Saturday, September 29, 2007

C-ompletely U-nbeatable B-y S-eptember

A cold front blew through hell tonight. Donkey's were reported to be donning wings in barnyards around the globe. The Chicago Cubs ... my beloved Chicago Cubs ... won the National League Central Division title.

Haven't you heard? Good things come in three's. And this year there might even be a special bonus.

Flashback 1969. On the first of September in that fateful fall the Cubs were roughly 10 games up. The laughable Mets were in 2nd place. It had only been 51 years since the Cubs last won the World Series. A minor slump compared to today's 99 year drought. That is when strange things began to happen. Balls rolling through the legs of All-Star infielders. An honest-to-gosh black cat crossing in front of the Cubs dugout at Shea Stadium as their infamous collapse began. You know how the story ends. The Cubs self destruct. The Mets go on to win the World Series. I have lived on Tums ever since. I start popping them on opening day and don't stop until my boys are safely on the golf course and off of the ball diamond where they could get hurt.

1969 almost killed me. How connected am I to that memory? To that team? Catcher: Randy Hundley #9. 1st base: Ernie Banks #14. 2nd base: Glen Beckert #18. Short Stop: Don Kessinger #11. 3rd base: Ron Santo #10. Right field: Billy Williams #26. And then center field and right field saw a multiplicity of players like my favorite Adolpho Phillips. I have an autographed Ferguson Jenkins Jersey, #31, in my office right now. The Andy Frain Ushers controlled the crowd. Jack Brickhouse and Lloyd Pettit called the game on WGN. Don't mess with me when it comes the the Cubs of '69. I'm still looking for a team to heal the hurt.

And now lookie, lookie. Guess what's happening. The Mets have been in first place since May. Until tonight. The night the Cubs won their division the Mets lost their 5th straight and slid straight into 2nd place. And they did it by allowing the bases to get all loaded up against them and then hitting the next two batters. Way to go, New York. Not too long ago they were 13 games up. Can you say "choke?" Only one word comes to mind when I think about this. No, make that two. "Sweet revenge." It has taken 38 years ... and all it will take is another Mets loss to heal a very deep wound. Sweet. Revenge. Ahhhhh.

So. Will the Cubs win their first play-off series? I honestly do not know. Might they go on and win the National League pennant? The odds are against them. Could they pull off a miracle and win the World Series? Nah. Doubtful. But ... oddly possible.

And let me finish with this little thought. I have a friend who mentioned in an email this week that they were sweating out the final numbers on their 3rd quarter profits in his huge conglomerate of a company. Do you figure that my friend, a godly man if ever there was one, prayed about those numbers? I think yes. I KNOW yes. I have another friend who is working his fingers to the bone as the C.O.O of a medium sized hospital. Do you suppose he prays about the status and success of his hospital, both in patient care and financial earnings? Of course he does. Anybody got a problem with that? I think not. So why is it so wrong to think that maybe ... just maybe ... it's alright to pray for ones favorite baseball team? They are a "for profit" organization. Right? God is soveriegn and He cares about every molecule in His creation. Right? So why do we always say when discussing sports and athletic endeavor's, "Oh, God does not get involved in that. Pray that they do their best and things will turn out the way they turn out." You can believe that if you want to. As for me?

I'm PRAYING for the CUBS.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

That was a weekend?

Gimme a break. THAT was a WEEKEND? Well then. Please sir, may I have some Monday?

Tomorrow is "fall Junk Day" in our little community. That means anything and everything can be hauled out to the curb to be picked-up as trash. Well, no tires, batteries, paint or anything else that you really want to get rid of but don't know how to. So instead of the obvious nap my wife "suggested" that I begin working on the attic and the garage. Got a big move coming up, doncha know. And I, the ever dutiful husband, began the task of throwing away nearly thirty years worth of accumulated ... stuff. We have lived in our current home for fourteen years. Everytime we did not know what to do with something I was sent to the attic with it. Debbie has never been up there. It's off the ground and she doesn't go off the ground. She doesn't go in the crawl space either because it's below the ground and she doesn't go below the ground. All of that ... and she makes it a point to laugh at me in front of the world at every opportunity because I have decided that I do not want to die by drowning. And I don't swim. So I don't go into deep water. Her God given (?) task is to tell everybody that I am afraid of water. Huh? What? I drink it. I love any hot tub I can find. I can do the pool as long as my feet are on the bottom and my head is above the top. This makes sense to me. Fear of the attic and the crawlspace however, not so much.

Ok, I'm off my subject.

It was in the 90's all weekend. The nice lady on TV just said that it was 98 in our suburb today. The attic was at least 120 degrees. And of course there is that wonderful insulation up there that makes it all soooo much fun. I cleaned and cleaned and gathered and gathered and dumped and dumped. I cannot begin to tell you how much treasure turned trash that I threw away. But this is what my front lawn looked like curb side just before sundown tonight. And you know what? That is only about half of what I took out. About every thirty minutes a car or a truck drives down my street and, seeing my pile, they stop and sift through it look for valuable objects that cannot be relegated to the land fill. They never leave empty handed. I put one of the first lap top computers I ever owned out there because it was old and you had to really work on it to simply turn it on. But before I dropped it off I beat the living daylights out of it with an axe. Because you never know.

Oh, and you want to know what the really fun part of the weekend was? I have one of those attic stairs thingys where you pull it down and a self-contained set of stairs drops down out of the ceiling. It was about mid-afternoon on Saturday and I was making my gabillanth trip down with a hand full of trash. I stepped onto a rung of the ladder about four feet off of the ground. It was waiting for me. Ready to extract revenge for having been stored up in the one hundred plus degree attic for years. As soon as I put my weight on it ... it blew apart. Snapped right off. I went down THROUGH the ladder to the garage floor about four or five feet below. The nails that held the wrung in place decided to get even too. It happened so quickly I barely realized what was happening until it was over. I didn't even drop my armfull of stuff and I ended up sitting on the second step off of the floor. But I couldn't extract myself from the ladder because of the nails. About that time Debbie came to the door because the "thunk' of me hitting the floor didn't sound like the "thunk" of junk hitting the floor. She had to bring me a hammer so that I could bend the protruding nails out of the way just to get out of the mangled mess of a ladder. It was such a fun Saturday! Here's what the back of my legs look like tonight. I was merciful and made that picture small. And yes, I did have shorts on. And no I don't shave my legs. And I ain't bow legged she made me stand that way for the picture. And you are a perv just for thinking those things. I am in pain and YOU should be ashamed.

I'll bet you are not.

So it was a good weekend. Well. It was a weekend. Ok, it was weak. And we are finally to the end. Therefore, technically I am correct, except for the spelling.

It was a weak end.