I had just returned from travelling, and was catching up on Chicago news – when I read that The Whining, Complaining Wrigleyville Residents and their fearless Mouthpiece, Alderman Tom the Terrible Tunney are still negotiating with the Ricketts?
“Unbelievable, these people just don’t get it.” I am venting out loud.
“What’s wrong now?” My Guy cautiously asks, sensing my wrath.
“That Tunney needs a serious reality check. This BS is getting on my last nerve.”
“Go for it,” he encourages (not really interested, but trying to pretend to know what I am talking about).
Sigh. I guess I will have to paint a picture once again…with apologies to Charles Dickens….
Tom (Ebenezer) Tunney is growing sleepy from counting his piles of money – campaign donations mainly from the rooftop owners.
He nods off – only to be awakened by a very chilling large presence standing over him.
His eyes widen with fright as he cries out, “Harry Caray – no, no it can’t be, you’re you’re d d dead,” he stutters.
“Yeah, that’s right,” the Harry- like presence replies. “Except, I’ve been called on to portray The Ghost of Wrigleyville Yet to Come because, it seems that you are not getting the big picture. So, get your coat on Tunney”, Harry commands. You’re coming with me – there is something you need to see.”
So, Ghost Harry and Terrible Tom start walking down Clark Street. The April wind is biting as Tom starts to look around.
“Wait, what’s happened…everything looks different.” Tom is clearly bewildered.
“Where is everyone?” And, now it hits him. “And why are all these places boarded up?” Tom cries.
Sure enough, he is taking it all in now – and to his horror, the once busy bustling neighborhood is deserted. The stores, the bars, the restaurants are closed. For Sale signs are everywhere – the area looks like a slum.
“I don’t believe it – this couldn’t happen,” Tom is yelling like a mad man.
“Believe it,” says Harry. “And guess what – it’s all your fault. You and your selfish demands and stubbornness, playing Lord of the Ward – and this is what it got you. The Ricketts’ wanted to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into Wrigley Field and your neighborhood, and all they wanted in return was to run a profitable business. But NOOOOO, you fought them every step of the way.”
Harry was mocking him now in a sing-song voice. “You didn’t want night games – you didn’t want signs – you didn’t want hotels – blah blah blah – and this is the result – squalor.
“What do you mean?” Tunney demanded.
Now Harry gave him a long cold stare of disgust. “The Ricketts got sick of your fighting them, and they made a smart business decision – because they are business people. How do you think that they made all that money to begin with?”
“What did they do?” Tom was wide-eyed and mumbling.
“They moved the Cubs, DumbNuts. Yeah, they are the ROSEMONT CUBS now. How do you like that?” Ghost Harry is laughing now.
“I never thought they would do it,” Ebenezer Tom is shaking his head
“Really? Well you thought wrong,” Harry goes on. That Mayor of Rosemont gave them such a sweet deal – gave them everything they asked for and more. They’ve got a beautiful new state of the art stadium, plenty of parking, the players are happy, the owners are happy, and the prospering village of Rosemont is thrilled. Every game is sold out.”
Harry cracks up laughing, and then throws in this zinger to a add to Tunney’s obvious pain, “And the ROSEMONT CUBS have been the World Series Champs for the last two years in a row. The curse of the goat has been lifted.”
Just then a rat runs out from a vacant building that used to be Murphy’s Bleachers. Tunney shrieks at that, but then looking up and shrieks even louder at what he sees.
“Oh my God – what did they do?” He is looking at what once was The Friendly Confines – home of the Chicago Cubs – Wrigley Field.
He is staring in disbelief. Armed guards are walking a catwalk – there is a lot of barbed wire, and a look-out tower where the infamous scoreboard used to be.
“Oh yeah,” Harry explains. “Wrigley Field is a prison now – the state bought it.” Harry is still laughing.
Just then, an elderly couple turn the corner. Tunney recognizes them. “Hey, that’s the Ryans – friends of mine. “Hi John,” he yells out to the man. They both turn around and upon seeing their former alderman, the man yells back, “Go to hell, Tunney.”
Tunney is shocked. Harry is now almost rolling on the ground laughing.
“What did you think – that you would be Mr. Popularity, Ebenezer? “Property values here are in the toilet, businesses are bankrupt, and there’s a penitentiary in their backyard. Ha Ha Ha.”
Terrible Tunney sinks down to the curb. His head is in his hands. Then, with a sudden thought, he turns to Harry.
“Wait, you said you were the Ghost of Wrigleyville Yet to Come…Can this be changed? Scrooge changed his fate – I can too. Right? Please, tell me that this doesn’t have to happen. I’ll do anything it takes.”
And with that, as the story unfolds, Ghost Harry proceeds to explain to the now very eager to listen alderman, what he needs to do.
“Give the Ricketts whatever they want – and everyone will win. Don’t fight them. Be grateful. Got it Tunney?”
“Yes, thank you Harry.” Tunney replies meekly.
With that Ghost Harry started singing “Go CHICAGO Cubs Go,” with an emphasis on CHICAGO, and then in a poof – he was gone – and a relieved Tunney knew what had to be done. Finally.