Up North And Personal
By Ken DeLaat
A Double Dip
I. Red Hot Cubs
Baseball fans from these parts are primarily adherents to the Olde English D, however if you have any interest at all in the other league known as the Senior Circuit there’s likely a piece of your heart that belongs to the lovable Cubbies.
Yes we’re talking about those Billy Goat cursed , black cat hexed, Bartman bedeviled, Harry Carey favored Wrigley Field denizens whose devotees have endured a losing legacy that would make long-suffering Lion fans seem a bit...
...picayune in their complaints about their teams misfortunes.
It has been almost 60 years since the Detroit based footballers have won a championship right? Well, when they won that title the Cubs had already been on a 49 year drought. Yes that’s correct, you math whiz readers it’s been 108 years so it would be like our Lions continuing their Super Bowl absence until 2065 or so and since I will be 114 years old on that date my chances at witnessing the snapping of this seemingly ceaseless streak are significantly slim should they continue their Cub-like run.
Well, this year the Cubbies are 29-11 as of a couple days ago, barely cooling off the past week and a half by going 5-5, but on a pennant promising run with a bevy of high-quality arms, clutch hitting bats and perhaps the best manager in the game on their side. A lot has been said about their amazing start and how dominant they have been in rolling up the wins and I agree that it has been a rather strong beginning to the season.
Thing is, being a dyed in the wool faithful and never-say-die Tiger fan I feel compelled to point out that in describing this team’s distinctive record to begin the season one can put it in perspective by comparing it to the magical year of ’84 when the Tig’s roared out a 35-5 record en-route to a division title, then brushed aside the George Brett-led Royals and pretty much destroyed the Padres in the World Series.
Side note: They played the Padres because the Cubs tanked, squandering a 2-0 series lead over San Diego by losing 3 in a row to thwart the enticing possibility of a Cub-Tiger match-up. Just another chapter in the book of blown opportunities the franchise has so eloquently penned.
This is not meant to be a knock on those endearing North-siders and their aspiration to run away with the division and march to a possible world title. They are, as noted, a fine team that is fun to watch and well-stocked with ballplayers who seem to know how to win.
But if they had gotten off to this great start while playing in the 1984 AL East?
They would still be 6 games behind the best Tiger team my generation has ever had the privilege of following.
Event: Short road trip to visit Lil’s Mom.
Place: Gas station in Carson City
I noticed the Equinox running short on gas and…..
Truth be told I hadn’t noticed at all but the ‘Nox signaled me about it, an auto innovation began years ago that broke a rather unprecedented streak of running out of fuel at least once or twice a year. Well, except for a one time relapse when I was signaled, took note of it then turned my thoughts to other things resulting in an unwelcome surprise.
But I digress.
I pull up to the pump and before I can whip out my credit card to begin the process that is repeated all too frequently at various gas emporiums to find a guy standing there who says, “What can I do for you?”
‘Uh, nothing. I’m just getting gas.’
“What kind and how much?”
‘Uh, regular. A fill-up I suppose’, I say trying to edge around him and wondering what his interest in my fueling could possibly be.
He proceeds to man the pump and begin filling the tank.
A sudden flashback sends my mind spinning a bit as I recall the days when one could gas up without ever leaving the driver’s seat. The pre-credit card, pre- automated everything, pre-person working the counter who only left their post to change the prices on the sign or restock the slushy machine but had no clue about directions or car trouble era.
‘You guys pump every time?’
“Yup. It’s what we do.”
I ponder a moment about asking for an oil check, windshield wash, tire pressure confirmation, and so on, but think better of it.
I begin to reach for my card then decide (for old time’s sake) to hand him $43 in cash.
The only disappointment?
He didn’t use one of those belt attached change makers to return my 50 cents.
“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.”- L.P. Hartley
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