A Complete Fucking Disaster (Very Nearly)

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Complete Fucking Disaster (Very Nearly)

. Monday, August 25, 2008


Hats are popular with the aristocracy

There's something in the psychology of sports fans that lends itself to a sort of security blanket mindset. Be they a fan of the Cubs, Notre Dame football, or even English soccer club Liverpool, every serious-minded man (or woman) has a piece of favorite team memorabilia that they cling to like the last Twinkie at a Weight Watchers meeting. If you don't believe me, just take a look at any of the senior citizen Wrigley faithful who look adorable like a motherfucker rocking the 1984 NL East champion satin jackets. You think it's easy keeping up a windbreaker that would melt to your skin in the event of a fire? Of course not (It should also be noted that satin jackets saw their heyday sometime before the jean jacket fad peaked). But as much as people like their stuff, sports people like their sports stuff with a hundred times more intensity. Which brings us to yours truly. What follows is a picture of the Cooperstown Collection 1914 Cubs road hat.


I was lucky they had size XL, for people with fat heads

Look at the elegant simplicity, the quality embroidery, the fact that the bear appears to be clutching a bat while dropping a half-standing deuce. Now take that brand-new hat, and put it on the head of someone whose gigantic melon can only be described as "freakishly large" and who may have qualified for one of the second-tier sideshows back in Old-Timey times. Also, sweat in in a lot. We have my very favorite Cubs hat:


A hat in its natural habitat - shh ... don't frighten it away

I've seen a lot of great things in this hat since I bought it prior to the 2007 season (prior to that I was mostly in college, and therefore wearing mostly stuff with a big T on it. Prior to that, I was younger, and my old Cubs hats do not fit my new, fat, Cubs head). Kosuke Fukudome hitting a double to the wall on his first big league pitch, and later smacking a game-tying 3 run homer to right center. No, I won't tell you how the game ended. I saw the Cubs molly-whomp the Padres in my first-ever bleacher game. I saw Ryan Dempster go from my least-favorite (okay, hated) reliever to an ace-caliber starter. Of course, I've also seen Felix Pie's hitting, Neil Cotts's pitching, and more than one loss to the Pirates (the Pirates!!!), but the bad is quickly forgotten for the good.


Fact: Lincoln won the civil war because he was packing way more hat than Jefferson Davis.

Most importantly, I've sweated through hot July games and shouted the lyrics to "Go Cubs Go" more times than I can remember with the people most important to me in the world. I suppose, if we're going to go all sociology with things, we could say that I've turned a $20 piece of cotton and stitching into a totem for the glories of my tribe (the Cubs, not the actual, godawful Cleveland Indians) and a reminder of my own treasured memories.


Teddy Roosevelt liked hats and sandwiches. Unfortunately, combining these two loves led to his untimely demise.

Don't get me wrong, I own other Cubs hats. I've got the Irish one (okay because I'm Irish), the camoflage one (okay because I use it to escape the menace that is the Predator), and a couple of the old Hannah-Barbera-looking late '60s models. But when I'm heading out the door, the first instinct is going to be the 1914, hands down. Something about it just appeals to me. If I may once more return to the cringe-inducing head sweat attribute, I've come to believe through years of hiding my giant head that more head sweat equals a more comfortable, more wearable piece of headgear. It goes something like this:


Totally not just stolen from a physics message board

Anyway, I promised near-disaster some 400 words ago, and I will indeed deliver. Follow me, if you will, back in time to last Thursday, when men were men and women were terrifying mind readers. Emily and I left my new apartment to explore a culinary institution in the new neighborhood (NOW! 98% Less Stabby!). I had been wearing the beloved 1914 model, but took it off to eat in deference to the table manners hammered into me Pavlov-style as a child. The combination of excellent pizza and BYOB alcohol made for a great evening, and the rest of the night took flight in a warm, full stomach haze.


Nice try, Dread Pirate Roberts, but that does not count

Flash to the next morning - grabbing my keys, wallet, watch, and ... and ... oh, crap? Where is my HAT?!? Oh, dammit. In my BYOB-induced haste to get home and slump into bed, I had left my hat sitting inconspicuously on a chair at the restaurant. The place doesn't even open until 4, so I had all. friggin. day. to think about it. What if it got thrown away? What if some thieving bastard took it? What if some Sox fan destroyed it to satisfy their own bitter, ugly, little soul? Most importantly, what if this jinxes the team down the stretch, ala the black cat in '69? Sure, it's pretty damn asinine, but hasn't our whole Curse (with a capital C) mythology been built around terrible misfortune springing from asinine crap like this?


Noooooooooo!

I pondered this situation, somewhat like an unshaven version of Linus from Peanuts pondering the loss of that scuzzy blue blanket. I had plenty of time to, as the traffic on the Kennedy expressway always ranges from somewhere from "bad" to "shit my pants bad" during the afternoon commute. Finally, I couldn't take it any longer. I looked up the number on my phone's Internet and called. It's not like I was doing any "driving" in the sense that I was making progress. Would they, could they, have my sweaty-brimmed security blanket?

...

"Cubs hat? Yeah, it's right here."

And thus did the most mundane part of a waitress's day become the unbridled joy of someone fighting butt cramps on I-90. Of course, attaching myself emotionally to a mass-produced team hat may signify a number of issues on my part. Suffice to say I'm glad I found it, and from now on I shall be dining with hat, like a commoner. So yes, perhaps "disaster" is a misnomer. But are you really going to take any chances with our playoff prospects this season?

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