Monday, April 23, 2007

Chicago Myths Busted #1 -- Wrinkly Fold

I've noticed that a large number of people around the country have bought into many myths about the city of Chicago -- for example, that it's especially windy. It's not definitively known what inspired the whole "Windy City" nickname bullshit ("bullshit" being my stock term for anything I have been tired of for multiple decades), but it isn't anywhere near the windiest city in the United States. If you want to know which one is ... well, if you're using Firefox, there's a little search box in the upper right corner of the browser.

But I digress. Let's move on to the first (and, the way things with this blog usually go, probably the last) installment of a new blog feature: "Chicago Myths Busted."

Today's myth: Busted: Wrigley Field Is Not a Shithole.

OK, maybe I should phrase that more delicately. How about, Busted: Wrigley Field Is a Shrine to Baseball.

You hear it all the time -- it's a beautiful setting for baseball; it's full of history; it's a shriiiiiiiine. Nope. All wrong.

OK, it is a shrine. Wrigley Field -- or, as I like to call it, Wrinkly Fold -- is a shrine to piss. Pee, urine, micturition, whatever you wanna call it. It's the piss capital of America. Piss that smells like stale beer, and stale beer that smells like piss. Visitors to Wrinkly Fold learn quickly -- don't try to walk too fast on the ramps, because piss-drenched concrete is slippery. And having an ass soaked with the collective piss of many strangers might make you fit right in at Wrinkly, but it ain't very comfortable.

It's a beautiful setting for baseball? There are so many sub-myths tied up in that sentence that I don't know where to begin. First of all, I can agree with the statement, if "beautiful" is taken to mean "crumbling, rusting, cramped, and dank." Ever sit far back in the grandstand, in the deepest, darkest coal mine of a dungeon in all of United States-based franchised played-for-money baseball? Behind a column? Yeah, nothing says "beautiful setting for baseball" like sitting in one of Wrinkly's many, many, many, many, many "obstructed view" seats.

And history? Good grief. Sure, it's been open for a long time, so I guess there's history to the place. History of abject failure. Yeah, you can bring your kids there and say, "That's right, kids -- this is the place where Steve Ontiveros and Mick Kelleher played. Badly." I'm sure they'll pause from their PSP game for about 0.000000001 second to drink that in.

I won't even get into how miserable an experience it is to get to the place if you're an out-of-towner (no parking, way off the major highways, etc.) because I don't like to encourage out-of-towners to come here. Stay where you are, subhumanurbanites!

There are so many bad things to say about Wrinkly Fold that I'm running out of energy before I've extinguished even a fraction of them. Such as, the clubhouse conditions being so compact, antiquated, and generally crappy that I'm convinced the Cubs players forced to headquarter there will always be just plain too depressed to win many games. That would be evened out by the fact that the visitors' clubhouse is reported to be even worse (and is reputed to be, by far, the worst visitors' clubhouse anywhere, including Fallujah), but the Cubs have to spend 81 games a year there, which has gotta wear you down pretty bad.

Throw the limited number of night games (due to the yuppie schmucks dominating the vastly overrated, hellish, grotesquely Brueghelian surrounding neighborhood) into the mix, and you are well along the way to answering the question of why the Cubs will never, ever, ever, ever × infinity get to (let alone win) the World Series.

That answer -- they play in Wrinkly Fold.

(Related Myth: Cubs Fans Are the Greatest Fans in Baseball, or Are Even Remotely Tolerable. Busted! So totally, totally busted. More busted than Jayne Mansfield and Candy Samples combined. I don't have the time or energy today to fully debunk this one, but it's pretty self-evident. The most obvious proof of the mythitude of this myth being -- dey loves dem some Wrigley Field more than they love the Cubs. Because anyone who cares about that miserable, wretched, pathetic team at all would demand that whoever buys them next year build a real stadium, and turn Wrinkly into condos, a dog park, a bank, a housewares store, a federal penitentiary ... anything. Anything but the shittiest, pissiest, pukiest excuse for a ballpark in the known universe.)

POSTSCRIPT: Maybe this is old news (see Rick Morrissey's recent Tribune column on this very subject) and anybody who gives a shit has cried themselves out already. Or ... maybe I'm going to get some hostile commentary on this post. Which I guess I have asked for. Please! Hostile commentary! Want some!

Maybe in advance of that, I should clarify a couple things (which won't affect the hostility, I hope). First, I used to be a Cubs fan ... until the cumulative effect of 1984, 1989, and 2003 finished me off for good. Second, I used to enjoy going to Wrigley Field, until ... well, I still enjoy it. But then I have a high tolerance for rust, rubble, piss, discomfort, ignorance, and extremely horrific baseball. That may look like a smartass remark, but I really do. Doesn't make the rust, rubble, piss, discomfort, ignorance -- and especially the extremely horrific baseball -- go away.

All in all, it's my (two-part) position, and I'm sticking with it (both parts of it), that (1) Wrigley is very overrated (the dump wasn't exalted in the 1970s, I can tell you -- it was a cruel joke) and that (2) the Cubs are (gonna continue to be) going nowhere fast until they move.

Anyway, flame away. Chances are that if you even attempt to make a reasonable point, I'll agree with you. (Because I'm a semi-fictional character and don't really have any integrity to defend.) Hell, maybe I'll even reverse positions entirely. Myth Un-busted! Wrigley Field a hell of an enjoyable place to spend an afternoon! I mean, if I score any free or discount tix this season (god knows I can't afford to pay face value), I'll probably take that viewpoint ... temporarily. If I get enough Old Style in me, at least.

1 comment:

loopin ella said...