Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Day 10: Take Me Out to the Pretzel with Cheese Ball Game

Posted By on Wed, Sep 1, 2010 at 8:00 AM

Editor's note: Aspiring photojournalist and Gut Check contributor Kholood Eid is chronicling her Ramadan fast in diary form. Click for all Ramadan Diary entries to date.

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  • Kholood Eid

Last Wednesday, August 18, was the absolute toughest day of my fasting to date. I'd decided to go to a day game at the ballpark (while getting over a cold, to boot). The seats were just too good to pass up.

Bad idea.

Very, very bad idea.

Our seats were on the first level, under the merciless sun. A breeze occasionally drifted our way, but it was too rare to make much difference.

For me, food is a key part of the ballpark experience:

A pretzel with cheese is a must, nachos (with cheese, light on the jalapeños) are optional. On this day, of course, there was no pretzel for me. Instead I had to watch a guy two rows ahead of me eat half his pretzel -- without cheese! -- and dump the rest under his seat. He was a Brewers fan. Then there was the beer guy, whose signature call was "TOO COLD TO HOLD!!!" I distinctly remember seeing an ice cube fall out of his beer tub and watching as it melted on the blazing stadium steps. Twice.

Oh, and the Cardinals lost.

But I knew I'd be back at Busch in two days, and by God, I promised myself, I'd make up for that miserable experience.

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  • Kholood Eid

When the sun finally set on Friday, I stayed in my seat until the inning ended. (Just because I'm fasting doesn't mean I have to be inconsiderate.) Then it was on. I ordered my pretzel and cheese and backed that up with chicken strips. I can't imagine what the cashier must have thought of the woman repeating "I'm so excited for this, I'm so excited," over and over. Then again, at the time I didn't care.

I'm not a big fan of salt on pretzels but I never feel like asking for a saltless one, so after shoving half a chicken strip in my mouth for sustenance, I got to work brushing off the salt and prepping the pretzel for cheese.

click to enlarge KHOLOOD EID
  • Kholood Eid

It was everything I'd hoped it would be. Nothing went to waste, no crumb of poultry or pretzel, not one single oozy drop of Day-Glo yellow cheese. (I have a system: I have to ration out each piece of pretzel with the proper amount of cheese so that I finish both in the same bite. Yeah, a little OCD, I know.)

This may not have been a four-course meal at Tony's, but it was just about perfect for me. My only regret is that I didn't hunt down the ice cream vendor who sells that sandwich made with oatmeal cookies.

Well, a Cardinals win would've been nice.

click to enlarge KHOLOOD EID
  • Kholood Eid

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