Thursday, October 09, 2008

Just Oats

In my haste to get back to writing Palinisms on Monday, I forgot to include one of the more amusing parts of the Patriots game in my post about San Francisco. Indeed, the fact that this game was in San Francisco guaranteed that it would be just a little bit different than games anywhere else.

The stadium was full of the usual array of football jerseys, caps, etc., a wide selection of beer offerings, and the standard lineup of hot dogs, burgers, nachos, and other sporting-event snacks. We were surrounded by fairly normal football fans at the beginning of the game. But then our attention was drawn to a rather motley crew that had entered our section: two men, a woman, and a little girl. One of the men, the woman, and the little girl were more or less unremarkable. The other man, however, was wearing a tall, pointed wizard’s hat topped with fresh flowers and was carrying a “wand” made from a long, thin, fresh-cut tree branch. As he walked to his seat he waved the “wand” toward the field, announcing that he was casting a spell against the Patriots.

The group sat right in front of us, which gave me a perfect opportunity to notice the man’s remarkable pants. He was wearing what appeared to be blue hospital scrubs to which he’d sewn long, torn strips of various calico fabrics. The strips waved in the breeze.

Unfortunately, this picture does not capture the pants. Just the hat. And his interesting, unseasonably warm coat.

During the game, the man began snacking on what appeared to be a small bag of oats. He nudged the woman to get her attention, then handed her a business card that read “JUST OATS” at the top. Whether it was his or whether it came with the oats, I’m uncertain. JUST OATS does not, to me, seem like the most promising business, but it’s California, after all, and in a way it’s elegant in its simplicity. “What’s your line of work?” he might be asked one day. “Oats.” “Oats?” “Just Oats.”

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