88. Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Ralph and Ilene hadn’t been to a baseball in about five years. They were only 15 from the stadium, but the heavy traffic on day made those 15 miles seem more like miles. It took about an hour to get the stadium. Then, when the game was over, took half an hour just to get out the parking lot. Then the drive home was hour. In other words, the traveling took longer the game itself.

“Honey, the Giants are in ,” Ilene said. “I want to see Barry Bonds a home run. Can we go to the ? We haven’t gone in such a long time.”

’re right. It has been a while. OK, I’ll if you don’t mind driving,” said Ralph.

“Great! ’s get ready. If we get there early enough, might get his autograph. Maybe he’ll hit a ball we can catch.” Ilene was excited. “We!?” thought.

An hour later they were in their . They lived in Pasadena near an old church. went south on Orange Grove and then south the 110 freeway. The 110 is California’s original , full of twists and turns. Accidents occur daily; drivers think yellow lights and sharp curves mean same thing—speed up!

The traffic was lighter than expected. They arrived at the stadium 40 minutes game time. They paid the $8 parking fee, and locked the car, and walked to the entrance.

Several individuals were standing around outside the , looking casual but actually selling tickets on the . “Are you going to buy from a scalper?” Ilene.

“Yes. Just like last time. That one honest,” Ralph replied.

They walked over to a in a red cap. Ralph’s instincts were correct. man had tickets for good seats at a price. Ralph gave the man $45 and thanked .

“Don’t thank me, my friend. Thank your local department. Put your hands behind your back, please. ’re under arrest.”

“What?” Ralph was astonished. “What’s going ?”

“Buying scalped tickets is illegal in Los Angeles,” the undercover police officer. “It’s been illegal for years. Don’t worry. The police station is right the park. We’ll have you back here right we book you. You can pay the $150 with your credit card.” The officer handcuffed Ralph.

has got to be a joke. You people never enforced this law before,” said Ralph.

“Well, ’ve got a new mayor and he wants us enforce all the laws that bring in money. with me, please. I’ll have you back here 20 minutes. Ma’am, you can wait here for . You might want to buy some legitimate tickets you're waiting. Have a nice day. Oh, and the game!”