A Cubbie in the lion’s den

We’re just outside Louisville, Kentucky, tonight. Neither of us had ever been to Kentucky before.

There are more trees here south of the Ohio River. The roads curve a bit more. We’re in Eastern Daylight Time again. Drivers have a bit more attitude. It’s a nice wayspot.

We left Saint Louis this morning, but yesterday morning, we fled Branson at a leisurely pace.

Yesterday afternoon, we visited the Gateway Arch, the federal government’s shot at a Missouri tourist trap. It was a bit disappointing to wait in line for almost an hour to take a four minute capsule ride to peer out tiny windows. Below, the animatronic Native Americans in the Museum of Westward Expansion talked on and on whether anyone listened or not. And the employees in Jefferson’s gift shop had the surliest attitude of any workers I’d ever met.

And then, yesterday evening, we went to the new Busch Stadium. If U.S. Cellular Field (where the evil White Sox play) is hell with nice curtains, then Busch Stadium is a sort of beautiful ante-chamber of evil full of nice-seeming people and a small handful of people who didn’t get (or couldn’t read) the “be nice to tourists until we can eat their souls” memo. The park is nice, with comfortable seats and good hot dogs and loyal, enthusiastic fans.

But those fans have a nasty, brutish side. “CUBS SUCK!” one yelled at me as I headed down to get ice cream. A few innings later another said, “Hey, I could have been a Cubbie, except that I knew both my parents.” I turned to the person next to me: “Picking on the Cubs is like Dick Cheney hunting; there’s just no sport in it.”

But the game was very good, and I got my revenge. The Indians beat the Cardinals 3-1. Yay! And, Wickman, even though you’re dead to me, you did well last night . . . I guess. . . .

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