Our first "Letter from Brooklyn Soxfan" has just arrived. Here it is:
It was a regular early summer mid-afternoon, 2003. I pulled up into this little car wash on some busy street in Levittown, New York…one of those where you watch your car through a long hallway window as it gets automatically cleaned. Always exciting. After a few thrilling minutes, I’d had enough fun and decided to just go pay.I strolled over to the register, pulled my Master Card out of my wallet and attempted to hand it to the gentleman standing there. I say “attempted” because my card never made it into his hands. Why? Because he refused to take it. Why did he refuse to take it? That was exactly what I asked myself after he very matter of factly said, “No, way, I’m not taking that.”
The sign next to the register said “WE ACCEPT ALL MAJOR CREDIT CARDS” This did nothing but cause more profound confusion.As far as I knew at the time, Master Card was still considered a major credit card, so that couldn’t be it. Searching for a logical reason for this bizarre set of circumstances, I began to survey the room…perhaps Rod Serling would be standing off in the far corner telling whoever was watching that I had just stepped into the Twilight Zone. But, as I continued peering around, I suddenly realized I was actually in a much more frightening and dangerous place…the lair of a very, very serious Yankees fan. Dozens of pennants…old newspaper headlines declaring the Yankees champions…about 100 Don Mattingly-related tidbits… and an old picture of him and either Ed Figueroa or Dick Tidrow… I couldn’t be sure.Ah….now I knew why he refused to accept my form of payment. Earlier that year, during a trip to a spring training game in Florida, I applied up for a new credit card. I even got a free towel just for signing up. As part of the deal, you got to choose which baseball team’s logo you wanted front and center on your card. My choice…proudly…was my favorite team since 1977…the Boston Red Sox.“I won’t let that logo touch my machine,” he added…seeing that I finally got the picture.But, I still thought he was kidding…ya know, just a real big Yankees fan trying to make an “I hate the Red Sox point.” That’s fine…it’s all in good fun.But the “Aw, I’m just kidding…1918…1918…1918" smile I was waiting for never came.This guy meant business.“Oh, well… I perfectly understand,” I replied. “But since I don’t have any cash… I guess you just washed my car for free,”He stared at me for a moment and asked if I really didn’t have any cash…even trying to peer across the register into my wallet.“Nope…not a dime…, sure wish I got the hot wax treatment today, too,” I added as I put my offensive Master Card away and headed towards where my car was now being towel dried.Like some of my friends back home who are Yankee fans, he seemed quite fickle, so not another five seconds went by before my Red Sox logo was rubbing up against his precious little credit card machine.“Can I ask you a question,” he said through a judgmental squint, as my receipt was printing out.“”By all means,” I said.“Are you from New York?”“Sure am…Brooklyn…born and raised…”“Brooklyn born and raised?!” he sneered with sheer disdain. “Then why the hell are you a RED SOX FAN?”I savored the moment for a few seconds. As he handed me my receipt, I gave him an answer in the form of a question…“You’re one to talk, what the hell is a Yankee fan doing in Levittown?". As his eyes widened, I gave him a quick wink and a smile, turned, and left.To this day I swear I heard Phil Rizzuto shout, “Holy Cow” as I drove away.