I just read this article on ESPN that claims there are not-so-sutble hints about Old Style beer being on the verge of exiting the hallowed halls of Wrigley Field.
Please God, say it ain't so.
When I was just below the drinking age I bought a thirty pack of Old Pile (I refer to it affectionately, not derisively), and inside that "dirty thirty," were four upper deck tickets to Wrigley Field for the following day.
I drank more then my allotted third of that dirty thirty and didn't make it to the game the next day, but still.
When I was even younger, I smuggled inside of a backpack a flask of Jack Daniels and a six-pack of Old Style into the main parade route on March 17th. That's right. St. Patricks Day. My first ever walk down a parade route was clad in green and rich with the foam of the artesian spring water that Old Style claims to be brewed from.
When I was finally of age, I got kicked out of my first Cubs game.
Before your imagination gets the best of you, you should know, I didn't do anything soooooo terrible.
During another putrid losing season in which I went to waaaayyyy too many games, Kerry Wood pitched into the ninth inning during the last home game of the year. It may have been another lost season, ripe with ninety plus losses, but alas, we wanted to move up to the front row to cheer on the Cubbies and let them know that even though they were a miserable team for 159 games (they still had a three game stand against someone on the road), we appreciated them and dagnabbit, we wanted them to know.
The female, octogenarian usher, who reminded me of my grandmother, kindly squashed any such upward mobility by asking for ticket stubs, and with a silent smile and a shake of the head dissuaded me from doing anything untowards.
When I looked up and saw my two fellow compatriots trying their luck at a row on the other side of the home plate net, I witnessed a large male usher pushing them backwards.
In a fit of civil disobedience even Ghandi would have been proud of, I merely raised my middle finger, stretched it towards the press box, flipped the usher off and turned back to Woodie working on the second out of the top of the ninth inning. I then, simply, smiled at the blue haired usher and took the last remaining sip of my Old Style.
Before I knew it I was being ushered by the moose of an usher down the aisle, towards the main concourse, towards the front gate, and out towards where Clark meets Addison. I turned around to ask what I did wrong and he responded with a grunt and a finger pointed towards the McDonald's on Clark, as if to tell me that I should probably cross the street, lest I wanted to be arrested for exercising my first amendment rights to raise a middle finger wherever and whenever I so chose.
As I walked towards McDonald's a Cubs clad blur raced by me on both sides and rushed past me with the direct command to, "Run."
It wasn't until three blocks west on Addison that my friends finally stopped laughing and told me what happened.
"We noticed him rushing you out, so we waited until he turned his back after he kicked you out and threw our beer on his head and ran."
They laughed some more.
I laughed too, and thanked them for coming to the aid of my freedom fighting. Then as we looked down at our empty hands, we all agreed, "Too bad we don't have any more beer."
We quickly hot footed it to Bernie's and purchased three tall boy can's of Old Style and agreed that fighting for the right to express yourself at a baseball game was the only reason you should waste an Old Style.
So, please, Old Style, say it ain't so.
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