Monday, February 2, 2009

Seat Talk, Or How I Nearly Lost My Mind at the IU Basketball Game

Holding a ticket to a basketball game at Assembly Hall is like winning the lottery as far as I'm concerned.

But this past Saturday, the prize wasn't so great. Yah, I know. We lost and I could go on for pages about how I beat Ron's arm black and blue in frustration with most of the calls. But that wasn't what made me roll my eyeballs.

OK, I confess: I made fun of the gal singing the National Anthem. I actually like opera, but not when I'm wearing candy-striped warm-up pants and eating popcorn. So yah, I might have mentioned to Ron after she finished the last warble that I could applaud the fact it was over. Three minutes later, the guy behind me tells his seat mates, "Well, it was nice talking to you, but here comes my woman and our tickets are actually in the next row."

Yes, out of 17,200 people, I had the good luck to sit next to the singer and her husband after making that crack.

Any remorse I felt quickly evaporated, however, when they spent the entire first half chatting about everything except the action taking place on the court. Curious, I eavesdropped on what was so fascinating you'd waste seats at the Ohio State game over, and got to hear where the bathrooms should be located in some building for my effort. Get outta here -- if that's so frigging important to you on a Saturday afternoon, why not just head across campus in the opposite direction with a jack hammer and start the renovations already?

Surprisingly, and sadly, they weren't the worst of my neighbors. That honor goes to the diva in front of me, who traipsed in wearing a tight green shirt amidst the sea of red sweatshirts that is Assembly Hall on game day, and clutching her Coach purse tightly in her lap. Apparently Coach purses aren't cleanable -- I wouldn't know as I'm forever throwing my $5 Target bag in the washer.

She didn't wait five minutes before blessing the rest of us with her high-maintenance demeanor. During the team introduction, the crowd was on its feet, screaming out players' names when suddenly she whipped around around and whined, "You hit me with your pom-pom." Really? Look around. They passed these out at the gate, so 17,199 other people just got hit, too. And for the record, Princess, it's a wad of plastic stringers touching the back of your hair. I would hardly qualify that as painful.

Ask Ron. He would have been grateful to merely feel a pom-pom on the back of his head. But at least he was one husband in our section who got to watch — and enjoy — the game.

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