18 October 2005

Beware the Ides of October

There's a word I'm thinking of right now, and it perfectly described the feeling I had last night right around 11:30 PM ET. Schadenfreude. It's a fancy word I learned in psych class... but before that, let's go back a few hours...

Last night, the Houston Astros were one out away from going to the World Series; a place they've never been. And FOX was ready to roll- they were showing old footage of past Astros misery, shots of an elated Nolan Ryan seated next to GM Tim Purpurra, and they had their lights-out closer, Brad Lidge, on the mound to close it out. With two outs to go, they were doing Cardinals fans the courtesy of showing a split graphic of the Astros logo and the Cardinals logo vs. White Sox in the World Series beginning Saturday. And then a funny thing happened...

With two outs, and the juicebox shaking with excitement, Lidge walks Eckstein (no relation) and allows him to steal second. Then he walks Edmonds. And then... Pujols hits a ball that might not have landed yet to give the Cardinals the lead, crushing the hearts of Astros fans everywhere. Astros are deflated and lose the game in the 9th sending their team to a Game 6.

Keeping in mind that even though I hate them, I am rooting for the Astros, I started to laugh. And I laughed. And I laughed. And I laughed so hard, I almost fell off my couch. To see the hopes and dreams of Astros fans dashed, and to feel the air go out of a place faster than a balloon under a tank made me feel gleeful! What the hell is wrong with me?

That brings us to the pompous sounding word I began with. Schadenfreude. It means Pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others. I have had too many of my own gut-punch moments and too many things that belong to me, broken by my own rage at the bumbling band of boobs who I love. And when this stuff happens to other teams, well, it just makes me feel that we might not be the only cursed ones in the world... and, misery loves company. Especially miserable company. I might be rooting for the Astros because I'd like to see some of their vets get a World Series ring, but don't confuse yourself; I hate the Astros, I hate the Cardinals, and I hate the White Sox. And their collective misery makes me happy. Late inning homeruns that dash the hopes of fans make me happy. Let them see how it feels to be a Cub fan for a few days.