Remember when the Royals won the World Series?

The year is 2035. The setting: a Thanksgiving gathering somewhere in the Midwest. Matt Tucker, 35, is helping himself to another scoop of Jell-O salad. His sister Emily, 38, sits next to him, a cup of cinnamon tea cradled in her hands.

Royals parade 11-3-15
9th and Grand, Kansas City

Emily: (turns to her brother) Do you remember that time the Royals won the World Series?
Matt: Which time?
Emily: Back in high school. You know, when they cancelled school, and Mom took us to the parade?
Matt: Oh, yeah! I did not want to go to that.
Em: I liked it. There must have been six-hundred people with us on that street corner.
Matt: Remember the mud? Mom found a spot in a patch of landscaping. We were up higher than the sidewalk, but the bushes had just been watered. After three hours, our shoes were caked in black muck.
Em: Yeah, I nearly ruined my favorite boots. But we were in the right place when Lorenzo Cain drove by on his way to the Sprint Center. His window was rolled down, and he was waving to the crowd. Mom acted like he’d walked into our living room.
Matt: I didn’t care about baseball back then. For me the whole thing was like going to someone else’s family reunion. Remember Loud Drunk Guy?
Em: Yeah, he was obnoxious. When his Loud Drunk Son started up about hiding his beer from the police, Mom leaned over and whispered, “Frat boy.” I didn’t figure out what she meant for a couple of years.

Budweiser Fire Dog
Budweiser Fire Dog

Matt: (half-smiling) Grandad went with us.
Em: Yep. The Budweiser Clydesdales were in the parade. They were always his favorite.
Matt: He cheered with everyone else when the players drove past.
Em: Oh, my gosh, Mom screamed in my ear, even though she mostly couldn’t tell who was who out of uniform. I thought I’d go deaf.

Salvador Perez passes by 11-3-15
M-V-P! M-V-P!

Matt: Who was that player she loved so much?
Em: Salvador Perez. The whole city loved Salvy.
Matt: (unimpressed) Oh. Right.
Em: Hey, have a little respect. He’s a Hall-of-Famer now.
Matt: (shrugs) You know, Mom kept telling me, “Someday, you’ll be glad I made you go to the parade.”
Em: Was she right?
Matt: It didn’t exactly change my life. But you guys had fun, and that was good.
Em: (sighs) I miss Mom and Dad.
(The conversation lags.)
Matt: When do they get home from the Bahamas?
Em: (Shakes her head) From the sound of their last email, maybe never.

Parade selfie
“Kids, if you get lost, I’m the one in the blue shirt.”
Grandad was with us
Grandad was with us

15 comments

  1. This was brilliant, Jane! It was such a great day. 🙂 I’m glad you got your son to go… we had no luck, but are hoping he kicks himself when the baseball bug finally bites him.

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  2. Jane…this made me smile! Very clever piece of writing!! I was cheering the Cubs on for a while, but they ran out of steam. It was fun while it lasted! Yours in writing…Ann

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    • Trucks? They were riding in trucks? You must have been down in front. I could only see their heads: Hats, sunglasses and beards meant most of them looked alike. Emily was reading their wives/girlfriends’ shirts, so we had a little more information.
      Here are the guys I recognized: Cain, Hosmer, Escobar, Perez.

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