Saturday, April 17, 2010

Those Stairs aren't so Bad.

Occasionally, while vending, I will reach the top of an aisle that I have just been working and hear the following comment from a fan that has just climbed the same steps with me:

“Wow, those stairs are tough.”

It is usually not said directly to me, but to another member of the fans’ group. Of course, the outgoing vendor in me usually pipes in and says, “Aw, they’re not so bad.” Usually the fan looks at me and sees my sweaty condition carrying over 40 lbs. of adult beverages and says, “I don’t know how you guys can do this…”

Hopefully it generates a sale. But if not a sale, maybe it makes them feel like the climb wasn’t so bad.

I’ve probably used the same line about 500 times and almost always gotten the same response,

… until today…

Today, on a beautiful sunny day at Target Field, I had the identical situation.

After reaching the top of section 106, I hear the man behind me say, “Man, those stairs are tough.” I turn around and see the face of a fairly athletic 25 year old and say what I always say, “Aw, they are not so bad.”

Then he said something that I had never heard before… Something completely unexpected. Something that left me completely speechless.

He said…

“They are if you only have 1 leg…”

GULP! I felt an uncomfortable sense of dread that seemed to last forever, and then… I looked down.

Sure enough, this guy had a prosthetic right leg from about mid-thigh.

I was absolutely devastated and thought to myself… OK idiot, how do you get yourself out of this one??????

Thinking quickly, I said, “I bet you get extra thirsty climbing those stairs.” Believe it or not, he gave me something to the effect of the, “Aw… they’re not so bad” line.

I sensed recovery and said if he showed me his ID, I would buy him a beer.

He showed me his Minnesota Driver’s license and it was 8-10-1985. We laughed about the experience, I handed him a Mich Golden Light, told him to be careful on the stairs and we both went on our way.

I saw him again about an inning later and he handed me a couple bucks and said he forgot to tip me earlier. It was nice to know that everything was cool between us. He invited me to stop down later and he would buy a round for his buddies.

It was not surprising when I stopped by later that the group remembered me. I think the story had been told a few times before I got there.

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