A Random Encounter

Jodd Carter of the Akron Rubberducks at bat against the Harrisburg Senators

Something happened on Saturday at Harrisburg Senators game that I’ve been thinking about for the last few days. Not an intensive thinking. A background thinking.

I arrived about when the gates opened, and I wandered around the ballpark.

I was on the concourse, looking at the food options, when a woman, early twenties, working behind the counter became very excited.

“Sir!” she shouted. “Sir! Thank you for your service, sir! Thank you! Sir!”

I was startled at first. Obviously, she wasn’t shouting at me, only in my general direction. But standing near me, also looking at the menu, was an older man, about my dad’s age (so, mid-70s), wearing a black baseball cap adorned with some decorations that read, “Vietnam Veteran.” It was this man she was yelling at.

And he didn’t react. He gave no sign of registering the woman at all. I have no idea if he ever did.

I couldn’t tell if he didn’t hear her — we all have moments where someone’s talking to us and we don’t realize it — or if he were ignoring her completely.

The more I thought about, the more I thought the answer was the latter.


If he had been drafted, if he had seen combat (and the decorations on his hat were suggestive), then he likely didn’t want to go to Vietnam, but when he was there he was involved in combat, where he probably killed people and may have seen his comrades die.

It’s a thing that happened. It’s a thing that he did. Not necessarily something he wants to be “thanked” for randomly.

Maybe I’m overthinking it.

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *