Editor’s Note: If you haven’t noticed, Dirk Hayhurst has reached the major leagues, which kind of makes it hard to call him the Non-Prospect anymore. We’ve still got some minor league editions of the Non-Prospect Diary to get to before Dirk catches us up after the season on his major league experience. So stay tuned for a Big League Diary once the season is over.
On the third day of our series in Colorado Springs we were, get this, snowed out.
The second game, a businessman special, was played in sunny 60 degree weather. Come 9 p.m. that night, snow was falling. It came down fast, in fine mountain country fashion, smothering the area in 4 to 6 inches of fluffy white powder.
Off days are a rare commodity in the minors; we get only a handful sprinkled in a 142-game season. When an extra one shows up, it’s to be enjoyed.
A nature-made off day in a road trip town is not as fun as you would think. The hotel is typically underwhelming. We don’t have cars or bulging billfolds. Walking distance options are usually limited. Even so, special days require an equally special event to mark it.
A group of the guys and I decided to seize the day and venture out. Beyond the snow-filled parking lots of the Spring’s hotel was nothing remarkable, save for one local place. A cafe joint, Greek, tinted windows lit with a neon beer sign.
Our other options were Burger King, McBurger, Jack in the Burger and Carls Burger. One would think we chose the cafe for health-related reasons considering the options, but I’m certain the beer sign had something to with it.
The place was not what we expected. It was expensive, authentic, and there was a chick in an exotic dress, dancing around the joint.
“What’s that?” I said, gesturing to the girl twirling around with a scarf and without a midriff.
“It’s a girl,” responded an enlightened teammate.
“Yes. I know that,” I said. “But I didn’t expect to see I Dream of Genie doing interpretive dances in a place like this.”
“It’s a belly dancer, Bro. The sign says they have one here every Friday night.”
A heavily accented, extra slick haired host greeted us like we were contestants on a game show. After handing us menus he showed us to seats close to the dancer.
It was a family joint. The dancer was more ethnic entertainment attraction then R-rated eye candy. She was cute, artsy not sexy, and did some impressive tricks with scarves, hand cymbals and, at one point, a saber she balanced on her head.
I’ll admit, I didn’t feel real comfortable looking at her. I’m not used to scantily clad women getting their ethnic frolic on at my dinner table, especially not when they have large knives on their head.
It’s not like she had a stage or a boundary to work in. She came right up to our table and worked it right in front of us. At one point, the tail of her shawl passed across the top of my—I think it was goat—soup.
The guys told me I should tip her. I refused. They produced dollars for me, and I still refused. They told me I had the outside seat, I offered to switch. They told me they were all married, and I told them I didn’t care if they were in the ministry, I was not stuffing a dollar in her pants.
And that’s what I’d have to do. I mean, she had a few there already. There were four of us, so three dollars appeared, and I was told I’d have to do it since I was the only one not tipping. I got out a dollar of my own. The reason then changed to “last man with a dollar out gives the tip.” They were making up the rules as they went, I knew, but that’s how teams are—this push for me to tip was not going to stop.
“You’re the youngest,” said one. I responded, “You’re the ugliest.”
On it went, back and forth, until I conceded. It was just some dollars, how bad could it be?
“Fine, next time she comes around, I’ll do it.” I said, feigning boldness.
She came back, and when she did, I folded up our dollars and tried my best to look natural. She saw the dollars and undulated towards me. I’d have to time her rhythm and wedge them in on the fly.
I don’t have very good rhythm.
She slowed down a little, a little more, even slower still. Finally she just stared at me like I was retarded, barely moving at all. I still messed it up.
I managed to get the corner of the dollars in so they waved like leaves desperately trying not to fall from the tree. She stopped altogether, frowned at me and stuffed them in the rest of the way.
“I’m sorry. It’s my first time.” I said, apologetic and embarrassed.
She danced away, and the guys at the table bursted into laughter. They repeated “I’m sorry. It’s my first time” over and over again in high-pitched, whiny voices.
“Shut up and eat your goat soup.” I barked back at them.
“Look, Dirk, look!” I turned to see the dancer working at another table, one with a family seated around it. There was a little boy, six-ish, too young to think a naughty thought like we dirt-ball minor leaguers. He had a smile on his face, holding a crisp dollar like Wonka’s golden ticket. He was waiting for his chance to stuff it. His mother was encouraging him from behind (weird?). The dancer got close, he reached, planted the cash, and pulled away never breaking rhythm. I gawked in amazement.
“So, Dirk?” said my crew of gibbering hyenas. “What do you have to say for yourself now?”
“Well,” I said, “I think that boy’s parents should investigate what kind of things he’s learning in music class.”
You can write Dirk at firstname.lastname@example.org