On Sunday I went to the Phillies-Mets game with my fiancee Suz, her brother Greg and my sister Caitlin. We had great seats and high-fived when Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley hit home runs off Johan Santana and when Brad Lidge struck out the side in the ninth inning. But it wasn’t until after the game that the real action started.
We were sitting in Cait’s Honda Civic, trying to exit the parking lot and going nowhere fast. Suz was pumping Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” on the stereo and dancing (imagine something like this, but seated). It’s one of her favorite songs, and a little celebration was in order as the Phils had just secured a sweep of the Mets.
Then I look to my left and see a guy sitting in an SUV pointing at me and shouting. I couldn’t tell what he was saying, as the windows were up in his car and we had the music on in ours, but he was clearly upset. He was gesticulating wildly, simultaneously yelling at us and yelling at the girl seated next to him.
I turned down the music, and while I still couldn’t hear most of what he was saying, it became clear that Suz’s dance moves were what set him off.
Then we heard a honk. Then another. He was punching the steering wheel with the palm of his hand and accidentally hitting the horn.
Next, we heard a bang. “Did he just hit our car?” Greg asked.
“No, we would have felt it,” I said.
I turned around to see what was going on. The guy is still seated in the driver’s seat, but now he’s punching the roof of his car, ripping a hole in the roof. Bits of padding are floating down like snowflakes. Then he starts punching his rear view mirror, until it becomes dislodged. The mirror is dangling from a wire and he’s hammering it like he’s a boxer and it’s a speed bag.
Next, he punches his windshield until it shatters. That’s right: he shattered the windshield with his fist.
The whole while, the girl who’s seated next to him is trying to look away. She’s clearly embarrassed, and I’m guessing more than a little scared.
I become convinced that this guy has bigger problems than just Suz’s dance moves. I notice he’s wearing a blue tee-shirt. Maybe he’s a very disgruntled Mets fan?
Turns out it’s a blue Phillies shirt.
We never found out what was bothering the guy. Fortunately, his wild behavior attracted a nearby group of tailgaters, who started pointing and laughing, which of course bothered the crazy guy even more than Suz’s dance moves. And he eventually got out of his car to go nose to nose with a couple of the tailgaters. Then his girlfriend finally had enough and stormed off. When he tried to convince her to come back she actually gave him the “talk to the hand” gesture, a move that Suz, a Boston native, thought hadn’t been used since the 1990s.
“Nope,” I told her. “Welcome to Philadelphia.”