Each season there are a handful of promotional giveaways that stand out as “must haves”. At least that is the consensus among my family. Each spring when the Diamondbacks promotional calendar comes out there is a mad dash by the kids to “call dibs” on certain games thereby ensuring they will be the owner of a cool stadium giveaway.
The top of that list is generally reserved for bobble heads and as of recently garden gnomes. I have to admit, I am partial to these two giveaways myself. As I write this I gaze upon the top of my desk where my collection of smiling Diamondbacks bobble heads stare blankly back at me. If I happen to nudge the desk just right I can get the small village of bobble heads to all nod in unison like some sort of bobbing synchronized swimmers.
The garden gnomes have likewise taken up residence on my desk protecting me like some sort of gnome mafia. I didn’t realize my life was so dangerous that I needed protective services by gnomes but I have to admit I do feel much safer having the two Diamondbacks gnomes watching over me. Since receiving them at the game I have not been attacked by any ninjas so they seem to be working.
This year, for the first time since we’ve become Diamondbacks fans I no longer have any children that are eligible for the Sunday kids giveaways. I always thought I would welcome the fact that my kids were growing and no longer needed the constant parenting skills they required as small children. But I had not expected the painful loss of no longer being in the parent/child demographic of the Diamondbacks.
This was especially painful yesterday. For the past couple of weeks the Diamondbacks held their annual “Back to School” promotions. Last week it was a backpack for the kids to get them ready to return to school with an ultra cool Diamondbacks pack they could fill with the tools of learning or a stack of baseball cards,
I was ok not being able to get a backpack. I had previously purchased a Diamondbacks backpack from the Team Shop so it wasn’t like I completely missed out. This week though I found myself going through severe withdrawals. The kid’s giveaway for July 24th was a matching Arizona Diamondbacks lunch box that went along with last week’s backpack.
As I walked through the turnstiles at the game I came face-to-face with a member of the Guest Relations staff holding onto the treasured lunchboxes. They were amazing. The Sedona Red patterns beckoned you like a precious metal. I walked over and longingly held out my hand hoping to touch this amazing giveaway.
Just as the tips of my fingers came within reach of the lunchbox it was pulled away and the guest relations representative sternly proclaimed, “Sorry these are for kids.” For a brief moment I completely understood how the Trix rabbit feels when those stingy kids pull away their bowl of sugar-infused breakfast cereal.
I tried to make a case for why I deserved a Diamondbacks lunchbox. The guest relations rep simply stared at me as I explained that my wife calls me childish every day and how I am accused of being a kid by just about everyone I know. A firm shake of her head made it clear she was not buying my arguments.
I briefly considered leaving the stadium, driving to Sun City and picking up a Senior Citizen and bringing them to the game. My theory was that maybe if I arrived with someone of advanced age they might think I was just a kid but I kind of doubted that would work.
As I stood there, several children came by and each was given a lunchbox. They eagerly ripped the plastic bag freeing the lunchbox. I can’t be sure but I’m almost positive that these kids danced around me mocking my decrepit age and how they succeeded where every adult failed. It’s times like this that you begin to feel strong empathy for those elderly men sitting on their front porches yelling at kids to stay off their lawn.
So while 5,000 happy children came through the turnstiles and were awarded with an amazing lunchbox I sat alone in my seat lamenting the fact that my lunch will never have the opportunity to remain cool surrounded in Sedona Red goodness. My luck I’ll get food poisoning due to lack of proper food temperature.
I can tell you one thing for sure, if I find out that the Diamondbacks are going to be giving away lunchboxes again I am going to look in the yellow pages and find someone who rents children. They can’t be that expensive can they? I only need them for three hours, maybe four if we go extra innings.