The weather in Chicago has been nice this month. Too nice? (Chuck Berman/Chicago Tribune )
I don't know about you, Chicago, but I am hating all this awesome weather.
Don't get me wrong: I would not rather be doing what I'm normally doing in late March, which is spending 20 minutes before work hacking with a busted scraper into a 10-inch-thick ice sheet on my car's windshield.
It's just that I can't help looking over my shoulder every time I go outside—the birds chirping and the sun shining, tulips gently waving in the 70-degree breeze as if we were all bit players in some freaking Disney movie. I can't help predicting the inevitable crash after the sugar high, the credit-card bill after the shopping spree, the morning in jail after the wild night on the town.
Impending doom: It's coming for us; I just know it.
After all, I'm a Cubs fan and a Chicagoan. In our world, you pay for your fun.
Example: I relished dreading theG-8summit protests, fantasizing about how terrible my commute would be this summer. There would be riots! Overturned buses! Smoking rubble! It would be like"The Walking Dead,"but instead of people, the zombies would eat vegan cupcakes!
President Obama snatched the G-8summit out of our collective hands, though, so now I'm going to have to make do with stressing about the NATO summit. How lame is that? We probably won't even get any good anarchists.
For Cubs fans, hope, like spring, has sprung. We got Theo Epstein, the GM responsible for bringing an end to the Boston Red Sox's lengthy championship wait. Then "MLB The Show" has to go and make a commercial showing what it would be like in the city if the Cubs won the World Series. For one shining moment, I saw how wonderful life could be.
Then, boom: reality. We're not dealing with a championship contender right now. We're dealing with a baseball team that's worried about the "Eamus Catuli" sign, a historic marker outside Wrigley showing the number of years since the Cubs won the World Series. From what the sign's owner said, someone from the team maybe, might have, possibly suggested the number "shows futility." OK, right. So the 103-year drought doesn't show futility, but some sign does. Got it!
In Chicago, we might enjoy our free bus rides for seniors and all-kids health care, brought to you with "effing golden" affection by Gov.Rod R. Blagojevich. But eventually, someone came to take Rod to the pokey, even if he practically went kicking and screaming, wrapped in an American flag. That's Chicago.
In Chicago, we pay for our fun.
If the Bears win a game or two, the QB goes down and they have to make do with Caleb Hanie. If Chicago-bred NBA star Dwyane Wade visits the town during free agency, it's just to distract from his inevitable re-signing with the Miami Heat. Rosie O'Donnell moves to town, and then her talk show gets canceled.
Trust me, Chicago, the bill for all this amazing-ness is coming. Every day in April we spend at the beach, every morning we grab our sunglasses instead of our winter coat, every long lunch means an eventual payday.
Our only hope is that we might, perhaps, get partial credit from the Snowpocalypse last year. Maybe the hours we spent stuck on Lake Shore Drive, trapped in a bus full of sweaty, angry commuters for eight hours straight, only to spend three hours walking home, counts for something?
Fingers crossed on that one.
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