I am currently blogging – here, on Facebook, and on Twitter – for 24 hours straight, until slightly past MLB’s July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. The plan is to do a little recap like this periodically through the day/night. We’ll see if the “plan” still holds by hour 20 when I’m starting to suspect my keyboard might be chocolate.

We’re entering the stretch of the evening where folks are coming home from the bars, only to find that the Cubs haven’t done anything. I expect the drunken rants to start flying in the comments at any time. Let’s try to keep them reasonably (a) clean and (b) coherent.

Total Posts So Far: 

12.

News and Rumors Since the Last Recap:

The Pirates are going to trade for Derrek Lee, confirming that Carlos Pena won’t be headed to Pittsburgh. Ryan Dempster tried to explain why so many Cubs are desperate to stay on such an awful team. It was sweet of him, but, sigh… still frustrating.

Most Interesting Tidbit Since the Last Recap:

The Indians, a team no one had doing much of anything this year, are becoming the most active trade deadline team in recent memory. After acquiring Kosuke Fukudome on Thursday, they just traded for Ubaldo Jiminez. And then they traded Orlando Cabrera to the Giants for a minor leaguer. And they’re still in on Ryan Ludwick.

The lesson? Teams with significant reserves of young talent – at both the major and minor league levels – can not only surprise in any given year, they stand the most ready to make the moves necessary to improve their team mid-season. Once again, I say: taking notes, Mr. Ricketts?

Current Thoughts About the Chicago Cubs’ Trade Deadline Strategy/Execution:

Pretty annoyed that the Cubs let the Pirates go out and get Derrek Lee rather than trading Carlos Pena.

Current Beverage/Stimulant of Choice:

NOT Chick-fil-a coffee. To wit…

Strangest Thought Passing Through My Mind:

This is more of an anecdote, rather than a “thought.”

At 9:53, it occurred to me that I could use a cup of coffee. Being a responsible – ok, cheap – person, I remembered that I had a coupon for a free small cup of coffee from Chick-fil-a. Awesome.

But, knowing that Chick-fil-a is a “family friendly” place (closed on Sunday), I wondered if they, unlike their 24-hour drive-through competitors, might close at some point. So I called.

They close at 10pm. It was 9:54. Six minutes. Fuck.

I can’t lie: I live much further from Chick-fil-a than six minutes would normally afford. Shoot, it takes me a minute or two to get my shoes on and get out to my car. Trying to make it by 10pm would be a fool’s errand.

But, if this Blogathon proves anything, it’s that I am, indeed, a fool. So I tore out of my house not a second after hanging up the phone.

I knew I was on one of those missions where I was going to have to drive hard, fast, and catch every break to get to Chick-fil-a by 10pm. So what color is the very first light out of my driveway? Red. Of course.

Undeterred, I peeled out, treating speed limit signs as though they merely suggested 50% of the recommended speed. Naturally, I got stuck behind someone who clearly didn’t know where he was going, leading me to do something I never do – laying on the horn when the gentleman paused just a moment too long at a yield sign. You’d think my coupon was for “One Free Chick-fil-a Franchise,” not a cup of coffee. A small cup of coffee.

But it was also a free cup of coffee, and damnit, Chick-fil-a is closed on Sundays. I had to get there.

I pulled into the parking lot at 10:01, just as the drive-through light flicked from “open” to “closed.” But there were still people inside! Ok, so I can’t go through the drive-through, but I’m not lazy. I’ll just go in and get my coffee. But the door was already locked. Double fuck.

I’d already come this far, so I wasn’t going to stop now. I waited patiently for one of the still-inside patrons to exit, and I slipped inside. There, I walked up to the counter, and approached one of the 10 remaining employees (seriously, even been inside a Chick-fil-a? They overstaff every day like a Toys ‘R Us on Black Friday). He was giving a little girl a balloon. No, no. A yellow balloon, she said. Come on, little girl? Don’t you know there’s free coffee to be had?

Once the young man was done with the yellow balloon (for which the little girl did not pay – and I didn’t see her holding a “free Chick-fil-a yellow balloon” coupon), he turned to me.

“Hi, I know I’m a little late, but I was hoping I could just get a small cup of coffee,” I said, holding my coupon in front of me as though it somehow gave me the authority to demand not only free coffee, but late coffee.

“I’m sorry, we just closed, so we poured out the rest of our last batch,” he said with genuine concern. “But, if you can wait six minutes, I can make a pot.”

“No,” I said. “I don’t want you to have to do that. It’s late. Thanks anyway.” And I retreated back to my car. Dejected. Broken. Without my free coffee.

So, I guess I’ll just have to go to Starbucks or something.

As for the coupon, never fear. It doesn’t actually expire until late October.



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