Saturday, September 12, 2015

Attack of the Tarp Monster

There it is.
I have been there. I have seen what lurks within, what it is capable of.
Lair of the Tarp Monster.
AT&T Field, Chattanooga Tn

How long it has been there, I know not. What I do know is that it strikes without warning. It is indiscriminate in its voracity, man or woman, adult or child, patron or employee, the Beast cares little.

A day at the park, the playoff tilt between North Division champions Montgomery and Chattanooga was a pastoral fall setting. As the first fans arrived and the players were about to get dressed, a few clouds appeared in overcast skies, but everyone was optomistic the game would be played.
Sparse crowd of unsuspecting fans
Coaches and players from both teams came out of the clubhouse to watch the sky and mingle with fans as it became apparent there was a rain shower coming.

As I talked with a few friends, the grounds crew did what grounds crews do when clouds threaten rain, even for a playoff game.

They could not have known what they were unleashing from tubular bonds as they covered the playing surface.

It was announced the game would start in a delay as lightning flashed across a swiftly darkening sky. Something wicked was this way come, no games would played. 

I heard a roar. A howling roar that overwhelmed all other sounds in the busy ballpark. And then it happened.
outfield pics via Jacob Faria

The beast awoke with a sudden start and sat back on its haunches and waved a threat towards the stands.

What people remained ran for cover as the infamous Tarp Monster rose up, appearing nearly two stories tall it towered over the visitors dugout and dwarfed the few remaining people as they scrambled to escape.

Sappington watches the Tarp Monster in action

It lurched to the right and crawled onto the seats underneath. Weighing perhaps hundreds of pounds now soaking wet, Tarp Monster chased fans from their seats and all the way down the exits, flapping its silver and dirty white tendrils as they ran.

People yelled.
The grounds crew reacted quickly, valiantly holding Tarp Monster by the tail to keep it from leaving the field to ransack the stands like a tarpaulin Godzilla. Desperately it struggled to pull free in an effort to continue its rampage.

Below me and unseen by myself, the rest of my party had fled with the crowd, chased by the Tarp Monster from their seats. The Monster spat rain and flung mud and rocks ahead of it, nearly hitting Michi-chan with stones as she made her way down the stairs from the seating bowl.

One child was nearly swallowed as the Tarp Monster tried to feast on anything it could get, billowing into the seats where just moments before a crowd was gathering. The spry youth escaped unharmed, it appeared everyone got away without injury.

After a few exciting moments totaling less than a minute, the Tarp Monster saw nothing but empty seats and its wind-swept energy left it. Tarpy collapsed, exhausted, laying over the stands and covering over a dozen rows of seats, spent and flaccid from its adventure.

The Tarp Monster only then allowed itself to be dragged out of the seats by groundskeepers and team employees who were drafted into TarpMonster wrangling duty.

 The groundscrew and their charges waylaid the beast long enough for a few brave players to venture into the visitors dugout to retrieve the team gear.

Biscuit bravery, Jacob Faria dashes over Tarpy

The game was called as the infield became water logged and no one was eaten by the Tarp Monster on this day.

You can view video of the Tarp Monster attack here!

Fortunately the section the Tarp Monster attacked was mostly empty, populated only by a few able to quickly flee. They are the lucky ones who can say they survived an encounter with one of baseballs most rare creatures - The Tarp Monster.

Others have not been so fortunate.

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