What Position Does Harry Potter Play?

Ok, I admit it. I completely got sucked into the whole Harry Potter thing. As much as I tried to dismiss the idea of going out in public and possibly standing in line in order to buy a children’s book I just could not pull it off. Curiosity just got the best of me. Let me start by saying I am really not much of a Harry Potter fan. I have nothing against people who have lightning bolt scars on their forehead; I just don’t have a lot in common with a hormonally imbalanced British teen-ager who happens to be a wizard. We seem to have very little in common. I’ve never played Quidditch and I really don’t follow that sport. I couldn’t even tell you who played seeker at the last all-star game. I’m not pursuing an educational degree in magic and I’ve never even seen an Antipodean Opaleye (which according to my daughter is a dragon native to New Zealand whose favorite food is sheep which it only kills when it is hungry). About the only thing we do have in common is a hatred of evil wizards. In Harry’s case it is Voldemort where my loathing is directed to Derek Jeter. Given these differences it is hard to believe that I am getting ready to leave the house at 10 PM to brave the elements (hey it is still 105 degrees out there) to rub elbows (or some other magical body part) with the Potter-ites.

The biggest reason I am attempting this endeavor is the fact that with 5 kids they have all grown up with the Harry Potter series of books. And anything that can get Dakota to read must indeed be magical. So after much prodding by the kids I finally relented and agreed to take them to the book release parties. Note the plural of the word “party”. That part didn’t register with me until it was too late. I figured with the Diamondbacks playing an afternoon game at Wrigley Field I didn’t really have anything to do anyways so I could take the kids over to Borders Books to see what was going on. The kids had other ideas. There were Harry Potter parties going on at Barnes and Noble, Borders Books, and even Wal-Mart. They planned on making the rounds like debutants at a presidential inauguration. We could not just go to these parties; we had to look the part by dressing up like our favorite character. They donned their capes with scarves and the appropriate magical accessories. Me, I had on my Sedona Red Diamondbacks jersey with matching New Era fifty/59 hat, my shorts, and my flip-flops.

As we entered the first book store I immediately noticed that my kids were not the only ones in book character attire. The whole store was filled with geeky looking people (children and adults) dressed up like characters in a book. One guy was especially bizarre as he stood about 6 foot 5 inches and weighed in the neighborhood of 300 pounds. He was dressed like Noah and carried around an umbrella. Oh wait my kids informed me he wasn’t Noah he was Hagrid. I’m not sure I know the difference. During the festivities the book store held a costume contest awarding a gift certificate for best costume. Since I had found a Diamondbacks book I didn’t already have I thought maybe I should enter the contest. I stood in line with the fashion challenged waiting my turn. When I got to the front of the line the woman handed me a microphone and give my name and what character I was supposed to be. I took the mike and stated my name. I then reported that I was “just a Diamondbacks fan from section 132 row 15 seat 14”. The store went completely silent then was followed by children pointing in my direction and screaming, “Muggle!” What the heck was that supposed to mean? Maybe they thought the Diamondbacks starting pitcher was named Muggle. Well I didn’t want them to feel stupid so I corrected them by yelling “Petit!” but that didn’t seem to help. For some unknown reason I didn’t win the costume contest. I had suspicions that the contest may have been fixed by a Yankees fan but I can’t prove that.

The book actually went on sale at 12:01 AM so we had time to kill waiting for the clock to change. With over an hour to go people were starting to line up waiting for boxes of books to be brought out from the back to go on sale. I seriously can’t believe I am standing in this line. Normally I don’t stand in lines like this unless there is batting practice at the end of the line. This was totally messed up. By the time we got to the front of the line it was 1:30 AM. The cashier handed me the book and asked if there was anything else I needed. I answered, “well another starting pitcher would be nice or perhaps a bat capable of driving in 100 RBI in a season but I don’t want to over pay for either of those.” The cashier just stared blankly at me. I handed him $20 and left not sure which of the two of us were more confused.

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