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The Free Non-Challenge and The Free Challenge

Today I did a couple of “free” things. (I put the free in quotes as there are transportation costs).

First off, I met a friend at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The first Tuesday of each month is Free Tuesday. I had been a couple of months back, so most of the exhibits were the same. There was a new exhibit called “Reel Art,” which featured film as art. It was small and inconsequential, although I received headachy motion sickness from a piece by Atom Egoyan and someone else whose name I don’t recall. It was entitled Close and it was a film being shown in a narrow corridor such that your face was inches from the screen. And it was about cutting rabbit’s feet off of the rabbits, or some such thing. Crikey!

My favorite thing in the SF Moma is the comment books. They are on a desk in one of the exhibits with pencils, and you are invited to write whatever you’d like. And the stuff people write is absolutely precious. From small children writing simplistic things to small essays on the meaning of minimalism, I never fail to be entertained. An interesting trend was found in today’s comment books, however. It seems someone from the South Side had decided to tag the books by writing South Side on as many pages as possible. This led to a small tag war within the book.

Someone else hypothesized that some of the pieces within the museum take on the concept of a fascist gallery, like the museum is. This led to fascism being a running gag throughout the rest of this book, with many references to it on the following pages, all of them sarcastic. I think it would be a great part-time job to be the person who reads and interprets the comments within these books. I may need help for a few of them, as they are in foreign languages!

The next part of the day involved The Free Challenge, which was to attempt to prove the urban legend that Giants tickets are found left behind at bars and on newspaper racks on poorly attended weeknights at Pac Bell. And tonight was going to be one of those nights. The Twins are in town, and they are not a big drawing card in San Francisco. Plenty of good seats were available.

When I arrived, the ticket prices were already below face value. So the first thing I did was get some $1 Double Cheeseburgers at McDonald’s. Then I walked around a bit. This is 7:15, and the game has already started. I poked my head into a couple of bars and found no tickets. So I went to the free viewing area behind the right field fence and caught a couple of innings there. The guys there told me that when people have extras well after the game starts, they often bring them here.

Fourth inning rolls by, I decide to walk the lap around the park and see if any tickets are laying around on bars or newspaper racks. And I have no luck. I go back to the fence. Sure enough, people are coming in and handing out tickets, but none for me. Some scalpers have lowered their prices to $5 for box seats, but the idea was to get in for free, so I hold fast.

At the end of the sixth, I have to go to the bathroom. I ask the worker where to go and it turns out there is a public toilet outside the park. Nice. I decide to make the lap again. Many fans are leaving, which may complicate this process for me. As I round into sight of a security guard, I notice him pocketing a ticket. So I nonchalanty ask him a question.

“Do you know where people might leave tickets? Is it possible to get in this late?”

He hands me the ticket, natch. It is in the second row of the center field bleachers. So it is possible, ladies and gentlemen, to get a free ticket to a poorly attended Giants game. Unfortunately, you only get inside with three innings to go. And I never did find one on a bar or newspaper rack. But perhaps others did.

As for the game? The Twins won, 6-4. Barry Bonds hit his 627th homerun. He was on deck with the Giants down by 3, Rich Aurillia up, bases loaded, one out. But after a ten pitch at bat, he hit into an inning ending double play. This was the key moment in the game. And the Giants never really recovered. A lot of people leave these games early. It’s gross. They should leave me their ticket next time!

I found out tomorrow is Free Zoo day, but I think I need to rest up tomorrow. I sense I may be coming down with something, and need to fight it off. Wish me luck!

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