Choose Your Own Adventure: The Baseball Game

With baseball under haitus, the hole of attending a game is unfilled. The rush of waking up on a beautiful gameday morning. The trip to your home teams stadium.The smell of a tailgate hotdog. All postponed.

Until now. 

By completely stealing borrowing ideas from the Choose Your Own Adventure books of yesteryear, the following is a journey, starring you, a humble father trying to get his young son and beloved wife to a baseball game. 

My goal was to make this experience as real as possible, to perfectly emulate the joy and fun of taking your family to a game.

The rules are simple: Read the scenario, and click the link to advance throughout your day. 

Beep Beep Beep

You roll over, and look at the clock before rubbing the morning crust out if your eyes, it's 9:00 am. 

With the kids refusing to fall asleep last night, and your wife, Pamela, up late with the light on reading one of those self help books with the word “Fuck” somewhere in the title, you couldn’t have slept worse.

Snooze for 5 more minutes.

Get up now and go get dressed.


Keep Looking for a Spot

20 minutes pass. You can't even see the stadium anymore.

Thad is having a tantrum in the back.

But it's all worth it when you see a ripped piece of cardboard reads Parking Five Dollers

You look to Pamela, "Ah ha! I told you, you insufferable wench!"

You pull in your fresh Buick, and pull out a fresh Lincoln. 

"Here's your fiver, good sir, keep a close eye on it."

You quickly realize that he is not a parking lot attendant, and just a loiterer.

"What did you just say to me?"

"Oh my, I'm sorry. Please take the money anyway." You attempt to make this flub right.

"Is that a Pokey Reese jersey? Give that to me now."

You step behind your wife in case things escalate. 

"It is…" you say meekly.

You give him the jersey.

"No. I love Pokey Reese."


Decline the Mission

"Sir, I just don't think I'm cut out for this. It sounds dangerous, and I never asked for this."

"Disappointing, but I get it. Beautiful family you got. I don't blame you. Just take a look in this light."

Look into the light.


The Wiggles

You open Spotify. Since it's the only music you've listened to in the past 4 and a half years, you just hit shuffle.

"Hot Potato" begins to play. You know every word.

Hell, at least the kid is happy.

You back out of the driveway and begin the trek to PNC Park to watch your beloved Pirates certainly lose.

You are about halfway there. It's 11:30am.

You think you'll be there with time to spare. Until you hear the Low Fuel light ding on, over the sounds of Greg and the boys belting out "Fruit Salad".

Under 30 miles left in the tank.

You can make it. Get gas after the game.

Take the next exit for gas.


Order the Chicken

You enter your decision on the touch screen. Order #032.

As you're waiting, a man in a trench coat casually walks in to the door.

He beelines directly towards you.

"Hello. My name is Agent Flint. We've been watching you for a long while now. Please come with me."

"Of course Agent." You follow him.

"Sir, I promised my kid I'd take him to the game. Some other time".


Give Him The Jersey

You sadly unbutton your jersey and hand it over.

He looks great in it. But then again, everybody looks good in a Pokey jersey.

Continue your journey.


Accept the Mission

"Excellent", Flint says, pleased.

"This warehouse will act as your workstation. Make yourself at home, but please stay vigilant. We suspect Anthony is catching wind of our investigation, and he is a very dangerous man."

Hours pass. 

You're getting closer to cracking the code. The papers in front of you look like the scrawling of a madman, but you know that they are the key to your country's safety.

"Get down!"

Before you can react, the warehouse door disintegrates in a fiery inferno.

Corpses lie everywhere. Your head is ringing. Vision blurry.

As you come to you see him. Stepping through the remains and rubble.

Anthony.

"Oi, what were ya 'finkin tryin to stop me?"

"Anthony please, I got roped into this. I have a family", you plead.

"Well ya should've stayed with them, mate, because ya never gonna see 'em again"

Surrender.


Shake Shake

You get some drops of urine out, and flush the toilet before heading into the closet to get ready. You begin to hurry, even though the game starts at 4:05, you know that drive downtown, finding parking, and getting to your seats is a series of obstacles that is, even without a kid in tow, no easy feat. 

You button up your dark blue, boot cut Wranglers and proceed to put on your favorite  Pirates jersey. Number 3, Pokey Reese.

You waltz out of the closet, surprisingly filled with excitement for the day.

That is, until you hear your wife's shrill voice say, "Is that piss in your pants?"

"Oh wow, looks like I did, I'll change".

Lie and let it dry.


The Yak

"That's R-E-V-Town Jeans, the only jeans with moisture wicking technology, guaranteed to repel any extra piss drips you have leftover in the reservoir.", the familiar voice of Adam Ferrone fills your ears.

"Okay welcome back to the Yak, I'm your host Big Cat. And folks, we have a special guest on the pro-grum today."

Oh god no. Please no.

Return of the Mack begins to play through your cars speakers.

Fuck it's him. Anybody but him.

"Thank y'all for havin' me. Surry fer soundin' all outta breath. Just went down 3 steps out to ma front lawn, where ma car is parked."

Brandon Walker. 

You refuse to listen to another second.

Switch over to the Wiggles.

Drive in silence.


You get out of bed

Your feet touch the overpriced, Drink-Aid stained, Persian rug that Pamela had to have for the master bedroom for the first time today. Barely lifting your feet, you shuffle to the bathroom. You stand above the toilet and pull out your sad, grey, wrinkled penis, and think "how did this create life?", before you begin to urinate. 

45 seconds pass, your bladder as empty as the promise to your son that he'll play in the big leagues one day.

Shake twice.

Shake 3 times.


You choose to snooze

Five more minutes couldn't hurt. You slam the snooze button with more passion than the last 5 years of your marriage. Just as soon as your eyes begin to close - TWHUMP- about 36 pounds of flesh, lands firmly on your chest. The smell of generic cherry Kool-Aid lets you know it's your youngest boy, Thaddeus.

"Daddy! Daddy! We get to go see the Pirates play today, remember?"

Unfortunately he's right, you old college pal Dalton backed out last minute, and your coworker Brandon had to get a suspicious mole removed. You were stuck going with the wife and the kid today.

Roll out of bed.


Drive in Silence

You back out of the driveway and begin the trek to PNC Park to watch your beloved Pirates certainly lose.

You are about halfway there. It's 11:30am.

You look over your shoulder, and see young Thaddeus asleep in the back. 

You think you'll be there with time to spare. Until you hear the Low Fuel light ding on.

Under 30 miles left in the tank.

You can make it. Get gas after the game.

Take the next exit for gas.


Shake Shake Shake

You get the last drops of urine out and flush the toilet before heading into the closet to get ready. You begin to hurry, even though the game starts at 4:05, you know that drive downtown, finding parking, and getting to your seats is a series of obstacles that is, even without a kid in tow, no easy feat. 

You button up your dark blue, boot cut Wranglers and proceed to put on your favorite Pirates jersey. Number 3, Pokey Reese.

You waltz out of the closet, surprisingly filled with excitement for the day.

After a quick breakfast you're ready to hit the road.

Before you back out of your driveway, you turn the radio on.

You decide on

Sirius 85, The Yak with Dan Katz.

The Wiggles, for the millionth time, to keep the kid happy.


Just a Pretzel

"Ah looks delicious."

You take a giant first bite.

The arid pretzel refuses to move any further down your esophagus.

"Th-Thad, go get hel-"

You collapse.

Get a better pretzel.


Sheetz Register

"Sir…sir?"

The woman at the register looks at you, puzzled.

"Uh sorry, just zoned out there for a bit. What were you saying?"

"I said have a nice day sir."

"Oh, uh, you too. Sorry."

You leave the Sheetz.

"What took so long, hun?"

You ignore her fucking relentless nags, and fill the tank.

Continue your journey.


Pretzel w/Cheese

"Ah looks delicious."

You take a giant first bite.

Luckily, the nacho cheese acts as an esophageal lubricant, saving you from disaster. 

You head back to your seat and enjoy the rest of the Pirates "play". Well worth the money, as they only lost by eight runs.

Head Home.


Change Pants

"Dammit" you say to yourself. Rushing, your legs gets caught in the second leg of your piss saturated denim. You fall to the floor, but not before hitting your head on the bedroom nightstand. You feel the warmth of blood trickle down your head, and the shrieks of your wife grow more and more distant.

You are dead.

Try Again.


Arrival

The second half of your drive passes quickly, and you soon find yourself entering the city of Pittsburgh. By simply being slightly overweight, as soon as you enter city limits, you are now the thinnest man in Pittsburgh. You feel good.

Driving around, you see plenty of lots and garages readily available. 

Event parking: $25

Lot Open: $30

"Ridiculous", you say under your breath.

"Honey, why don't you just pick one. I'll even pay!"

When will this woman learn to keep her trap shut.

Thad grows restless in the back seat.

Pay and park.

Look a little longer.


Lie and Let Dry

"Ah no babe, this is water. Just finished brushing my teeth."

You eat a quick breakfast with the family and head out to the car, with your wife and son, Thad, right behind you.

Before you back out of your driveway, you turn the radio on.

You decide on

Sirius 85, The Yak with Dan Katz.

The Wiggles, for the millionth time, to keep the kid happy.


Get Gas

You pull into the next Sheetz you see.

Pump 6. 

Card reader is broken so you run inside.

The smell of Spicy Dr. Pepper BBQ Chicken Stripz fill your nose.

"Eh might as well eat while it's cheap".

"No I probably shouldn't".


Go with Agent Flint

You are ushered out of the gas station / restaurant. Your car nowhere to be seen.

"Where's my car?! My wife and kid were in th-"

"Don't worry, they're in a secure location."

You enter an unmarked van, and are brought to a warehouse about 20 miles down the road.

You enter, and see a fold out table, scattered with papers. A bare lightbulb hangs above it.

"Son, we brought you here today because our records show that you have listened to over 15,000 hours of the Australian childrens band The Wiggles. Is this true?"

"Unfortunately", you mutter, thinking of young Thaddeus clapping along to their tunes.

"Impressive. We have full reason to believe that their bassist, Anthony, is acting as a foreign agent, and has been leaking government secrets in their lyrics. We need you to dive deep into Wiggle discography and see if you can crack this thing wide open. Your country needs you son."

Accept the mission.

Decline his mission.


Surrender

"Please, I just wanted to go to a baseball game with my family."

"Well then you should've done that, instead of accepting this pointless and ridiculous side mission, mate."

His thick Australian accent is the last thing you ever hear.

Try Again.


Pay to Park

"Fine.", you say, as you pull into the twenty five dollar lot.

Pamela opens her purse and pulls out $30

"Here you go sir, keep the rest."

You hate how much she flirts with other men.

You put the car in park and step out. The scent of a Hebrew National hits your nostrils. Glancing over to the nearby griller, you lock eyes with him.

"Care for a dog friend?"

You are taken aback by his kindness. "Yes, yes I do."

"How bout one for your lady?"

Pamela smiles.

You answer before she can speak, "Do you really think she needs one?"

Pamela frowns.

You take a bite of yours too hastily, and a huge glob of relish lands on your Pokey Reese jersey.

"Motherfuck."

Remove the jersey..


Walk to the Ballpark

You begin the trek to the field. You fell a slight brisk wind that would have been negligible if you just had one extra layer on. Oh well, you made it to PNC with plenty of time to spare.

You enter and find your seats. As fate would have it, Anthony, from your sons favorite band, The Wiggles is throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.

Your son loses his fucking mind. Anthony waves directly to him.

Awesome. What a good guy. He's always been your favorite, too.

The actual game begins and you and the rest of your party are having a lovely time.

Eventually, your stomach lets out a grumble. You and little Thad head up to the concession stand. 

"Hello sir, what can I get for you?"

"I'll take a pretzel".

"I'll take a pretzel with a cup of nacho cheese."


Keep the Jersey

"Your funeral, motherfucker."

He pulls out a switchblade. You somehow knew it'd end this way.

Try Again.


Home Sweet Home

You head home. Thad falls asleep instantly in the back seat, and Pam doesn't say a word the entire ride home, thank God.

The drive goes by quickly, and before you know it, you're pulling in the driveway. Pamela, for no reason, asks you to sleep on the couch. That doesn't bother you though, because you're the worlds greatest dad. Thaddeus will never forget this day.

You slowly shut your eyes, with a smile on your face.

It will be the last time you shut your eyes. Your sleep apnea finally caught up to you. You didn't feel a thing

Death is inevitable and choice is an illusion.

THE END.