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Hobos go to the Opera

Last night, my wife and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary.  In the process, we realized something disturbing about ourselves:

We have become hobos.

The gradual transformation from educated, professional people to train hopping, handkerchief on a stick toting vagrants came on without warning.

I had secured tickets to go to the opera.  The Colon Theater in Buenos Aires is a world famous opera house.  I’m not huge opera fan, but once or twice a decade I can handle it.  The Colon is a spectacular place to go, and we had not been in seven years.  We figured it would be fun to leave the kids with friends, dress up a little, experience high culture, and spend the night downtown.

My first clue that something was wrong came when I examined my closet for appropriate clothing.  You have to understand that I work with extremely impoverished people, and never wear anything but T-shirts and jeans.  I have no cause to wear nicer clothes.  I do have a suit, but that was back in States.  So when I opened the ‘nice’ side of closet, I found the following:

  • 3 Ties.  One was emblazoned with the logo of the Indiana Pacers.  Classy.
  • 1 grey collared shirt with white stripes.
  • 1 pair of khaki pants.  They were one size too small.

Ouch.  For the first time in 33 years, it occured to me to bother being ashamed of my ‘wardrobe’.  Three ties.  None of which went with the one bizarre collared shirt I owned.  I did manage to dig out a second pair of khakis that fit.  Technically, anyway.  They were actually too long, and I had once ripped part of the cuff by stepping on it.  It was sewed up pretty well though, so no one would notice.  Hobo-tacular.

We had a second problem.  All our overnight bags were at our team office because our house is too small.  So, Deb packed our ‘nice’ clothes into a plastic bag, and we headed off to retrieve our luggage.  Once we finally made it downtown, we had to park several blocks from the hotel.  So we toted a paisley coated suitcase down the city streets to the lobby.  The hotel had lost our reservation (stupid Internet discount site), threatened to kick us out, but eventually found us a room.  I think they were embarrassed to have us in the lobby.  Hobo-mania.

When we finally spruced ourselves up and made it to the opera, we had standing room only seats.  Seriously, you can’t give real seats to hobos.  They smell way too bad.  Fittingly, we watched the first two acts of La Boheme (which felt oddly autobiographical), before I couldn’t take it any more.  I was sore from soccer, and my back seized up from leaning on the railing for two hours.  Hobos aren’t used to standing.  Typically, we recline against an old stump in front of a camp fire.

So, we slinked out at intermission and headed for dinner.  Though we were tempted to find a can of cold beans and an old ham-bone to gnaw on, we actually had a nice meal and thoroughly enjoyed our night.  At one point we did consider going to see the new Robin Hood movie, but figured we could not bear the shame of walking out of La Boheme to see a Russel Crowe flick.

Even hobos have some pride.

All this was a long winded introduction to say that I’m a little late putting up mini-camp links.  I’ll get right on that.

By the way, anyone who goes to the free minicamp today and wants to post pictures and commentary is welcome to send it in.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have to rage incoherently at a stray dog who is poking around at my handkerchief and stick.