Quote of the Day:
“Now one and one is two, two and two is four
I’m heavy loaded baby, I’m booked, I gotta go
Cryin’ baby, honey don’t you want to go?
Back to the land of California1, to my sweet home Chicago” Robert Johnson
Friday, August 20, 2011
11:40 am Landed in Chicago, on time. Hooray for Southwest, the people’s airline!
12:15 pm Arrived at the Drake via cab and checked in while cab waited to rush TB and RSR to Wrigley Field. Cab cost more than my flight, but we found MD and the Engineer and entered the stadium at 1:05, in time for the Star Spangled Banner. Hooray for Jamaican cabbies, the aspiring Man’s ground transportation!
1:25 pm I quit following Major League Baseball in 1995. But I love the game and I love the history of the Majors and I cherish my memories of the time I was a fan. Nonetheless, I was surprised that I was rendered verklempt upon my first view of the friendly confines.
1:30 pm Wrigley Field really is the friendliest sports venue I’ve ever been to, from the fans to the ushers to the ticket takers. Outside the stadium the atmosphere was more akin to a college football game than a professional contest. The hot dog lady did roll her eyes at MD for failing to move fast enough through the line, but I don’t think you can hold that against her.
1:45 pm I realize for the first time I am watching professional athletes and thinking of them as “kids.”
1:50 pm In an effort to actually talk about modern baseball in lieu of my first three innings of nothing but Babe Ruth’s called shot, Ryne Sandberg and Tinker to Evers to Chance, I recalled something I’d heard about the Braves earlier in the week. They’d won 18 games this season in their last at bat. “Expect to see that today,” I sagely opined to MD, who replied something to the effect of, “yeah, the Babe was the man.”
2:19 pm “BEERMAN!” I shout loudly this time like a local, but with a decidedly (way) southside inflection. Career and for the day, Old Style number 4 goes down smooth, but I don’t think I’ll be grabbing a case to bring home with me.
3:50 pm The Cubs closer who is some dude not named Bruce Sutter comes in the top of the 9th with a 3-2 lead and loads the bases on walks, yet the Braves can’t drive in the tying run because they are swinging at the first pitch, over their head, in spite of not-Sutter’s wildness and Lou Piniella’s refusal to yank him. Then, with a 2-2 count and two outs, Rick Ankiel, who I have heard of, drives a liner into the right field corner emptying the bases with a stand-up triple. I remind MD that I should get paid for my astute commentary on baseball, vis a vis the Braves winning games in their last at bat. He replies something to the effect of “fine, Andre Dawson deserved the MVP on a last place team.”
5:00 pm The gang settles in at Murphy’s Bleacher Bar at the hallowed corner of Waveland and Sheffield. The local swill was swell.
6:30 pm We are advised Stone Temple Pilots are in town and tickets can be had for below face value, probably about 30 bucks each.
7:30 pm Deep dish Chicago Pizza at Pizzeria Due. Yeah, I’m a tourist. I love it.
9:00 pm Arrive at some amphitheater near Soldier Field and proceed to gate for the STP concert. We are rejected and there is no apparent recourse. The concert has started and no scalpers are around. The ticket takers and security personnel are unable to accept a bribe thanks to this one annoying chick, “Andrea” who is apoplectic that anyone would have the audacity to try and get in to the show at this point.
9:02 pm RSR declares to Andrea “We are getting in.”
9:04 pm RSR bangs on the window of a trailer near the gate with lights on inside. Someone comes to see what is going on and a muffled conversation ensues. All I could make out was “we have to get in to see the concert.”
9:05 pm RSR leads our procession of four through the gates, conspicuously and contemptuously “thanking” Andrea for all her help and ostentatiously slipping the putative bribe money back into her purse.
9:06 pm STP rocks it out for the next 90 minutes.
11:45 pm For two-fifty we ride the train back up near the Drake. Hooray for the people’s transportation! TB’s head hits the pillow and sleeps for four hours the beautiful sleep of the overserved. Oh, PS, Love the Drake.