I have a new outlook on life.
No longer will I forget to stop and smell the coffee. From now on, I will stop and smell the coffee when I make it in the morning. I will stop and smell the coffee when I pour it into my cup. I will stop and smell the coffee when I sip it, and I will stop and smell the coffee when it gets cold and I have to pour it down the drain.
My new outlook on life came about because of a recent near-death experience. I wasn’t hurt, but that doesn’t change the fact that I was nearly killed.
Well, my feelings were hurt a bit, but we’ll talk about that later.
My wife, our 15-year-old daughter and I were in St. Louis over the weekend. I don’t get to St. Louis as often as I would like, and when I do there never seems to be enough time to do all the things I want to do. I used to go to school at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (Motto: You still owe us $14,087,756 in parking tickets), which is just across the river from St. Louis. As a result, I used to spend a lot of time in St. Louis. Being the brainy, artistic soul that I am, I spent most of my time in St. Louis going to museums and taking long walks in Forest Park.
OK, you caught me. I spent most of my time in St. Louis in bars and going to St. Louis Cardinal baseball games.
We arrived in St. Louis early Friday evening, and the next morning we got up at the crack of 9 a.m. and drove to something called a Lilly Pulitzer store. Apparently, a Lilly Pulitzer store is a store that carries Lilly Pulitzer products. I asked my wife and Emma if Lilly Pulitzer products were expensive, and they both very quickly said “NO!”
I noticed, however, that they refused to look at me when they said it.
While my wife and Emma shopped, I sat in a comfortable chair in front of the store. Sometimes, when my wife and Emma shop, I find that it’s better if I’m not involved. Sometimes, not knowing is the best way to live.
After my wife and Emma finished shopping, we got back in the car and headed to The Hill for some Italian food shopping. First we stopped off at Amighetti’s for sandwiches and pasta.
After lunch, we walked to Viviano’s, the best Italian supermarket in the world. An hour later, we left Viviano’s with two large boxes filled with pastas, sauces, sausage and wine.
It was a good day, but little did I know at the time that it could have been my last.
Later, we were in our seats at Busch Stadium. We got to the stadium for the Cardinal game early so we would get our Willie McGee commemorative jerseys that were being given away at the ballpark. While watching the Pittsburgh Pirates take batting practice, I turned my head for a second to watch a player in the outfield make a catch. That’s when I heard it.
It was a low whooshing sound. At roughly the same time I heard the “whoosh,” a white blur passed in front of my eyes, followed by a loud plunk just to the right of me where a baseball landed.
“Whoa, dude!” a guy standing to my left said. “That ball almost killed you.”
He was right. My life almost ended right there in Busch Stadium.
I turned to my left and looked at my wife, expecting to see a look of concern and gratitude on her face.
Instead, what I saw was a look of disgust.
“Get the ball!” my wife yelled.
I almost get killed and all my wife can think about is me getting the baseball.
I don’t mind telling you that my wife hurt my feelings. But then I got a beer and felt better.
Now, if you will excuse me, I have coffee to smell.
Oh, by the way, I didn’t get the ball.
DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.
I have a new outlook on life.
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