LAKEVIEW –- For local woman, Estella Marco, 41, the day started off like any other Chicago summer morning. A cool 87 degrees with 99% humidity, Estella stepped over the rat droppings in her alleyway and took a deep breath of that fresh smoke filled air, her heart filled with hopes of a calm and peaceful Thursday.
“It was a morning like any other,” Marco detailed to our team of reporters. “At first, I didn’t think anything of the High Noon cans littering the sidewalk. Then I saw one man in a Cubs hat and just figured he was a casual fan. But then, like a hoard of locusts reigning plague upon the Egyptians, I turned onto Clark to be enveloped in a crowd of day-drunk sports fans, hell bent on taking my peaceful morning away from me.”
We asked Marco how her usual routine was affected by this surprise Cubs game. “I try never to be caught unawares,” she assured us, a note of panic in her voice. “I have the MLB website up on my phone all the time, but I must have overlooked it this morning in my haste to get my day started. I’ll never make that mistake again.”
“I have to take the Red Line to get to work. Normally that’s fine, boring even. But on Cubs game days, I’m lucky to get up the stairs without accidentally getting my face painted, and unintentionally caught in the crossfires of several family arguments. But on this day, I got roped into betting by a group of DePaul boys, and now I owe thousands of dollars to DraftKings. Plus my mother’s wedding ring.”
Scientists have studied this unique sense of dread that non-sporty Chicagoans feel when they didn’t plan their day to be sidelined by 30,000 grown adults in elaborate baseball cosplay. “It’s up there on the stress-levels of seeing multiple missed calls from a parent,” George Randolf, 67, PhD in PTCD (Post Traumatic Cubs Disorder) told our staff. “The heart rate quickens and the stomach drops, because most Chicagoans know that the flood of baseball fans will not simply disperse quietly and quickly post-game. Much like lice in a kindergarten classroom, they can’t be easily removed.”
When we reached out to Marco for follow-up comments, her voicemail informed us that she’s under a self-induced lockdown, which many Chicagoans are calling Cubs Season Hibernation.