Thursday, October 27, 2005

For Posterity's Sake

Grandpa Franklin, do you remember the night the White Sox won the World Series?

Why, yes I do, Timmy. I remember it as though it were only yesterday.

Grandpa had been sick for several days but still had to work long hours at the office, so he was feeling pretty beat that night and tried to go to sleep early. He had just managed (after tossing and turning and coughing and hacking) to doze off, when the game ended.

Everybody in Chicago was filled with great joy. Everybody except Grandpa. You see, way back in first grade Tabitha Jenkins had hit Grandpa on the side of the head with a plastic shovel and knocked his "Appreciation of Sports" lobe out his left ear and into the sandbox. They never did find it.

So Grandpa, who usually is a pretty broad-minded guy, has ever since regarded a love of spectator sports as a pernicious illness that can infect even a stalwart intellectual like that nice Doris Kearns Goodwin. Doris is one smart cookie, but mention baseball in front of the woman and her brain turns to tapioca.

Anyhow, Grandpa didn't give a fig about the World Series and just tried to ignore it, but when the Sox made the final touchdown or whatever, every person in Chicago who owned a car decided the best way to celebrate was to head for Lake Shore Drive, which ran right by Grandpa's bedroom window.

For three, maybe four hours, the car-owning citizens of Chicago drove up and down the Drive, hooting their horns and screaming at the top of their beer-soaked lungs. Grandpa, who had to report to the office at 7 a.m. the next morning, could not sleep worth a damn.

So finally he arose from his bed and went over to the window. Out on the street, people were smiling and laughing and dancing and hooting their horns. You could feel the waves of love rising all the way to the fifteenth floor.

Grandpa looked out over all this, and then, drawing on super powers that had hitherto been completely unknown even to himself, shot a pair of powerful death rays from his eyes and reduced the entire teeming throng to a smoking, ruined pile of guts and car parts.

Then he went back to bed and got a whopping full hour of sleep before the alarm went off.

And that's how Grandpa Franklin celebrated the effing White Sox winning the effing World Series.

Now get the hell off my knee before I turn the death rays on you.

32 comments:

Spinster said...

Poor gramps. Those death rays must come in handy, though. Can he blow up the tires of cars that cut him off? Or shear off the driver's hand and it's accompanying gesture? Is he available for parties and bar mitzvahs? That would keep the line for the pony rides nice and orderly.

Lanea said...

Meeem--reeeees, like the corners of my miiiiiiiind. I feel your pain. Ask me how fun it was to live behind the stadium in college. I hope you sleep well tonight, and that Chicago shuts up so you can.

Jon said...

So if you're grandpa, who's the grandma? {EG}

Sorry you aren't feeling well and didn't get any sleep last night, tigerlily.

You could come here. I'll take care of you.

Deanna said...

Imagine if the win had happened at home...on a weekend.

Ditzy Cadet said...

As a displaced Chicagoan, I remember, and I feel your pain, and being the North Sider I am, and not being an adult as yet to understand the need for noise and alcohol to celebrate, in my stupidty I thought they would have kept it on the South Side..
Ok, so I am a Cubs fan.. there's always next year.
Seriously, sorry you aren't well.. Hit Mama Luna's ( they deliver ! )for some minestrone or Margies for ice cream... either will cure all... well at least make you feel better

RedHeadedGeek said...

Ouch...I'm so sorry, for the second most boring sport to watch in the world, (the first being table tennis) People sure do get riled up.

Lucia said...

Gosh, really sorry... I guess I'm not winning any prizes for the jockstrap comeback, then, since I threw a little Sox-cheering into my email. I really did root for them, but I'm a much bigger fan of sleep than of baseball.

rhg, for my money golf would head that list, way out in front of the pack, which would also include billiards.

Gail said...

I live in Downers Grove, and folks were setting off M-80s after the win.

But I have to admit that despite my dislike of baseball, and despite the fact I'm not even from Chicago, I still had a small warm fuzzy feeling after they won. :)

weaselrina said...

I do feel your pain.. truly.
I remember the night in NY when the Rangers won the Stanley cup for the first time in 54 years, and grown men (seriously grown, like 60) kept screaming randomly out of their windows.
All
Night
Long.

Earplugs, a white noise machine and a pellet gun. Thats what I say.

Calvin said...

That's too funny, Franklin. Good story. BTW, thanks for the comment on my blog. I hope that you and C have a good day/evening.

Areia said...

Who are these 'White Sox' you speak of?

I've only lived in Chicago for 6 days, and I'm already thanking any number of deities for blessing me with a husband who can't tell a baseball from a hockey puck. Do this town ever shut up about it?

Areia said...

that's um... "*does* this town..."

I grasp English grammar, honest.

Sean said...

OH, Grandpa, Franklin. This sounds like a chapter from my book last year. Our house is a mear 2 blocks from Fenway Park...sleep was out of the questin so we went out to join some friends for a drink at the local watering hold (The Ramrod). It was there, where I first smelled tear gas. Wonderful celebration!

Buzz said...

Far be it for me to rain on this little hater-fest, but when a team has not won a championship since 1917, I have to admit for just the teeniset bit of sympathy for them. They won 7 out of 8 post season games and totaly whooped butt.

I come from Cincinnati, and my formative years were full of the Big Red Machine of the 70s...before steroids, before betting, before strikes and unions... I enjoy baseball...in person at least...watching it on tv bores me to tears...and on Fox, its worse because FOX is programmed by ADD folks on crack...its horrible

I watched the last 2 games and have to admit that while i didnt watch ALL of them, i kept up...last night was fascinating simply because it turned into a pitcher's duel, Sox won the game 1-0, and thats stunning.

Don't worry F, championships like this happen rarely in Chicago..."rest" assured, even though we live near Wrigle, we are in no danger from Cubs fans :)

Colleen said...

I'm the odd one out. I love all kinds of sports (well, except maybe curling - what the hell IS curling, by the way) and when the University of Kansas won the NCAA championship in basketball in 1988, I acted just like the people you described. When we could no longer afford season basketball tickets two years ago, after 38 years in the fourth row on the baseline across from the team bench, I felt as if I were losing a child. Sob.

goblinbox said...

Sports. Gah.

stephanie said...

Normally I would be renting out the deathrays (I have this neighbour) but I have to say that I sort of appreciate all the honking and screaming that goes on whenever somebody around here wins something.
It's the only way I find out.

Glee Club said...

I did laundry, ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, then went to bed. I had no idea there was such a hubbub outside! Next time such an incident occurs, we will hide in the bomb shelter. Bring the Scrabble.

Helen said...

Ahh..
I think my DH has Grampa's sports appreciation lobe. He's got WAY more than enough for one man.
But he's a sports slut. He doen't even have a team he roots for! jsut has to watch it ALL.

He's got my sports appreciation lobe too. I almost forgot there was agame last night, excetp that we came home from our Movie Night and he went straight to the TV.

sigh.

ever notice how those spam blocker words ALWAYS have a q?

Marilyn said...

I love baseball. I hate every other sport.

Good for the White Sox. Great plays by Uribe in the 9th.

HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK.

Now, hit me with your rhythm stick. Or ray gun. Whatever.

Christopher said...

I'll run outside screaming and honking horns when there is something worth screaming about. A cure for AIDS or cancer would make me go hoarse from yelling. My car horn will go dead when the soldiers come home from Iraq.
I can't see going crazy for atheletes IMHO that are over paid to begin with. Also, are there any openly gay professional baseball, football, hockey players? It's hard to cheer for sports we're not accepted in.

Ruth said...

My sympathies. I lived less than 1/2 mile from Wrigley Field for almost five years, and grew to really resent baseball fans -- both when celebrating and when drinking their sorrows away.

Especially the latter.

Bonnita said...

WOO HOO CHICAGO! WOO HOO!

Jean said...

You're getting a lot of sympathy here, but not from me, because I've had Julie Andrews singing "The Lonely Goatherd" in my head for a day and a half.

Thanks so much.

Joanne said...

As someone who lived in Germany when they won the World Cup of Soccer, and listened to the all night revelry outside my window (add in generous portions of beer), I totally understand. Get well soon.

~drew emborsky~ said...

Being in Houston for said World Series wasn't much better. I was harassed at the post office because I had socks on. Seriously. I thought they were going to mob me and steal my socks. I scurried away and saved my post officing until after we lost. I guess both ends of the baseball lollypop were fuzzy...

Joe said...

Oh please...whiny little bitch...if it had been four hot guys grunting and pumping till 6:00 in the open window across the alley from your bathroom window, it wouldn't have been a death-ray you would have shot at them.

Let's put this in a little perspective.

Carol said...

Grampa Franklin, when you gonna post the contest winners?

birdfarm said...

Sorry, Franklin, I'm on their side.

Between global war and global warming and everybody losing their job, life is depressing and it's just gonna get worse from what I can see. If people can find something to be happy about, more power to 'em. Even if it is a little "bread & circuses."

May I suggest earplugs?

birdfarm said...

p.s. grandpa? any interesting news you care to share with us?

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