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Chicago Proud
for Our Sox!

by George Bova

June Bugs

by George Bova

One of the recurring memories I have growing up near Chicago were the June bugs outside my parents' front door every night in the early-summer.  About one-inch long, a whole mess of them would congregate wherever there was light and thus the front and back door porch lights were popular places for them to hang out. 

They were an ugly brown color, could barely fly, and made a nasty buzzing sound as they rolled and climbed about.  They were also terminally-stupid.  You could always find several turned over on their back and completely incapable of righting themselves.  My sister's cat enjoyed pouncing and eating them.  It was a delicacy I suppose from his usual menu, eating the mice he stalked in the empty lot next door.

As disgusting as the mice carcasses were, the June Bugs were worse.  Every morning dozens of their dead carcasses were scattered along the sidewalk and the driveway pavement.  It was nearly impossible to avoid stepping on them.  And when you did accidentally step on one, they made the most disgusting crunching sound you can ever imagine.  Yuck...  thank goodness they all died off long before summer ended.  Most years you couldn't find any of them by August.

Which now reminds me of living near Chicago this summer and dealing with Cubs fans. 

Inside my house everything is fine.  I know how to surf by TV channels, gently stepping around the obvious nasty Cubbie goo waiting to spurt across my screen if I'm not careful.  Tivo allows me to surf right past all the endless giddiness offered by the local TV talking heads that comprise Chicago's TV media.  They're easy to avoid.

Inside the car is a perfect sanctuary, too.  Sport blab radio has been a joke for going on fifteen years now and my CD collection and MP3 player provides literally hours of relief from what Steve and Garry insightfully-referred to as "the hind-teeth of the entertainment industry, radio deejay."  These dolts crave nothing more than attention.  I give them none of mine.  No Cubbie buzzing in my ears!

You must be careful turning on the radio to other stations, too, including places you would think were perfectly harmless to listen to.  I've been around long enough to know where to avoid.  One example is listening to the morning on-air personalities of a certain oldies radio station that has been masquerading as "hip" for at least 25 years now to aging baby boomers, swinging their flabby and saggy (and ever-growing) wrinkled  boomer bottoms inside their double-stuffed Levis jeans.  "Play some more Midnight Oil, please!  They're still cool, aren't they?  Go Cubbies... woo woo!"

Sorry, don't listen anymore.  Ditched the Beatles, too.  Someone please tell their program director it's time to trade-in his tie-dyed shirt. 

Perhaps I'm a masochist for stubbornly keeping a Chicago daily newspaper delivery to my front door.  I've been an everyday subscriber for over 20 years and it's strictly a matter of habit to spread the inky print across my breakfast table every morning.  For this sin I deserve what I get, and what I get lately is aggravation.  It's mostly aggravating knowing I can access better-written material in a more timely manner-- and without the inky fingers -- by surfing the computer just steps away.  I guess the comics page my wife and kids read is the last and best feature the newspaper possesses.  I suggest Tribune sports editor Dan McGrath tender his resignation along with all the other editors and reporters, too.  Then Trib owner Sam Zell can cut his overhead by putting the comic strips right on the front page.  It would be poetic justice for some of the current cast of clowns to be replaced by Mooch and Jeremy & Zits.

As pests go, I'm safe from all these June Bugs to the precise amount I choose to insulate myself from them.  However when I'm in public, the June Bugs have a constitutional right to act dumb, to dress dumb, and more generally just make me wish it wasn't June anymore. 

These pests never last. The ugly truth is every single June Bug out there knows it, too.  The amount each one of these Cubs fans don't fear their ultimate fate is directly related to just how baseball-dumb they truly are.  Only the intelligent ones know the significance of the calendar and these precious few Cubs fans are rarer than mutant blue-eyed 17-year locusts.  Meanwhile the countless-billions others are making all the noise.

They'll all be dead soon enough. 

Of special note are all  the "W" flags that have become quite prominent of late.  If any manifestation of the basic ignorance of a Cubs fan can be identified, this is it.  After 98 years of giggling over the annual death of their "lovable losers", they all got an up close and personal education on what baseball is played for by the massive 2005 White Sox world championship victory parade down Lasalle Street.  As if on cue, these brain-dead types suddenly discovered beer, broads and sunshine will only get you so far.  The game played on the field matters.  I bet 95 percent of them never cared there was an "L" flag flying when they left the Urinal to drink more at the Cubbie Bear.  Even today fewer still ever know the game's score.

I can't help but see the "W" flags waving from cars and front porches and note how embarrassing it must be -- but obviously isn't for the terminally-ignorant driving the car or owning the house -- to only NOW discover winning matters.  Holy Cow!  They've self-identified themselves!  It makes you wonder how different things might have been if they hadn't slavishly supported the same lovable losers for the 98 losing seasons before 2006.  Maybe the remedial lesson on winning -- provided by our Sox -- wouldn't have been necessary?

Our Sox are in first-place.  They only need to stay in first-place to make me perfectly happy in June.  And July.  And August and September, too.  They don't even need to play exceptionally well any of these months, as long as they play well-enough to stay a game ahead of second-place.  Keeping everyone healthy and playing well-enough is success enough.  As any traveler who has been to the mountaintop knows, only then do the outcomes of the games have any lasting significance

Expectations are greater when you're a Sox Fan.  Making noise in June isn't nearly as important as making noise in October.

I've never heard any of Chicago's North Side June Bugs ever utter a notable peep in that month.

George Bova is editor and founder of White Sox Interactive.  You can write George at

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