Day 99, Chapter 99 – “Part Four: Monster”
I’ve been debating how best to approach this chapter – should I try and remain objective (hahahaha!), or should I go ahead and make it personal? Hmmm. Chapter 99 is set entirely at a San Francisco 49ers football game. I have been a 49ers fan for about 25 years. JPatt has just smashed his way into my house.
On Sunday, Joe and I reached Monster Park halfway through the first quarter. The 49ers were trailing the St. Louis Rams, but I didn’t care. I was with Joe. It was a great day to be sitting along the fifty-yard line. And, yeah, we were carrying guns and wearing Kevlar under our jackets.
First of all, nobody calls the stadium anything other than “Candlestick.” The 49ers have played at Candlestick Park since 1971 and while the building has had several corporations purchase the naming rights over the last few decades, the alternate names have never stuck in the public consciousness. It was “3Com Park” for awhile in the 90’s and Monster Cable owned the rights until 2008. But due to a city ordinance passed in 2002, for the last 2 years (after the last corporate contract expired) the official name has gone back to being “Candlestick Park.” Not to nitpick, but way to stay current, JPatt.
And “trailing the St. Louis Rams?” Give me a break.
And another thing, is the “great day” made even greater by “carrying guns and wearing Kevlar?” I mean, that’s what it sounds like, which is pretty whacked. (I also just learned – via jamespatterson.com – that Joe works for Homeland Security. Quite a handsome couple.)
Security has to remove a couple of squatters sitting in their FBI-owned seats – an action that will set the tone for the chapter and immortalize 49ers fans forever in the pages of a James Patterson novel. But first, some football action:
Arnaz Battle speared the slightly overthrown pass, tucked it in, and followed his blockers downfield. At the Rams’ forty, he cut to the right sideline and raced, untouched, to the end zone.
I was jumping up and down. Joe grabbed me and gave me a great big kiss, five stars at least. I heard someone shout from the tier above, a loudmouth yelling over the crowd noise, “Get a room!”
Arnaz Battle was a wide receiver for the 49ers for 8 years (after graduating from Notre Dame, which happens to be the college football team I root for. JPatt’s making it real fucking personal today.) until he signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers after the 2009 season. So he is no longer on the 49ers. This goes along with the same discussion of JPatt naming characters where there is no need for them to have names. The Whole Foods clerk, the cellphone store guy – none of these characters were important enough that I needed to learn and remember their names for future reference. In this case, don’t name the wide receiver after a real football player – you’re just going to either insult the guy or make yourself look stupid if he gets traded or signs with another team before your book comes out. Or if a 49ers fan reads your book for 117 days and writes about it on his blog.
I turned and saw that it was one of the squatters we’d evicted. He was loaded and he was a jerk. I yelled back, “Get a life!” And, to my amazement, the lout got out of his seat and headed down to where Joe and I were sitting.
And he stood there, towering over us.
“What do you think?” the guy shouted, saliva spraying out of his mouth. “You think because you can afford these seats, you can do anything you want?”
Okay. So the home team just scored a touchdown, but the crowd is quiet enough that Lindsay can hear this slobbering 49ers fan talking shit from several rows away? And the guy is indignant over Lindsay and Joe’s apparent wealthiness, since they’re sitting in expensive seats, yet he’s actually seated close enough that he can talk over the crowd noise and then walk down to their seats to get in their faces? He can’t be sitting in a cheap seat himself, so what gives? Why would he move his seat in the first place if his tickets seem to be in the same section?
I didn’t know what he was talking about, but I didn’t like what I saw. When a guy goes bug-nuts at a sporting event, the next thing you know, a lot of other guys want in on the action.
“Why don’t you go back to the seat you paid for?” Joe said, standing up. My fiancé is over six feet and solid, but he was not as big as the flabby loudmouth’s three hundred pounds. “We’re missing the game and you’re making the lady uncomfortable.”
“What lady?” said the jerk. “I see a big-assed bitch, but I don’t see no lady.”
Oh-ho, snap! Pass the bug-nuts, yo!
Joe reached out, grabbed the guy’s jacket, and held it tight under his chin. I put my badge up to his face and said, “Big-assed cop, you mean.”
Okay, either way, you’re admitting to having a big ass.
I had been a nanosecond from pulling my gun.
Joe put his arms around me and said, “What about it, Linds? As the man said, let’s get a room.”
“Great idea,” I said. “I’ve got one in mind.”