Tubesox Nation Bay-Cott #1: The Peanut Man Cometh

it's a great day for twoMatch-up: Diamondbacks-Giants
Date: 4/18
Weather: sunny, 66 degrees
Five-Fold Path adherence: cycle
DOOSH: $50.25
Sunny April Saturday and the cat is photosynthesizing inside a grocery bag. She always did like paper, preferably double-bagged. The Giants are playing down in China Basin, and it's a perfect day for Tubesox Nation to begin its march, a perfect day to support the team, while stiffing the management. So after a brief pit-stop at Ganim's Market, San Francisco's Home of the Ganichenga, I'm rolling down the north side of Potrero Hill towards the ballpark. The slope gives out and I pass a sidewalk sale and fenced-off piles of rip-rap where a couple of local establishments used to stand. R.I.P. Cargo Restaurant. R.I.P. Triangle Sandwich Shop. A billboard anounces that the UCSF Children's and Women's Hospitals are coming, and who's against women and children? Still, sometimes when the wind calms and the bulldozer dust settles, you can almost smell the mayo and the liverwurst, almost hear the rattling of the ice in 17th Street sidewalk salethe shaker just before the Beefeater's is strained cold into a glass and drunk neat before noon.

Reaching the corner, I look up at the street sign. Thankfully, it still says 3rd Street. Willie Brown may have Miami-fied the Embarcadero, but he hasn't put his name on the 3rd Street Riviera yet. I pedal north into a light breeze. This all used to be water, but nowadays Mission Bay R.I.P. Cargo Restaurantsignifies biotech, stem cells, PCR, and, oh yeah, women and children. There's a chicken burrito, a couple of Bud talls, and some duct tape in my backpack--all the trappings of a great day out, Tubesox Nation style--and as soon as I hear the hopeful mantra of the ambulatory ticket brokers, I start thinking about going for the cycle.

I pull the bike onto the sidewalk, and the usual negotiations ensue . . .
Who's got tickets?
I'm looking for two.
Forty dollars apiece, these are real good ones.
I'm looking for your worst tickets, I say, pulling the old switcheroo.
The ambo produces more tickets from his pocket and adjusts his strategy. Okay, I'll give you these two for fifty.
My friend won't pay that, I say, scrambling for leverage.
What's he paying then?
He's not picking up the phone.
Watchoo paying then?
Two for twenty five.
Ah, man. The ambo is taking it personally.

A while later, an older ambo promises me he'll get me two for 25, limping off at a none too encouraging pace. The sun is hot and it becomes apparent that he's not returning, so I head a short ways up 3rd and take refuge under a billboard. Peanuts . . . sunflower seeds . . . one dollar! A peanut vendor is working a steady procession of fans who walk past from the parking lots. Caramel apples . . . two dollars! The woman selling the apples fans herself withcaramel apples, two dollars her homemade sign. She's got her work cut out for her, selling Halloween treats in April, and being downstream from the Peanut Man doesn't make things easier. Peanuts . . . sunflower seeds . . . one dollar! The ambos circulate like sharks, pausing occasionally in the cool shade of the billboard. I keep naming my price, and they keep taking great personal affront to the suggestion, the mere thought really, of two for $25. The ball game may have begun inside The Big Mortgage, but they've got their contrabandistas have better legspride and their bottom line to look after. Whatta you need, man, the Peanut Man asks finally. I tell him and he seems sympathetic. You're gonna be holding them, he scolds the ambos, they're gonna be cardboard on the wall tonight. But nobody's budging, so the Peanut Man gets down to business (click on picture below to listen).

the peanut man works his magic

wildcattingThirteen Ks earns Lincecum a seat on the bench to watch his bullpen buddies cough up a run in the ninth. Chalk up an "L" for the Giants. Grumbling about Sabean and Renteria on the way out. A guy in a bar afterwards, wishing on a star for Barry's iminent return. Sometime later, I happenten dollars worth of cardboard to glance at my ticket stub: it says $10. The old 3rd Street alchemy: spinning $25 out of $20 worth of cardboard. But in the afterglow of a season-opening five-bagger, it feels like money well spent.

money paid to Giants (estimated loss to organization):

any port in an economic storm:( Parking: $0
:( Tickets: $0 ($10)
:( Food: $0 ($14)
:( Drink $0 ($26.25)
:( Authorized MLB Merch $0
Total: $0 ($50.25)

Local Businesses Supported:

:) $6 for chicken burrito to Castillito Taqueria, Church nr. Duboce

:) $3.50 for beer at local market

:) $25 to ambulatory ticket brokers for tickets

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