The Curse of the Goose

The Curse of the Goose is broken!!! (For those of you following along at home, I am the Goose, and the Curse of the Goose is the fact that I have never seen the Chicago Cubs win in person, much to the incredible frustration of Tony, who is a lifelong fan and likes to take weekend trips to watch the Cubs play in various cities). The Curse got so bad that sometimes I was not even allowed to watch them on TV because just being in the same room with the TV would cause my bad Curse mojo to travel back over the air waves and jinx them, typically in the 9th inning when they would decide to bring out their crappiest closer, who (totally under the influence of my Curse) would blow the game...again. Sounds a little far-fetched, I know, but Tony swears that it is true, and he is an expert on these things. (Why else would he shout plays to the team from the couch in the living room if the coach couldn't somehow sense it?)

But now the Tony rejoices, and the Cubs rejoice, and other Cubs fans rejoice, because the Curse of the Goose has been broken!!! What broke it, you ask? I'm not entirely sure, but I'm going to say Barry Williams and Combos. Specifically Barry Williams the Brady Bunch actor and pepperoni pizza pretzel Combos.

(You'll just have to imagine flashback waves...Blogger doesn't offer that option yet).

It was Saturday morning, and Tony had planned one of our traditional weekend trips...a Cubs game and a trip to the host city's zoo. This weekend's city was Cincinnati, which is a mere 4 hours from Knoxville, and perfect for a weekend baseball/zoo trip. Cincinnati has a perfectly lovely zoo, with a very strong big cats exhibit and polar bears (ooohhh!), which I will have to tell you about in another post, because this one is about the Curse. Anywho, we drove to Cincinnati, had some really good pizza at a local pizza joint close to the University, and toured the zoo. Then it was time for the baseball game. (Technically, it was two hours early for the baseball game, but Tony likes to watch batting practice, so we were there early for that). We like the seats way way up in the uppermost deck because they're cheap you get a good view of the entire field and they're cheap a lot of other Cubs fans generally sit up there too, and okay, they were only $10 each. It was 70's night on Saturday, so all of the regular baseball stadium songs were replaced by 70's songs (which was fine with me because personally, I like that song about the Convoy). Plus, Barry Williams was there as a special guest. (I wouldn't know Barry Williams if he came up and kicked me in the kneecaps, but apparently he was the actor who played Greg Brady on the Brady Bunch). Barry did all kinds of special guest things like throw out one of the 80 bajillion "first" pitches, and sing Happy Birthday to one of the booth announcers, and host the Lets make a Deal game where a lucky fan gets to pick whether they want the prize behind door number one, two, or three. (The prize, by the way, turned out to be a kiss and autographed picture from, you guessed it, Barry Williams. And since she was a nubile young thing, I have a feeling that Barry Williams also got to pick the contestant). I can only assume that the awesome star power of Barry Williams blinded the Cubs team to the fact that I was in the stands, because they got out to an early lead with a two run hit by Derek Lee in the first inning. Two runs does not a ballgame make, however, so Cubs fans were happy but fatalistic. Heaven knows they’ve blown a lead by giving up way more than 2 runs before. It was only a matter of time. We felt a little better when Soriano had a three run home run in the second, making it 5-0. I missed the score in the 6th inning on Floyd’s double because I was grumbling at the concession stand lady who wanted $8.25 for my basket of chicken tenders. $8.25! And there were only 3 or 4 little tenders in there! (Words like "Rip-off" and "Highway robbery" may have been muttered). Anyway, with my Curse otherwise occupied at the outrageous price gouging of baseball concession stand food, the Cubs were able to make it 6-1. The 9th inning is the one to be worried about though. Cubs looooove to blow the game in the 9th. But surprise of surprises, the Cubs did NOT blow the lead. Noooo! In fact, Soriano homered AGAIN (because he is just awesome like that), which brought the final score to 8-1. (Here’s a picture of the scoreboard, even though you can’t really read the score due to the angle). Tony was ecstatic! I was shocked! The Curse was broken! And by Barry Williams of all people! Of course, it was also a sold out game, so maybe the Cubs couldn’t feel my bad Curse mojo because of all the other fan mojo interference, but I’m sure Barry had something to do with it. Ohhh, if only Lou Piniella knew the real secret to his success.

On Sunday, Barry was not in attendance (at least not that I know of…I’m guessing he was still sleeping off a night of 70’s disco mayhem), so we had to think of another way to keep the Curse pre-occupied. After the $8.25 chicken tender debacle, we discovered that you can bring food and drinks into the stadium as long as they are not opened, so we stopped by a gas station on the way to Great American and picked up some much needed, much cheaper snack rations. I grabbed sugar-free Twizzlers (because I believe in eating healthy!) and a large bag of Pepperoni Pizza Pretzel Combos (because I just like them. Besides, pretzels are a healthy snack too). Tony also grabbed Combos, but he went for Pizza and cracker, and we decided to split the Twizzlers. I also brought my book to keep me occupied through the two-hour batting practice that Tony so enjoys. We found our seats again and settled back to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the pre-game action on the field which turned out to be…3 kids tossing the ball around. Apparently both teams decided that they either didn’t need batting practice again, or they did it earlier in the day. The kids, meanwhile, had won some kind of contest that allowed them to toss a ball around in the outfield before the game. (Tony was immediately jealous). So he watched three really uncoordinated little leaguers for two hours and I read. Once we got underway, Zambrano did a wonderful job of pitching, for which I credit the Combos, and my own amazing self-control by saving them all until after the game started. (Everyone knows that like Superman and kryptonite, the Curse has a particular weakness for Combos). Anyway, I spent most of the first half of the game sucking artificial pizza goodness out of the salt covered pretzel rolls, which allowed Theriot and Derek Lee to score and Zambrono to pitch a no-hitter all the way up until the 7th inning. By the time a we were singing "Take me Out to the Ballgame" for the 7th inning stretch, I had mostly finished off the entire bag of Combos, the Twizzlers, and a cherry sno-cone (yes, purchased from the evil concession stand as a defense against the incredible heat), so I was really too full to allow the Curse to eat anything else, no matter how well the Cubs were doing. It turned out to be enough though, because the resulting heartburn from all the food kept the Curse at bay while the Cubs scored twice more; a two-run homer in the 7th, and two more runs in the 9th. In the end, they had a fabulous 6-0 win…a total shutout! Tony was happy, the Cubs were happy, I was bloated but happy. Heck, Barry Williams was probably even happy, (bless his cheesy child-acting star heart).

End flashback waves.

And so ends my tale of baseball triumph. The Curse of the Goose was broken and a good time was had by all…thanks to a snack food with absolutely no natural ingredients and a TV icon from 30 years ago. You’re welcome Chicago Cubs.
(Note: If Tony's expression looks really bizarre, it's because he's annoyed that I'm making him look at the camera phone while the game is going on. He doesn't really look like that normally).


Zachariah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zachariah said...

sorry about the last comment getting deleted.

this was funny.

smc said...

Chicago as a whole salutes you!

I am very impressed that you managed to hold off on eating the Combos until the game started. Do you remember being kids and limiting ourselves to 10 pieces of popcorn before the movie started? You must have learned your self-control from those moments.