Okay, lets get this out of the way: did you know the Cubs lost yesterday?
To the Cardinals in St. Louis?
Well, it's true.
And Sunday might be the wrong side of sweep number 2 in a row for our struggling favorite team.
But instead of talking about that, I was trying to think of something good about this summer, and I finally figured it out.
IT'S NOT WINTER!
Yep, it's been pretty hot and the New Storms have been weird and scary, but still.
I can remember just a little bit ago when we had the blizzard and I borrowed Frank's snow blower and attacked half an alley with it and nearly died of a heart attack from over-exertion.
How did I survive?
I thought, "If I die, I won't have seen the Cubs win a World Series!"
So instead I lived.
To tell this story.
And winter is okay but most of the time it's like kneeling on tacks.
Way back in the 80s, I used to live with my brother and this other guy, Jay, in a courtyard apartment at Cleveland and Fullerton.
My brother was coming back from a visit to Sedona, and, this is true - it rained that day, and sometimes when it rains in Sedona, tarantulas just start walking around on the roads.
Not making that up.
So Grog, that's his nickname, is driving with my dad to the airport.
They're not out of Sedona yet, and Grog spots one.
"Hey stop, I wanna put that tarantula in my suitcase and see if it survives the trip." he says.
He checked his bag and flew.
He came into the apartment, opened his suitcase and out walked our newest pet.
Probably it was named "Barnaby Jones" because he used to name his pets after detective shows.
We put it in an aquarium with a screen top.
Do you know what you feed tarantulas?
Neither did we.
Grog actually braved the frigid Chicago winter to go all the freaking way to a pet store and find out.
So he buys crickets.
We put some in with the tarantula and...nothing happened.
But over the next couple days he must have eaten them because there were sort of dead hollow cricket skins in the aquarium.
So Barnaby Jones lives with us for awhile, eating crickets.
It's fricking freezing out, so usually I'd come home and not go out again.
Watch tv or something.
And one day watching the tube, I look up and SERIOUSLY freaked out because the aquarium had cracks in it!
I thought, "BARNABY JONES CAN CRACK GLASS! He's the most frightening tarantula of all time."
I approached the aquarium with caution, because tarantulas can jump like 40 feet and sink their horrible teeth into your neck.
But as I got closer, the cracks seemed to...what the hell?
The cracks are moving!
They're moving because...THEY'RE ALIVE!
And they were alive because they weren't cracks at all.
They were actually thousands of little teeny tiny baby crickets all walking in perfect little lines up the glass on the inside of the aquarium, under the screen top, and down the glass on the outside and into the apartment.
Apparently Barnaby Jones didn't eat his dinner one night and instead his dinner made babies.
Here's the other thing about crickets: it's bad luck to kill them.
If you know anything at all about me from reading this blog, you know I've got a little superstition problem.
I caught as many as I could by sort of getting them on a piece of paper, running to the back door and shaking them off.
Shortly after that, Barnaby Jones died, leaving the spawn of his dinner to haunt us all winter long.
So as you watch these hideous Cub games repeat themselves over and over and over, just imagine it's FREEZING COLD outside and your whole apartment is going EEEee EEEee EEEee from bugs you cannot kill.
Okay maybe the Cubs are worse, but still at least it's not winter.
PS: I took the family to see "Cowboys and Aliens" instead of watching the game, and apparently I missed a Matt Holliday slide into Starlin Castro that looks very questionable online.
What the hell happened, guys?
PSPS: btw - the movie had me hooked with the trailers that came out last Christmas, but it's really a messy bunch of nothing. Just...not very good.