Thursday, May 12, 2005
Gaping Slack Science
I went to the Cubs game on Tuesday night. Due to finger pointing and emergency cleanups at work, I didn't leave until well after six for a game at seven.
Every time I go to Wrigley I park at the K-Mart at Addison and I-90. First, they don't tow. Second, public restrooms. Third, Little Caesars Pizza. The bubblegum of pizza. I buy them before and after games, five bucks for a medium pepperoni. So I park there and take the 152 bus east down Addison, 25 blocks to Wrigley.
I arrived in the middle of the 4th inning and trudged up the concrete rampways to my upper deck seat in 512. Far below Greg Maddux struck out batters, 10 over the course of the game. On TV his movements look slow and deliberate. In person, from far above, he waddles like a duckling. Good old Gweggie. The Cubs won 7-0.
I decided to walk back to my car instead of taking the bus. Twenty-five blocks is no big deal. I love walking. Today was different. I'd worn an old pair of jeans that had a hole worn inside the thigh. After ten blocks it was meshing with hairs from my legs and tugging them, little by little, right off me. Ouch.
Then the edge of the hole began kneading my skin, removing my epidermis cell by cell, past the dead outside layers to the pinkish breathing inside layers. I kept pulling my boxer shorts down to cover the hole and protect my leg, but after a few strides they'd ride back up, leaving me exposed and prone to slow damage.
The walk was escalating torture. I kept glancing furtively about, and satisfied that no one was watching, I'd furiously shove my hands down my pants past my crotch to tug the ends of my boxers. I quickly got frustrated with the desperate need to adjust myself so frequently. After each repositioning, I'd try to walk without allowing my damaged clothing to resettle in an uncomfortable position. This resulted in me walking a Korean army march, pausing once every block to attack myself.
I was embarrassed a little bit, but I'd never see any of these people again, so what the hell, right? Eventually I gave up and stopped walking. I waited for the bus.
Finally I reached my car, hopped in, and decided the pants deserved immediate retirement. I unzipped and shimmied and shucked, and off they came. I tossed my shoes into the passenger seat and my pants out the window. I drove over them as I left.
I was hungry, so I stopped at the White Castle at Harlem and Belmont before retiring for the evening. I pulled in past the young Polish crowd loitering in the parking lot. They stood aside their Japanese motorcycles, laughing loudly, wearing Adidas and spiked hair. They flirted with Polish girls with hoop earrings, ponytails, and burned skin from too long in the tanning salon.
I ordered my fish nuggets in the drive-thru and pulled around. As I waited for my food, my car died. I tried to start it. Nothing. Again. Nothing.
Would I be forced to push my car out of the drive through, past the young Poles, and into a parking spot? While wearing my underpants? It was bad enough to walk through Lakeview hopping and itching like I had a nasty case of pubic lice. Now I would have to push my car through a White Castle Parking lot without any pants? Was this a bad dream?
One last try. The car started. Oh happy day. 10:45 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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