I decided to blow off (yet again) a task that has gotten out of hand: mowing the lawn. The grass was getting so long that I was not at all surprised when I saw Laura Ingalls Wilder sitting in the back yard. I chose to shirk my responsibility in order to listen to the Cubs, and I was vindicated when the Cubs scored 4 in the first off of Smoltz. Then the game was in the hands of Jae Kyuk Ryu (whose last two syllables rhyme with something that rhymes with “duck pooh” and describe how the Cubs have been treating us this year) and he proved unworthy. Or, perhaps, worthy. Worthy of carrying on the legacy of misery I inherited from my father, who in turn inherited it from his father.

About three hundred fifty-seven Braves homers later, it was 11-5. I started to regret my decision, so I quit listening to Ron’s moans and Pat’s efforts to save the broadcast in order to face my duties.

I came back in just in time to see the bottom of the ninth: Braves 12, Cubs 8, a whole bunch of second basemen due up. Neifi!’s triple changed everything!

I started to worry. What if, like Earl, karma intervened (stupid Carson Daly!) and changed the game because I did the right thing? Then I’d be forced into a lifetime of good deeds and what-not.

Enter Aramis Ramirez, the “Skull of Free Will.” Thank you, Aramis, for your soccer-inspired fielding of that popup. You restored lack of balance to the universe and let me off the hook. And through it all, we learn the lesson we’ve been taught about 90 times a year since the day I was born:

This team sucks.

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