good as new.
As I step off the field, my broadcast partner Josh stops me. There’s an affiliate luncheon going on. Representatives from all the radio stations that carry Dodger games are assembled in the conference room. We’ve been asked to make an appearance.
Couldn’t we do it next year? Apparently not.
So we trudge up there. It shouldn’t be too bad I tell myself. A brief hello and a beeline to the chow line. Five minutes tops. We arrive and wait while others are still being introduced. I take a chair and the chair feels reeeeeal comfy. Too comfy.
Finally, we’re introduced and asked to say a few words. I get up first – primarily just to keep moving. I forget what I said but it got a big laugh. I hope I didn’t ask if any of them had some spare Benzedrine. Almost home free. A few words from Josh and we were outta there. But then, someone new entered the room.
Tommy is a great speaker and he dazzles his audience…for the next HALF HOUR! I feel myself start to momentarily doze off. The only thing that kept me awake was the fear of loudly snoring during his World Series stories.
Eventually, he wraps it up. Josh gives his speech in twelve seconds, and we finally split.
I power down breakfast, drink glass after glass of ice tea. I ask the food service people if they happen to have any Jolt Cola in the back. Alas, they don’t. Nor do they have Red Bull, Mountain Dew, or schnapps.
I go to my seat on press row, starting to feel a little more awake. Then the game begins. The Arizona Diamondback pitcher can’t get the Goddamn ball over the plate. Ball one, ball two, ball three, ball four, ball one, ball two, fouled away, ball three, fouled away, fouled away, ball four, visit from the pitching coach, ball one, ball two, ball three…
Not that baseball is a slam-bam action game anyway but this contest was molasses. I look around and now I see other media members starting to nod off, some from the game, others experiencing the normal food coma after six sausages and seven strips of bacon. I start thinking, what am I going to talk about on my radio show if I nap from innings two through eight?
I decide to gut it out, guzzle ice tea, and wonder if there’s any way to just suck out the caffeine?
Manny Ramirez hits a big three run homer. The crowd goes nuts. That wakes me up a little. Enough.
I’m able to stay awake during my broadcast – something I hope the listeners can do too. Then it’s back home, with Otis Redding blasting so loud you’d think I was a gang member. Since I had dinner plans there was no time for a nap. So I down a Coke, keep my dinner engagement, and practically trip a waiter to get his attention. “Hey, where’s the bread?!”
I make it through dinner. I’m now exhausted. It’s been a long day. I go to bed early. Lay my head on the pillow. Ahhhhhh. And now, finally….
I can’t sleep.
Tomorrow: Something about CHEERS I bet you didn’t know.