PJ looks a lot like one of my troll puppets from my recent "Red Mare" tour. He's all knobs and bumps, with half-tinted aviator sunglasses and a dirty old SF Giants baseball cap. His beard is red and thick and crusty, he's got a bum leg and he speaks in a glowing, gravelly growl.
I took my residents to a baseball game at PGE Park last weekend. We made for an eclectic bunch; misfits, formerly homeless, disabled veterans, freaks and social castaways, tentatively navigating shoals of Portland's fashionably petty bourgieousie. They instinctively made a path for our garrulous, slightly pungent little gang. I felt like Lee Marvin in The Dirty Dozen.
I spent $60 on hot dogs and soda for the group, and then we crept down the bleachers to seats a little bit closer to the field than the ones donated to us (PGE Park is almost never more than 1/3 full). Once there, we took in a nice, long baseball game, the first I'd ever attended.
PJ is what made the game for me. He once coached and ump'd Little League baseball. He comes fully equipped with a colorful wit and an impressively resonant diaphragm, so when he wants to take apart the players or the umpires, the whole stadium looks sideways at us.
"I CAN THROW CINDERBLOCKS BETTER THAN THAT!!!"
Whether he was mocking the umpire's strike calls or heckling the nervy, pint-sized pitcher, or diving for a stray fly ball, PJ absolutely dominated the game. If I'm Lee Marvin, PJ is Ernest Borgnine.
"COME ON!!! YOU USE THAT BIG LEATHER THING ON YOUR HAND TO CATCH THE BALL!!!"