This and That
There is a lot going on this weekend, baseball is starting, major cities are being invaded by federal thugs, Renovation Island is heating up, and I wanted to clear the decks of some things so I can enjoy myself without feeling the pressure to get to all this.
In my last column I brought you up to speed for this season, however, one thing I didn't mention is that the beloved are going to set a new attendance record tomorrow when they open the season against the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field. It will be the lowest attended baseball game in Cubs history. The previous record was on September 24, 1966 when the Amazing Mets invaded Wrigley and for some reason 530 fans literally had nothing better to do than go watch two of the worst teams in baseball history face off.
I can hear Jack Brickhouse saying, "Todays paid attendance is a whopping 528 fans, and with guests the total is 530 fans, another beautiful day at the ballpark. Plenty of seats still available if you want to stop by. Here's Paul Popovich batting for Don Kessinger."
Speaking of no Fans
Now that it's going to be players only night, every night for sports, this seems like a good time to end the controversy of players taking a knee during the national anthem. It can be stopped by simply not playing the anthem anymore at sporting events. The time for this tradition to stop is long past. I never understood the connection between playing a song, that basically only three people on the planet can sing, and sports.
No other country in the world starts their sporting events like this, and neither should we. I have no issue with a player taking a knee. I don't believe it denigrates the flag, in fact it has nothing to do with the flag, and as political statements go it is pretty tame. The NWSL (National Women's Soccer League) has allowed their players to stay in the locker room during the anthem, and that is a reasonable solution, but an easier one is just stop playing it all together.
If the original intention was to create a wave of pride for fans by playing the anthem before games, it really makes no sense now because there are no fans in the stands to get excited by the song. (In another column I'll get into why this shouldn't even be the national anthem and America the Beautiful should be, but that is for another day) The whole political narrative will end by just stopping this practice.
And as long as we are ending traditions, can we finally put an end to singing the 7th inning stretch at Cubs games. There will be nobody in the seats to sing along so why even do it? If I have to listen to one more bad singer leading us in the memory of Harry, I'm going to shove a pick in my ears so I won't have to hear it ever again.
Renovation TV Shows
With America trapped at home, as a pandemic rages out of control, with zero plans from the White House on how to stop it, we have been forced to spend even more time watching bad TV than usual. I believe there are now 837 shows about fixing your home on TV weekly and they all follow the same formula, more or less.
The hosts use the money they are getting from the producers, to film them, to buy a run down bungalow at a stupid price. You can get a three bedroom/two bath teardown in Indy for $20,000, or buy the same size house in Orange County, CA for $567,000. Then you spend three weeks, which for anyone who has ever done a renovation on their house knows is bullshit, nothing is ever done in less than three months, then stage it and sell it for $200,000 in Indy and $1.67 million in Orange County.
Now, I have no issue with any of this, it's when they take people on a tour of what they've done that makes me insane. Almost every one of the hosts says the same thing, on every show, every time. They are standing on the sidewalk, with the potential buyer, or homeowner, and the people are crying, or agog, at what they are seeing, and the hosts then says, "Would you like to see the inside?" What do you think they are going to say, "no."
Same thing when they go room to room, "do you want to see the kitchen?" Are there no writers available for these shows to give these people some better lines to move things along? For every producer in America of one of these shows, I am here to help you once and for all.
"If you like what you see out here, you will love what we did inside, let's go take a look."
"With this opened up living room you can now see into the kitchen, and let's go look at some of the great things we've done in there."
"While your master bedroom now has much more closet space, we've expanded your en suite dramatically as you can now see."
By the way, as someone who traveled for a living for 30+ years, I do not want my master bath to look, smell, or feel like a spa. Apparently you've never been to one because they are dirty, nasty, and ugly and as my wife will tell you, I spend enough time in the bathroom as it is already. Nobody wants, or does, go into the bathroom for hours at a time to hang out. And who the hell ever sits on a balcony off their master bedroom drinking coffee in the morning? I have been walking around on earth for 66 years and have never seen anyone do this ever.
One of the unforeseen side effects of being locked up at home for the past fifteen years during this pandemic, is that since we've no place to go, we have gotten lazy about doing things. We wear our pajamas all day, or grab the crappiest shorts and tee shirts we can find to lounge around. But if you're like me, you've also become a three year old when it comes to drinking out of a cup.
Almost every day I spill coffee or water on my shirt, and/or desk, because I've missed my big fat mouth somehow when taking a drink. Let's face it, I've been drinking things for a long time now, and you would think that I wouldn't have to even think about it at this point in my life, but apparently I need to invest in an adult sippy cup.
Every day Linda will walk past me and poke her finger at another stain on my shirt, and my desk blotter looks like a Rorschach test with all the coffee stains. I feel like I'm regressing as a human being some days.