The Los Angeles Police Department officer was stopped in his tracks late Sunday afternoon.
He took a long look at me as I came toward him on the Dodger Stadium loge level concourse with what may have appeared to be a lethal weapon.
I was merely carrying, on a tray that was beginning to buckle, one the newly created Dodger Playoff Dogs.
It was loaded. And I was definitely handling it without a proper permit.
The problem was I couldn’t get a hold of my doctor at the moment, since he was most likely in a club level suite and out of cell range. And my cholesterol medicine had a child-proof cap, so I was all but DOA.
The crime wasn’t the fact I actually paid $9 for this creation at the Extremely Loaded Dog concession stand – this foot-long all-beef wiener on a pretzel baguette was already topped with pastrami, a few squirts of mustard and a sliced pickle. It was that I went ahead and added a scoop of onions to the whole mess, possibly vandalizing the work of postseason art.
Guilty, but just a force of habit.
How hungry are Dodger fans for an extended playoff run? Evidenced by the fact I wasn’t the only one in line for one of these beauties, plenty.
“If you handcuff me now, and didn’t allow me to eat this, you’d be doing your duty to protect and to serve,” I told the officer who, at this point, couldn’t walk far enough around me.
“Good luck with that,” he offered.
This time of year at Dodger Stadium, you can’t even get arrested. Except in the case of a cardiac arrest.
My non-aggravated assault of the dog took 4 minutes, 23 seconds, without any PETA protesting. Considering the first three innings of Sunday’s game took about an hour and a half, followed by a mad rush to the restrooms on every level of the park, it was worth the nutritional investment.
Usually, the “Loaded” dogs go for $7.75, ranging from the Doyer Dog Jr. (Nacho cheese, chili, pico de gallo and jalapenos) the Kim Chi Dog (with, of course, Kim Chi), Frito Pie Dog (Fritos, chili, cheese), the Big Kid Dog (gooey Mac and Cheese with Fritos) and the classic Heater (buffalo wing sauce and blue cheese cole slaw).
Taking things to the next level – because that’s what you do with your eating game when October comes around – meant a bigger gulp, reassessing your health insurance plan pre-Affordable Health Care and then sizing up your appetite for success.
This foodie investment is probably longer lasting than sliding the charge card for a $30 playoff cap or a $30 playoff T-shirt that will be outdated by the end of the month.
The only problem we had with the whole transaction is that instead of “Playoff Dog,” the words “Pastrami Dog” came up on the concession register.
Are the computers not playoff-ready?
The concessionaire had no answer for that. Her arms were tired from carrying it the two feet from the kitchen shelf window to the counter.
An usher watched as I planted myself behind the back row of the loge level and attempted to get into post-season mode.
“Do they give you a knife and fork with that?” she asked.
Yes, but they were buried underneath this Rose Parade sized beast – perhaps this is what Vin Scully will be riding on come January 1.
As if I needed them anyway.
“Somehow, they forgot to include a fishing harpoon,” she added.
This is the time and place to check your pulse. And your blood pressure.
When your stadium seats vibrate from the rocking after a Carl Crawford home run as much as from the rap music coming out of the center field speakers.
It’s a stadium already in full “Let’s Go Dodgers” pregame chant, shouting down some clown on the field with his Dodgers hat turned backward yelling into a microphone that it’s time to get loud because it’s time for the TV cameras are about to come on.
You don’t need to light up the “applause” sign this time of year, fool.
A crowd full of blue towel-waving fans trumps red foam tomahawks on any perfect fall night when the temperatures are in the high 70s, the San Gabriel Mountains glisten that certain shade of purple in the background, and even Chris Capuano can go to the mound and look like Clayton Kershaw for a few amped-up innings.
Not even Larry David could curb his enthusiasm when put up on the video screen.
In the 2013 playoff baseball buffet, the Dodgers may end up treating the Atlanta Braves like hors d’oeurves. But don’t mistake them for cocktail franks.
Pass the onions. Next round, we’re adding wild blue berries to the recipe.