Ten Years After

Posted by OrdinaryJoe - April 18, 2021 - Features, Politics, Sports, Writing - No Comments

One of the groups that performed at the Woodstock concert in 1969 was Ten Years After. While I was thinking up something to write this morning, I was surprised to discover that I have been blogging for ten years.

Much has changed over the past decade. I moved into a new house, wrote several books in which I am trying to find a publisher, took care of ailing in-laws, and had an article published in an nonfiction anthology about the Baby Boom generation. I got a set of partial dentures, I sleep with a Wile E. Coyote-like contraption for my apnea, and I constantly wear a surgical mask as result of the coronavirus catastrophe (I don’t refer to coronavirus as a pandemic because it has caused devastation on the scale of World War II and the Great Depression). I don’t consider myself as smart as I did a decade ago (though I occasionally play the video game version of Jeopardy! and read the supermarket tabloids to get caught up on the lessons I didn’t learn in school), though I have become more of a wise guy.

The past decade has seen two presidential impeachments, the legalization of gay marriage, Bruce Jenner changing his sex, the shenanigans of Miley Cyrus and the Kardashians, Tiger King, King LeBron James, no swimsuit competitions at the Miss America pageant, and the cancellation of the print edition of Playboy magazine (which means dirty old men of all ages will no longer be able to read Playboy just for the articles or hide back issues in between their mattresses) And there were many events that were a jillion times more bizarre than the stuff in Ripley’s Believe It or Not! For example, if you would had told me in 2011 that Donald Trump would be elected president of the United States, I would have laughed my head off for at least fifteen minutes. I didn’t think Trump would be elected as Grand Poobah of Fred Flintstone’s Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes, let alone Grand Poobah of the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

I also would have laughed if you would had told me the Chicago Cubs would have won the World Series in 2016. As a Cub fan, I have seen countless foul ups, bleeps, and blunders like the Summer of ’69, the game in 1981 in which the Cubbies couldn’t beat their own farm club, the quadruple-X rated tape in 1983 in which manager Lee Elia ripped the fans, Leon Durham’s error in San Diego in the 1984 playoffs, and the infamous Steve Bartman game in 2003. I naively believed that players like Joe “Tarzan” Wallis, Paul “Pop-Up” Popovich, Kosuke Fukudome (say that fast ten times, kiddies), Boots Day, Gene Oliver, Nate Oliver, Earl “the Refrigerator” Cunningham (not only this biggie never made it to the big leagues, but the guy chosen ahead of him in the 1989 baseball draft, Frank Thomas, played for Chicago’s other team and is now a Hall of Famer), and countless other horsehide ham and eggers and stumblebums were the second coming of Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Reggie Jackson, and Derek Jeter. But somehow, someway, the Cubs finally played like champs rather than loveable chumps in 2016. I felt wonderful that for once, I didn’t have to listen to the braggadocio of fair weather New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Washington Nationals and Generals fans. And it proved the wisdom of legendary football coach Bear Bryant who once stated that winning isn’t everything but it sure beats anything that comes in second–or. in the Cubs case, last place.

It has been a great pleasure blogging for ten years. I enjoy blogging because I consider it the most purest form of writing. I can write whatever I want to write without editors, publishers, and literary middlemen.

As they say at birthday parties and at Chicago voting booths, here’s to many more.

Joe’s Maybe Memorable Quote of the Day

Ten is the perfect number if you are a gymnast but not if you’re a golfer on the tenth hole.

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