BOSTON, Mass.—The scene was Patriot’s Day 2007, Fenway Park. A man sitting in box seats along the left-field line hucks a slice of pizza directly into the face of a nearby fan after the victim allegedly chided the chucker and his friends for bringing an entire pie into the ballpark.
Video clips on the Worldwide Web were viewed en masse. An estimated 5.3 million hours of productivity was lost, forever, throughout the New England area. It is a moment of team lore that will long live in the memories of Red Sox fans; an action of mass appeal that evoked snickering around office water coolers for weeks afterward and nearly made Don Orsillo wet himself in laughter. And, alas, a painful reminder of how a handful of hooligans can ruin something so simple and appreciated by the masses.
After numerous renegade imitators surfaced during last year’s Patriot’s Day, the Red Sox are teaming up with Mayor Thomas Menino and the City of Boston to prevent a repeat of pizza peltings this Monday commemorating the incident’s two-year anniversary.
“Full pizza pies will not be sold in the City of Boston until the conclusion of the Red Sox game, after all fans have exited Fenway Park,” a top aide speaking for Menino stated yesterday in clear, decipherable, articulate English. “Inside Fenway Park, city officials will oversee a strict one-slice limit per fan.”
In addition to banning full pizza pie sales, the city is considering adding a stipulation to the moratorium that would include a ban on the sale of triangular-shaped slices.
“While square-shaped, Sicilian deep-dish styled pizza is generally more aerodynamic, triangular slices often contain sharp edges and shards of crust that could inflict puncture wounds on or around the face and neck area,” said a research analyst hired by the mayor’s office.
Red Sox fans with tickets to Monday’s game have already begun forming contingency plans.
“I know a guy who’s going to get us a bulk deal on those Celeste frozen pizzas,” says Fred DiNardo of Haverill. “Me and a few buddies are going to bring a battery-operated microwave with us and heat them up on my tailgate Monday morning before the game. Those things are small enough that we should be able to sneak a few dozen into the park with us…if we don’t eat them all beforehand.”
Informed by Fenway Pastoral about the ban being imposed on fans, Attleboro season ticketholder Jim Robbins had trouble holding back his political views, “Mayor Menino is obviously out to get working class Red Sox fans. It’s unbelievable. First, he refuses to allow beer sales in the stands and now he’s imposed a limit on my pizza intake. Pardon the pun, but this is pure grandstanding run amok.”
Robbins added that he’s planning to bombard “any and all corrupt, agenda-driven politicos” he sees from his first-base-line seats with cola-soaked cotton candy.
Manchester, N.H.’s Meghan McDermott and her friends were so distraught when they heard the news that they opted to post their tickets on StubHub. “I wish we had sold them off before Mayor Menino made his announcement. I’m not sure there’s anyone who’s going to want tickets for this game now that they’re banning pizza sales and pizza throwing. This is a lose-lose decision for everybody.”
Indeed, McDermott’s sentiments are not only shared by thousands of fans who scooped up Patriot’s Day tickets in the hopes of joining a time-honored tradition, they are also backed by the most recent data available to neurologists studying the link between brain waves and laughter. “There’s nothing more stimulating to the laughter-inducing neurons within a normally developed human being’s brain cortex than a pie hitting someone in the face,” says Harvard neuro-physiologist Dr. Barry P. Wolf. “Why do you think WSBK TV38 aired The Three Stooges on Saturday mornings for so many years?”