Well, I don't think there was really apple pie to be found, but there was plenty of hot dogs and cotton candy. And the baseball was the Toledo Mud Hens game last Sunday versus the Indianapolis Pirates. We don't live in Toledo. We don't even live in Ohio, but its a nice little drive to it and we decided to experience one more thing that's a fun little trivia piece of our obsession with the old television series, M*A*S*H.
We had ventured down previously to eat at the world-renown, ok...maybe not WORLD renown, Packo's, a place mentioned many times by Private Max Q. Klinger as he often reminisced of his beloved days in Toledo. Hungarian hot dogs. It's a quirky, fun place and the food is really good. It's not exactly a place ideal for those with lots of food allergies, such as myself, but the experience makes up for it. And I'm finding a couple of things there I can have once in a blue moon. Much of their fare is spiced with their famous Hungarian Paprika. My advise....get a large drink! There are pictures of M*A*S*H scenes all over. Their claim to fame is having celebrities sign "hot dog buns" and they are displayed all over the establishment. I still wonder if they are real hot dog buns or simply pieces of wood made to look like buns. Even though they are adequately sealed, the thought of decades-old buns is a little nauseating.
So, since we had experienced Packo's, twice now, we decided to go to a Mud Hens game. I had never been in the downtown area of Toledo. It reminded me a lot of a little Milwaukee, which, in my opinion is a very good thing. I love Milwaukee. The stadium is a very nice stadium for a minor league stadium. The attendance was outstanding with tons of excitement and support for their local team. The food offerings were the usuals that are found in all stadiums. Again, not the greatest for someone with food allergies. But I came prepared with my own supply of Craisins, an apple and corn chips. There was the regional favorite of sausage races, hot dog tosses and cute mascots, Muddy and Muddonna. Yes, that's what I said. It was "Kids Day" and they were certainly well represented. My favorites were the ones that were about 2 to 3 years old and cute as a bug. My least favorite were the 8-10 yr old girls that decided every time the scoreboard said, "Make Some Noise" had to scream the most blood-curdling, high C scream. And not just a little. Long......constant......screams. But the old woman holding her ears needs to get over herself and realize the kids were having a good time at a great American tradition.
We managed to score seats just behind home plate. I KNOW! We sat among all the scouts. Mets, Tigers and a few we could never quite figure out. They sat with their speed-guns, papers, stopwatches and stats. I never realized quite so much paperwork goes into being a scout. It was interesting to watch. And the guy sitting next to me, the Tigers scout, was actually wearing a real World Series ring. I had never seen one in real life and I was impressed. I know, it doesn't take much. What didn't impress me was the two "hens" that sat behind us. Two men, somewhere in the neighborhood of 55-60 years old, yacked more than my aunts do when they get together. If anyone ever says women are the gossips, you can tell them I said it's not true! These guys talked about everything and everyone under the sun. One certainly had lots and lots of colorful language and it was always said at a few decibels more than the rest. Their armchair coaching amused the Mets scout sitting directly in front of us. I often caught him turning his head slightly sideways so he could catch what was being said and then he would always grin, as if he'd heard a good joke or something.
The Mud Hens won their game in the bottom of the 9th. As we were leaving the stadium, and my hubby retrieved his forgotten backpack, we spied another Packo's location across the street! Nothing could finish out our day like another visit to Packo's. It was more than a day of baseball and hot dogs. It was a day in the life of Private Max Q. Klinger. Eleven years of M*A*S*H (and 30 years of reruns!) has brought my family a great deal of enjoyment and fun over the years. This past weekend was maybe one of the best, thanks to Max.