#30. Smoking and Watching Softball With Mom


For three years, I worked at a newspaper in a small town in southwestern Minnesota.  The last weekend every June they hold their town summer festival and in 2003, as the all-purpose small-town reporter, I was responsible for running from event to event to snap photos.  The event I gravitated to the most was the softball tournament, featuring wildly disorganized cadres of “teams” from local small towns who basically use these “tournaments” as an excuse to travel from summer festival to summer festival and drink beer.  The upside, of course, is that all the local ne’er-do-well’s that participate frequently bring along their hot girlfriends.  I caught a handful of very impressive sightings of the players’ girlfriends in the three years I covered the softball tournament, but there was one sighting that really stood out.

In the crowd surrounding the softball field late on that Saturday afternoon, there were three lawn chairs outside the fence of the third baseline.  Included was a middle-aged woman of average looks, an insanely mind-bogglingly hot 18-19ish long-haired blond who was far and away the hottest girl I ever recall seeing at the softball tournament, and a very cute but more bookish and studious looking 21-year-old brunette on both sides of the woman I assumed to be the mother. The moment I stumbled into them, the hot blond and the mother were smoking.  It was killing me because I had to cover some mundane event elsewhere and would miss most of this show.  I headed off to that other event, but my mind was constantly stuck on that cluster of gals.

As you can imagine, as soon as the other event I was covering finished in about 20 minutes, I hightailed it back to the softball diamond…and I was in time as they were still there.  Mom and the blond were not only smoking another round of all-whites, they each had their packs of Marlboro Lights lying in the grass next to their lawn chairs.  I could tell by watching their technique, particularly their lengthy drags and voluminous exhales that spilled into the summer sky, that they were ferociously addicted heavy smokers.  But then something happened that I didn’t see coming.  The bookish college girl moved slightly and suddenly coming into view was a previously obstructed pack of Marlboro Lights sitting in front of her as well.  She proceeded to open it, extract a cigarette, and fire up.  And she smoked like a pro too.

And there they sat….a family with a very unlikely trio of females all indulging in the same naughty and stinky pastime.  A cesspool of air pollution filtered throughout their sitting space and I was sitting there mesmerized watching the show until all three of them had finished their cigarettes.  The game was near its end and I had to cover more events so I never got to see the next round, but suffice it to say it was the best thing I ever saw at this summer festival.

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