>While I was reading Lake Effect by Rich Cohen, I thought that there were several facts that may not actually be facts. One of those was a set of directions he gave ("We followed Green Bay Road to Sunset Ridge, which took us through the lagoons of the Forest Preserve and then onto the Edens Expressway."), which I was sure are not possible to take. (According to Google maps, I am right.) I know that seems nit-picky, but combined with his incorrect description of my neighborhood as more trashy than it actually is, I was on the lookout for otther mistakes.
I thought I spotted a super major huge mistake when I read his description of the 1984 Chicago Cubs. That was the summer I was between second and third grade. The Wilmette Public Library summer reading club offered free tickets to the seasonally pathetic Cubs for every x number of books read. I read a lot. We got lots of free tickets, and lo and behold, the Cubs were on fire that year.
The tickets were as high as you could go in the stands and at the end of the third base line. All the camp groups sat there. And it was where my mom, sister, granny, and I sat in the heat, cooled by the nice breezes coming off the lake in the east, screaming our guts out for Ron “The Penguin” Cey, Jody Davis, Ryne “The Rhino” Sandburg, Rick Sutcliffe, and Leon Durham. Whenever Jody Davis was at bat, the creative chant was JOOOOOOOO-DEEEE. It was my first love affair with baseball and the Cubs, and like any love affair with the Cubs since the days of Tinkers, Evers, and Chance, it was doomed. My heart was broken at the end of the summer when they blew their lead over the Padres and lost the playoffs. (Of course, like many a jilted love, I was back for more for many seasons, until I finally was fed up, moved to NYC, rooted for the Mets, and then was lured back to the Cubs in 2003, and then forced to relive the original heartbreak of 1984. Sigh.)
Anyway, my point is that Lake Effect claimed that Larry Bowa “Constrictor” was the Cubs shortstop in 1984, and I swore it was Shawn Dunston. I had had many discussion with one of my beloved former co-workers, also a huge Cubs fan, about the 1984 team, and we were fairly sure that it was Shawn Dunston. Since the window of doubt was opened in my mind, I thought I located a huge error in Lake Effect. They should really hire some fucking fact-checkers, I grumbled to myself. Well, it turns out that they did. Despite having no memory at all of this Bowa “Constrictor,” a quick Google search, so effective at proving me smugly correct regarding directions, punctured a huge hole in my superiority complex. He really was the shortstop. Dunston came on in 1985. Ooops.
Thus my apology to Rich Cohen. If I ever randomly meet him, I owe him a redhot and beer.