Earlier this week, after much deliberation, hours of debate, many nights of sleepless soul-searching, a couple dozen quarts of beer, one vision quest in the woods, a trip to a Tibetan monastery, three conversations with Batman, and one lengthy sentence with a multitude of commas, I once again became a Cubs fan.
Earlier this week, after much deliberation, hours of debate, many nights of sleepless soul-searching, a couple dozen quarts of beer, one vision quest in the woods, a trip to a Tibetan monastery, three conversations with Batman and one lengthy sentence with a multitude of commas, I once again became a Cubs fan.
Officially, I did this via Facebook, one of the leading social media bullhorns by which people broadcast such Crucial Life Announcements these days. That’s when they’re not filling out an apparently ENDLESS well of pop-culture personality questionnaires such as Which Muppet Baby Are You?; What Are Your Five Favorite Albums (That You're Going To Admit, Anyway, Because I Can See The Kenny Chesney Section Of The CD Shelf, Cool Guy); Which Five "American Idol" Contestants Would You Most Prefer To Leave In Your Car Trunk For Weeks; and What Five Objects Would You Be Most Upset To Find In Your Mouth — that sort of thing. (By the way: Fozzie Bear.)
This is not a joke. I work in a room of Young People, a peculiar bunch of 20-something creatures, with their "ungraying hairs" and "flawless skin" and "not-yet-crushed dreams."
It’s cool, because the Young People are a never-ending source of entertaining behavior, such as when they speak entirely in abbreviations — including "WTH" and "obvs" and "totes," and I don't have the remotest clue what the last one is in regards to, but I'm afraid to ask. They also point to pictures of Bruce Springsteen and ask, "Who's that?" Or they come by to make gray-hair jokes at me, jokes that are getting increasingly hard to deflect sarcastically without bursting into tears.
It also helps because I can turn to someone very nearby when I need to know, for instance, who "Lady GaGa" is. Obvs.
Several months back, a few of them got engaged to each other — well, actually, I guess it was two of them who got engaged to each other, which is good because otherwise the invitation wording would have been a nightmare — and they must have changed their Relationship Statuses during the day or something because the murmur of approved, near-giddy fluttering that rolled through the room like a rogue wave was enough that I thought Hugh Jackman had stopped by to give out free hugs.
Which brings me back to the Cubs. Regular readers of this column, which thanks to the weirdly high Google rank of a years-old column now includes an inordinate amount of Insane Clown Posse fans (hi, juggalos!), may remember that last fall the Cubs made it to the playoffs.
Although, I hesitate to say they "played" there, because mostly they were in attendance for about four minutes and seemed to have dropped by the stadium looking for directions, or maybe a warm bowl of oatmeal and a nap before the bus picked them up to hit the early-bird dinner buffet at Golden Corral. I was particularly surprised by their decision to not actually bring pitchers to the playoffs, but that's why I'm not a manager. Obvs.
Anyway, they got demolished like a Kleenex box at Glenn Beck's house. And at the time I wrote the Cubs were a team "so noggin-scritchingly disappointing that its fans have resorted to mysticism to explain it, via a lengthy and decades-old parable involving a goat with magical powers."
Over-the-top probably, but I was in VERY VULNERABLE PLACE THEN. And by "vulnerable," I mean "lying face-down in a bank parking lot full of PBR" (it had Wi-Fi).
And indeed, in a period of great pain, I abandoned them completely. And then told everybody I could think of about it. Using obscenities, whenever possible.
But then this week, I saw the little "Chicago Cubs - Become A Fan" box thing appear on the horrible new Facebook layout, and I thought, sigh, well, everyone deserves a second chance (or 101). So I Became A Fan. And within hours, I got confused, even angry, messages from friends new and old asking, in essence, WTH?
I know. I'm kind of — what's the word when you're a huge loser hypocrite? Right, I'm a Blagojevich. But in my defense, all I can say is I gave them up last fall because I was tired of being stupid, and I picked them back up again this spring, because apparently you grow extremely accustomed to being stupid.
Jeff Vrabel is a freelance writer who still does not completely trust Alfonso Soriano, obvs. He can be reached at jeffvrabel.com or twitter.com/jeffvrabel.