The Cracker Jack Guy at the Ball Park on a Tuesday in July

(for Kristina)
There is no one lonelier than the Cracker Jack guy at the ball park on a Tuesday in July
He doesn’t have the heart to call it out the way the beer guy does with evangelistic passion
He can’t deliver the overhand fastball-bag of peanuts like the old black lady with plastic visor
He doesn’t get the kids circling him – pointing at the pink clouds offered by the cotton candy guy
He just has a wilted plastic duffle bag full of waxy cardboard boxes of crunchy goodness
(A prize in every box – they say)

No one seems to remember how important Cracker Jack is to the game of baseball
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack is a mandate not an ambiguous statement
If you’re going to take me out to the ball game –you better buy me some Cracker Jack
I don’t want Dipping Dots or Ropes or Vines – or a helmet full of nachos and cheese

No one notices the tired young man trudging up and down the stairs wishing he it was peanuts
Past the optimistic kids with the oversized mitts and the red nosed ballpark vets in faded jerseys
Past the candy-wielding grammas who know how to save a buck and still get the kids sugared up
Past the stat-fan in the retro jersey and the pencil stub working the program – keeping score

Enough Cracker Jack has been sold to stack end-to-end more than 63 times around the earth
And the sad truth is this
There is no one lonelier than the Cracker Jack guy at the ball park on a Tuesday in July

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