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Author: pvbella

She is Not Ella Fitzgerald

Cue Card fpr Davod Brown/Image PV Bella

Just when you thought the Chicago clown show could not get worse, Chicago Police Superintendent, David Brown, could not get the name of a fallen police officer right during a press conference. He referred to her as Ella Fitzgerald, not once, but twice. What next? Etta James? Ellie Mae Clampet?

You can see the gaffes at the 3:07 and 5:42 mark of the video.

Her name is Officer Ella French. OFFICER ELLA FRENCH!

Brown embarrassed himself and outraged the rank and file. They expressed their outrage on social media. Even Cook County State’s Attorney, in name only, Kim Foxx lashed out on Twitter.

Maybe Deadeye Brown should have a staff member face him at the podium with large hand-lettered cue cards, so he knows what to say like they for talk show hosts.

The night of the shooting, as the police honor guard was preparing to lead the ambulance into the Medical Examiner’s facility, Brown’s Mini-Me Minion, First Deputy Superintendent, Eric Carter, was caught on video trying to rush things along, saying, “We’re not waiting for the bagpipes. We don’t have time for this shit.” Yeah, he said it. He wanted Officer Ella French to get the bum’s rush so he could go back to the bed he was roused from.

Police officers are outraged over the latest gaffes from their supposed leaders. They single-handedly destroyed what little shred of morale is left in the department. Insult to injury to utter and laughable stupidity reigned over this tragic, heartbreaking incident. 

Not one senior staff member of the police department attended the bond hearing for the two accused offenders yesterday. No else from the city, including alderpersons or staff members, attended the hearing.

The list of gaffes by this clown show is embarrassing. Police leaders are not supposed to be embarrassing. Officers are rightfully angry over this. They risk their lives every hour of every day, and they get kicked in the teeth by their leaders.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot cannot let this clown show go on. The ratings are in negative territory. Pay off Brown’s contract and send him packing. Force Carter out. We will wish them ill on their way out of the door.

There is plenty of senior staff in the Chicago Police Department to step up and do those two jobs. Stop doing nationwide searches for incompetent mercenary police executives. Enough is enough. Each one in Chicago was and is a failure. 

A department is mourning and grieving. A city is metaphorically burning as we go into the 150th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire. People are dying and suffering from unchecked rampant criminality. Now, the Chicago Police Department men and women are left knowing their boss, and his number two do not care a wit about them.

When is enough going to be enough? Lightfoot bears the responsibility for the gaffes. She bears the responsibility for the murder, mayhem, havoc, and criminality plaguing this city. She hired Brown and probably approved Carter.

She needs to act swiftly. We can no longer wait for the next failing plan. Time is running out. Citizens across this city are fed up. Our police officers are demoralized, sad, and angry.

Public safety is the number one responsibility of the Mayor and City Council. Yet, there are over a dozen anti-police alderpersons. Many are represent wards with the highest poverty, crime, and violence. Like all good extremists, all they do is flap their soup coolers. They propose nothing of substance. Most do zero for their constituents.

Communities where violence is most rampant, are demanding better. Their pleas fall on deaf ears at City Hall. The communities know their alderpersons do not care about them. It was this way for decades. Now, it is getting beyond worse. The grim reaper piper is being paid in blood and death.

It is time to send Sheriff Deadeye back where he came from. It is time to put people in charge of the police department who know what they are doing. We need those who know the city, worked the streets, and know the communities. We do not need another dunderhead mercenary from someplace else who has no clue.

The circus does not have to come to town. Chicago is the circus.

Failure is an Option in Chicago

Image: PV Bella

Lori Lightfoot lost the confidence of the Chicago Police Department rank and file, the men and women who work the streets every day. Her police superintendent, David Brown, is an abject failure. When you lose the confidence of your public safety and emergency service personnel, you have a big problem.

The streets of Chicago are a war zone and Wasteland, like a post-apocalyptic movie. The criminals are in charge. Gangs, drug dealers, and other criminal groups, small and large, are wreaking murder, mayhem, and havoc every day in every neighborhood. 

Chicago police officers are overworked, beyond tired, and demoralized. They cannot make good decisions and solve problems under these highly stressful conditions. The cops are warning the city. The city could care less. Chicago is a town without pity. It does not care about its emergency service personnel or the citizens, who are being victimized daily.

If David Brown and his command staff demand police officers work long hours with no or few days off, they should do the same. The concept of rank having privilege has its limits. They should lead by example or leave.

According to the Chicago Police Department, discipline is meted out as an educational tool, not punishment. Under the COPA regime, discipline is pure punishment, and it is slammed hard. They severely punish officers for legitimate actions, like stopping people visibly wearing firearms. COPA does not punish to educate. COPA punishes for punishment’s sake.

Why would any police officer want to do proactive policing under these horrific conditions? Why would they risk their life, job, or freedom? The Chicago Police Department is a toxic work environment. The buck stops on the mayor’s desk. She is wearing the hat. She can change course, but she won’t. Lori Lightfoot is stubbornly clinging to failure.

Police officers have no faith that this city has their best interests at heart or the citizens’ best interests. They are living in despair. Every day they go to a job they are afraid to do properly. Every day they are looking over their shoulders in fear of retribution. Every day they are tired, mentally, physically, and emotionally. This is a recipe for disaster.

The mayor is responsible for this cataclysm. Her superintendent is inept. He proved time and time again he is out of his element. Chicago is not Dallas. It is not some sleepy cowpoke town. 

The people in this city no longer feel safe. There are no safe places left. 

The mayor is losing the faith of many alderpersons whose constituents and businesses are fed up. Some of these aldermen have been calling for changes. Their demands fall on deaf ears.

There are over a dozen alderpersons who are anti-police. Maybe the police detail that protects these elected officials at City Hall should be disbanded. Social workers could replace them. Many of these alderpersons represent some of the most dangerous wards.

No one wants to live in fear. People are speaking out. Lori Lightfoot is deaf to even the most common-sense solutions.

Crime is out of control. You cannot fight crime with press conferences like David Brown is doing. Chicago needs a reset. The mayor must wake up to the reality that she lost this city and will lose the next election if she runs.

Time is running out. Patience is running out. The pressure is building. Chicago is on the path to destruction. There is no leadership on the fifth floor of City Hall, in the City Council, and not in the Chicago Police Department. 

Failure is an option is the leadership philosophy of this once great city.

The Invisible Voices

When I worked in the 10th District during the late 1970s through the 1980s, we had a dispatcher named Harry. Harry was the best dispatcher on our zone. He had a cheerful disposition and a calm, competent manner. No matter how much chaos there was, he controlled it with his assuring voice.

Harry could handle multiple hot calls, chases, and other incidents without creating havoc. If you look the word multi-tasker up in a dictionary, Harry would be the first definition. There were many dispatchers like Harry, but he stands out because we knew his name.

When Harry was dispatching, he had our backs. He was able to get us whatever we needed ASAP. He rarely asked why, and when he did, it was to make sure he could do the right thing. If there were something severe, Harry would shut down the zone until the issue was resolved. He stayed on the radio with his reassuring voice assisting as if he was there.

Harry, like most dispatchers at the time, was a police officer. He was a cop’s cop. He knew we relied on him, and he never let us down.

I bring up Harry because police officers, the public, and the news media never give dispatchers the credit they deserve. Today, most, if not all, dispatchers are civilians. Chicago police dispatchers are some of the best in the nation. Most cops never meet, let alone know the names of their dispatchers. They are invisible voices on the radio.

During the incident Saturday night that left one police officer murdered and another clinging to life, a dispatcher was one of the heroes. His name is Keith Thornton.

Thornton did a pheromonal job juggling several tasks as the incident unfolded if you listen to the recording. The recording speaks for itself. Thornton took control of the radio zone. He owned it. He showed total focus and concern for “My officers.” His words, “My Officers.”

“That’s the unconscious officer, correct? Is someone in the back with her? Is someone in the back seat with her? Ok, listen to me, take that vest off right now and start compressions, start breathing, whatever you got to do, start it now, while you’re driving, the officer in the back with her, take the vest off and start compressions now. Keep it rolling baby… they know you’re coming in,” 

Thronton stayed cool and calm. He gave directions to the officers on the street. Nothing would interfere with him until the officers were at the hospital, the crime scene secured, and everyone was safe.

Police officers rely on their dispatchers for many things, trivial and critical. They are our ears and mouthpieces. When we need things, they can get them and get them fast. They can organize the chaos, keep officers calm, deescalate excited officers, and juggle many balls in an emergency.

Keith Thornton is a hero. The cops that night know it. Hopefully, the brass and the city will recognize his actions on that horrific night. One could only wonder what went through his head when it was all over. 

Many officers take the dispatchers for granted until the stuff hits the fan. They may not be on the streets. They do not wear guns. They are sitting behind computer screens with headsets. They are always there when cops need them. They are the cops’ invisible partners. They rarely get the credit they deserve.

We All Know

“To such as these, all but forgotten, doing a dirty, thankless job, without reward or glory, policing, firefighting, and EMTs is a way of life, the only one we knew or wanted.” (Paraphrased from “Boots and Saddles”)

The day my daughter was born, I held her tiny body in my arms. Her head was barely the size of my palm. I knew then that I had to change. I could no longer be the kind of police officer I was. I did not want to be all over the news for some action I took. I did not want some bosses and the Police Chaplain ringing the doorbell at some ungodly hour, announcing my family is a member of a club no one wants to join.

Cops, firefighters, and EMTs may not think about or verbalize it. But deep in the recesses of their minds, they all wonder. When they leave for work, will this be the last time they see their loved ones? Will these be the last hugs and kisses.? Their families feel this too. They may never express it, but they know, feel, and fear it.

Some say they do God’s work. That is wrong. They do the work God does not want to do. They do the job no one wants to do. It is a calling, not just a career. They are humans with human flaws. Yet they are essential. Their flaws are splashed all over the news media like cheap beer on a bar. The day-to-day grind and danger are only reported when they are killed or seriously injured performing their essential duty.

Last night a Chicago Police officer was shot and killed. Her partner was critically wounded and is fighting for his life. They were performing their duty. It is called the ultimate sacrifice, dying or being catastrophically injured while performing duty.

We live by rituals. The rituals are essential. They make us feel we belong to something bigger than ourselves. They keep us strong in the face of our weaknesses. They help us grieve, heal, and keep us bonded to each other. They begin the remembrance. We never forget.

The ritual played out over the early morning hours. Droves of police officers gathered at the hospital. Then, the parade of police and fire vehicles took their slow ride to the Cook County Medical Examiners facility. An honor guard and piper led the parade from the street into the parking lot.

Two hook and latter trucks raised their ladders, almost touching, to drape an American flag as they arrived. Officers and Fire Department personnel lined the street to honor the fallen. In the days ahead, the honor wake and funeral will be another part of the ritual.

Another mass gathering of emergency responders will be at the funeral home. A large honor parade will follow the fallen to the cemetery. Handing a flag to the family and the twenty-one gun salute will end the formal ritual.

I was a witness and participant in many of these rituals. Some were for friends. Some were people I worked with. Some were people I did not know. Each and everyone was heartbreaking.

We are extended families. These are our brothers and sisters from other parents.

Another part of the ritual is assisting the families of the fallen or catastrophically injured. We take care of our own. It is the least we can do to honor those who lost their lives or bodies for those words, duty, and honor.

Emergency services personnel go out every day and give their all. They see and do things no human being should experience. As the adage states, they are the first in and the last out. They leave no one behind. The ritual is part and parcel of leaving no one behind, including the families of the fallen.

Lest we forget, others do the work God does not want to do. They are the medical personnel in trauma units. They heroically work to save lives no matter how fruitless their endeavors may seem. Life is sacred to them. They never give up until the very end.

582 Chicago Police Officers were killed in the line of duty since the inception of the Chicago Police Department. Many members were catastrophically injured while serving. The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation assists the families of these officers. For more information or to donate, visit their website.

Blago is The Song That Never Ends

Rod Blagojevich leaving the Federal Building during his trial. Image: PV Bella

“This is the song that never ends.
Yes, it goes on and on, my friend(s).
Some people started singing it Not knowing what it was,
and they’ll continue singing it forever just because. (Shari Lewis)

Like the Song that Never Ends, some people never go away. “They go on and on again.” For example, take Rod Blagojevich, AKA Blago. Take him anywhere but take him out of the public eye.

Blago, convicted of corruption and sentenced to fourteen years in prison, filed what legal experts termed a frivolous lawsuit regarding his ban on running for public office. The state legislature banned him from running for public office after impeaching him. Blago claims he was denied his due process rights during his impeachment process. He further claims voters lost their right to vote for him. Geez, Louise, this sounds like bad legal comedy.

Blago is not the brightest lawyer in a land where the bar is low for licensing lawyers. There is no right to hold public office, no matter how low the bar might be. There is no right to a law license, especially for a convicted felon.

Blago filed the suit, pro se, meaning he is representing himself. As the legal adage goes, he has a fool for a client. Blago is not very intelligent, though he is well-read. He will recite Kipling at the drop of a hat or discuss the finer points of the life of Elvis Presley, his idol and role model. It is a good bet he is now an expert on his new icon, the former occupant of the White House, who he supports with evangelical zeal.

Ironically, the news media showed up, but an ABC News documentary crew was there too. Is ABC News seriously making a documentary about Blago? If true, it should be a mockumentary.

Blago did not receive fourteen years in prison solely for his crimes. He received that long sentence because he continually defied the legal system and the trial judge. As an attorney and officer of the court, he repeatedly demonstrated a total disregard for court orders.

When the federal government comes after you, you should lay low and stay out of the public eye. That is not how Blago rolls. He kept attempting to try his case in the court of public opinion, defying the judge’s orders. That cost him a sentence on the high end of the spectrum. The former occupant of the White House commuted his sentence after he served eight years. Only the Great Comedian knows why.

Now he needs a job. Blago is hustling by making greeting recordings for a living, like a cheap prostitute. The sad thing is Blago has a throng of followers who adore him. Like the blonde Man Tan, they are the typical low intelligent voters who keep giving us the government we do not deserve.

Blago’s terms as governor were a bad clown show. He thought he could do whatever he wanted, including not showing up for work. Elected officials in this state, Cook County, and Chicago are notorious for their laziness and ineptitude.

His chances of prevailing in court are slim to none, and slim just left town. His attempt to get his law license is futile. The Bar does not want or need more jongleurs as members.

Maybe he should move to Bubba Land, US of A. There is no bar for licensing, as the lawyers are as dumb or dumber as the people they serve. Hell, they might even make him a judge. Those beauty contests are always looking for judges.

Ban Floridians from Chicago

Image: PV Bella

Someone asked me about Governor Andrew Cuomo’s sexual harassment imbroglio. Should he resign or be impeached? I responded that I did not care. Cuomo is the governor of New York. I live in Chicago. I do not care about New York. I only care about my state and city.

The better question is what to do about Florida Governor Ron DeSantis? He poses a direct threat to Chicago. Chicagoans travel to Florida, and Floridians travel to Chicago, endangering us with their ignorant refusal to get the COVID vaccines.

The bubble-brained DeSantis is a national menace. His statements on the pandemic are proof of his lack of intelligence or education. There must be a government program for intellectually disadvantaged people to attend Ivy League universities, Title VI VI VI, maybe?

DeSantis is blaming the border with Mexico for the rapid rise of COVID cases. The last time I looked, Mexico did not share a border with Florida. During geography class, DeSantis pulled out his box of Crayola crayons, sniffed them, and colored the maps instead of looking at them.

Cuomo may be a menace to younger women in New York. He is not a menace to the people of Chicago. DeSantis is. 

Chicago should immediately institute a travel ban on all unvaccinated people traveling to and from Florida. We cannot have undocumented Floridians entering our city or allow Chicagoans to go to Florida.

President Joe Biden could and should help. He could close the Florida border. Shut it down, lock it down. Shut down the airports and train stations. Block all the federal highways leading out of the state. He can use federal troops to block Floridians from leaving, if necessary. The president should mandate that cruise ships demand vaccination documents and refuse boarding to undocumented Floridians and others who refuse to get the vaccine.

Better yet, build a great big, beautiful wall around Florida with access points to show vaccine documentation. We could use technology from Asia to erect a wall in weeks instead of months or years.

If DeSantis will not protect his people, the federal government has a duty and obligation to protect us from this madman and his dull-witted population. 

While this babbling baboon is defying common sense, Florida hospitals are overflowing with COVID patients again. Many Floridians travel north to escape the summer heat and humidity. We do not want them in Chicago. No one wants these spreaders of disease. 

The Department of Justice should launch an investigation to determine if DeSantis is committing crimes against humanity and genocide, abusing his power as governor.

Chicago suffered its share of epidemics and pandemics, including cholera, typhoid, tuberculosis, and the Spanish flu. Each time we took precautions and made improvements. Now is not the time to go backward because of the backward people of Florida and their spawn of the devil governor.

Shame on Them- Shame Them

Image: PV Bella

Be kind to your morons
Though they don’t deserve it
Remember that morons
It is a difficult stage of life

Just keep in mind
Though it seems hard I know
Most morons were normal long ago

So treat them with patience
And kind understanding
In spite of the foolish things they do

Some day you might wake up
And find you’re a moron too

Americans will stuff their bodies with just about everything, including Chicken McNuggets, mystery meat fast food burgers,  Chipotle, Olive Garden, or Tide Pods. They do not care about the cryptic ingredients they shovel in their maws. If some fast-food chain came up with a way to batter and deep fry pork uterus, topping it with powdered sugar, dim bulb Americans would flock to it. It would be all over Instagram.

The COVID numbers are rising in Chicago. The rise is not alarming but cautionary. COVID is spreading through Florida like STDs through their senior communities. California and other states are seeing considerable increases in COVID. The one common denominator is the new cases are in unvaccinated people. 

The Bubbas and Bubettes of this country do not care what they stuff in their bodies. When it comes to COVID vaccines, they become medical, biological, and chemical experts. They refuse to get vaccinated because the vaccines have dangerous “stuff” in them. They can alter your DNA- the acronym that stands for Do Not Accept. Vaccines kill people, cause mental disturbances, magnetize the body, turn people into lab rats running in mazes, and a host of other asinine beliefs. Some believe The Great Comedian forbids putting vaccines in your body, and the Good Book says so.

Many younger people in Chicago believe their healthy lifestyle will keep them safe. Their green sludge smoothies, supplements, and exercise is better than getting a vaccination. They are as ignorant as those who live in Bubba Land.

People have every right to live as they please. They have every right to die. People have every right to be stupid, ignorant, and unlearned. This is ‘Merica. God, guns, mom, sex, drugs, and rock and roll, apple pie, and the KFC Colonel made this country great.

To keep this country strong, we must preserve American culture and the American dream of junk food, junk religion, and junk science. Vaccinations and masks are unamerican, socialist, and commie inventions to turn people into obedient herds of obedient drones.

There is a horrid new trend. Some woke people are advocating avoiding shaming anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers. We must not humiliate the willfully ignorant. Intelligent people should not discriminate against them. They are a new disenfranchised minority. It is highly inappropriate to shame drooling idiots for endangering your life, the life of others, and themselves. It is wokisim to the nth degree. 

Unmasked and unvaxxed lives matter. Their feelings matter. Their idiocy must be respected, tolerated, and accepted. Maybe some fuzzy-brained academic can come up with a name for them, like Stupidx. 

Do not accept this new woke fallacy. Shame anyone who gets near you indoors or on public transportation without a mask. Do not argue with idiots who will not get vaccinated. Humiliate them. We all should. It is our civic duty. 

Public shaming and humiliation will not change their tiny minds. It will make them paranoid and fearful of leaving their homes without being publicly scorned. If they stay quarantined at home, we will be safe. It is just common sense to keep these people behind closed doors, quaking in fear of being shamed in public.

The anti-shamers are as dangerous as the anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers. You cannot be kind to people who pose a threat. It is bad enough we are kind to criminals. Anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers deserve all the shame and scorn we can heap on them.

Talking to Tony

Image: P

The gentleman in the photograph is named Tony. He and his wife were sitting near me in Giddings Plaza. She was sitting on a park bench, he next to her in a chair. After some time, his wife stood up and very slowly walked away.

Tony looked over at me and started a conversation with are you Italian? He had an accent. I answered yes, my grandparents came from Sicily. He brightened up and said he came from Sicily. He introduced himself and we had a pleasant conversation about a few topics. He said his wife went to get the car. They are married for fifty years.

Tony is 85 years old. He came here as a boy. He worked for 30 years at Hines Veterans Hospital. He measured, fitted, and made prosthetic limbs for veterans. He told me he bought apartment buildings, which his son manages for him.

Tony was proud of his accomplishments. He said he has his health, money, income from his pension and rents, and a home in the suburbs. “I am happy, my wife is happy, my son is happy.”  

Then Tony told me a truth most of us never consider. He said the only thing he did not have was time. Tony told me time, his life, went by too fast and none of us have enough time.

We chatted for several minutes until he saw his wife pull up in the car. Tony stood up slow and careful. He talked to some women unlocking their bikes. Then, Tony walked slower than his wife to the car.

Tony was not bragging about his accomplishments or wealth. He was proud. Proud of what he accomplished during a long life. Proud, like other immigrants who worked, invested, and had what they considered wealth. Proud that he loved his family.

Tony brought back memories of older Italians and Sicilians I met as a boy. Some were elderly friends of my dad’s parents. Others came here after WWII to escape the ravages of that war. They told similar tales. They worked, raised their families, owned homes, businesses, or buildings.

During the late 1960s through the mid-1970s, many of these people retired. They went back to Italy or Sicily. They could live an upper-middle-class life or even a wealthy life on their social security, pensions, and sale of assets. The cost of living in some parts of Italy was very low.

Tony told me he visited his hometown in Agrigento a few times. He wants to make another visit before time runs out. Maybe he will.

There is never enough time for our hopes and dreams. We work, we raise families, we waste time on unimportant things. As we age, time starts running out. We get closer to a visit with the Grim Reaper.

Tony knows this. Most of us never consider that life is time and time is all we have. Live, love, laugh, and eat the sandwich before the lights go out for good.

COVID’s Dirty Little Secret

Image: CDC artist depiction of COVID

COVID cases are inching up again in Chicago, Cook County, and rapidly spreading in the wide swaths of the country where vaccinations and mitigation are low. The Delta variant and its evil twin, Lambda, are more contagious and worse than the original COVID-19 virus. 

Florida, Missouri, Texas, and other Bubba Land states are experiencing high numbers of infections. California is also experiencing rising spreads of COVID.

There is a worse variant spreading in this city and country. It is more contagious and deadly—the Chazos variant. The Chazos variant is the extreme form of the virus, as it quickly and efficiently spreads to and infects the brain.

The symptoms are horrific. Denial, inconvenience, non-compliance, conspiracy paranoia, self-destructive behaviors, wild rantings and ravings, spittle flying when speaking, and drooling when silent.

Identifying humans infected with the Chazos variant is simple, and we should avoid those people like the plague. If ever there was a case for mandatory quarantine on some island or sanitarium in the middle of nowhere past where Christ lost His sandals, the Chazos variant is it.

Experts I consulted claim the Chazos variant evolved side by side with the original COVID-19 infection, though it did not escape from a lab in China. It is purely an American variant of COVID. It is American as apple pie, mom, God, guns, country, flag, and evangelical constitutionalism. 

It arrived in this country before the spread of COVID. The CDC and the NIH kept it a secret, even from the White House. The institutions were alarmed at the contagion and feared making it public would cause panic and hysteria. Further, there were reports that some of the first cases of the disease originated from the White House. The medical experts knew that former President Trump exhibited early symptoms of the Chazos variant, and from his behavior, his symptoms are getting worse.

The variant spread through the House of Congress, and some senators were infected. Those exhibiting the worst symptoms are congresspersons Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Lauren Opal Boebert. Senators Rand Paul and Paul Gosar are also exhibiting severe symptoms. Governors Ron DeSantis, Greg Abbot, and Kristi Noem are afflicted with symptoms of the Chazos variant.

Chazos creates sociopathy in infected humans, placing normal humans in danger. There is talk of classifying Chazos as an incurable mental condition. It destroys the mind, turning normal unintelligent people into less-ons (Lower than morons).

Chazos is infecting the population so fast it is hard to keep up with it. There is no vaccination. There are no preventative measures. Masks and social distancing will not prevent the spread of Chazos. There is no cure. People infected with Chazos will be long haulers for life, carrying the disease to the grave.

After spending too many minutes chasing down information on the variant, I found the solution. There is even a phrase for it, stuck on Chazos. Since the nine known variants are based on the Greek alphabet, it was only proper to use a Greek word for this variant. Chazos (χαζος) is Greek for stupid.

We Don’t Have to Like It

Sam Sianis and the Goat/Image: PV Bella

I was at Billy Goat’s (The one under Michigan Ave.) watching the last game of the 2016 World Series. The place was packed.  Owner Sam Sianis brought out a goat to end the curse of the goat his uncle placed on the Cubs for refusing his goat entry to the ballpark. The crowd roared as Sam paraded the goat through the restaurant.

I was sitting at the bar. Two reporters were sitting next to me, one from Australia the other from New Zealand. They asked about the goat. I explained about the curse and how this would be a great side story. They did not get it. Others tried to explain what a great story the goat would be if the Cubs won. Some people are just dense. They ignored the goat and kept taking pictures and videos of the crowd and televisions.

The curse of the goat ended when Anthony Rizzo caught the throw at first base, tagging and ending a long dry spell for the “Loveable Losers.”

Rizzo, Kris Bryant, and Javier el Mago Baez exhibited sheer joy jumping and hugging each other. This was their moment, along with the rest of the team.

We knew it was coming, though we did not want to admit it. There were credible rumors that the Cubs would trade Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, and Javier Baez. They were the Three Musketeers of the 2016 World Series win. Aside from their athletic abilities and skills, they brought fun to the game. They not only loved to play baseball but showed us they loved to make the game fun for them and the fans.

The trades angered many fans when they were announced. We did not have to like it, but we had to accept it. That’s life. The Cubs are building for the future. We get that. We wish all three well with their new teams. They will bring the same dedication and passion to the game they brought here.

Where are you going to see a play like this again?

A lot of fans used humor on social media over the trades. A batboy was traded to Stan’s Donuts for lifetime free donuts. Clark, the Cub’s mascot, was traded to Build a Bear. Ronnie Woo was traded to the White Sox for two bat boys and a Sox fan. The ivy was traded for two starter plants and a bush to be named later.

The unofficial Cubs motto is, “Wait till next year.” We will miss Rizzo, Bryant, and el Mago. But life will go on. The Cubs will go on. We will see what next year brings.