For the fourth year in a row now, we've made the possibly misguided decision to throw open our pages to a small army of people who are here to make you laugh. With essentially no limits on what they chose to write about, and even less guidance and editing afterward, what follows is an issue that shines with comic gems and laughs aplenty because of, not despite of, that arrangement. After all, our select batch of comedy writers, both professional and otherwise, know far more than we do about making you smile. As various Facebook comment sections have noted, we tend to bring the mood down. Sorry about that. We'll get back to some of the sadder and more nefarious aspects of Cleveland next week. In the meantime, enjoy the respite with tales of Barack Obama's turn as a wingman for Chad Weaver in the early 1980s, a how-to on eating out (because you're actually doing it wrong), confessions from the West Side Market and more. Enjoy.
In the post-Cavs championship parade new world of Cleveland, we all got a little greedy. We prematurely made Facebook events for the Indians World Series victory parades and the Browns reverse perfect season celebration. And who could blame us? The last time I felt that much of a communal high was during an Erykah Badu set at Bonnaroo.
But this is Cleveland. We know celebrations at this scale are few and far between. Like, decades between. But we have to enjoy the little things here. The consolation parades. Here are a few everyday Cleveland occurrences that warrant ticker tape, mounted police and confetti.
You found a parking spot in Ohio City on a Market Day.
Oh, you just wanted to stop at the bank and grab a quick cup of coffee? Too bad, friend. The parking situation is basically Black Friday at the mall. That's just not how it works around here and you know it. But what's this? A suburban dad can't seem to figure out how to parallel park his Enclave into that non-metered spot on 26th? That's all you, buddy. Do a victory lap through the Market and "accidentally" knock some leashed kids upside the head with a baguette to commemorate the occasion.
You completed a transaction at the Steelyard Walmart in less than half an hour, without making eye contact once.
Stop in the kids' party aisle on the way out, find yourself a hopefully unopened box of Dora the Explorer favors, and kazoo yourself out of this 24-hour dead-eyed circle of hell. You're worth it, champion.
You attended your friend's party on the east side/west side without complaining about the drive once.
Yeah, the Cavs game just let out and I-90's backed up. And sure, maybe you won't be able to go nuts with the Christmas Ales at your buddy's friendsgiving karaoke party because you're a responsible human being. But you graciously accept the invitation and resist complaining or acting entitled because you drove all this way. Take a few laps around University Circle and/or West 25th Street with your hazards on to celebrate. You might as well — you've already spent way too much on gas tonight.
That girl from accounting was like, "Hey, this weather, right?" and you straight up ignored her.
Seventy degrees on November 15th? Frozen rain on November 16th? Yeah, it IS crazy! But you resisted making the following comments:
"Hey, that's global warming, huh?"
"If you don't like it, wait an hour, am I right?"
"That's Cleveland! Like it or leave it, Brenda!"
And for that, you deserve a championship scale parade and my utmost respect and gratitude.
You said you weren't going to watch the Browns game this Sunday ... and then you actually didn't watch it!
Even when your old man invited you over. Even when your co-worker offered to give you loaded value tickets for free. You stayed strong. You distracted yourself with Netflix and laundry. You breathed fresh, non-sad air in the Metroparks. You actually looked at your partner/dog without tears in your eyes. You feel powerful enough to push the whole damn stadium into the lake. And you are that powerful. You're a winner.
You didn't hear the term "Hingetown" today.
#blessed #thisisCLE #urbanrenewal
You survived a mid-week show with four local openers at the Grog Shop.
Yeah, it would be cool to see that hip-hop legacy act in such an awesome, small, independent venue. Oh, it's on a Tuesday, there are four local openers, the doors are at 9 and you're a westsider? Let's do the math ... yep, you're getting home 3 a.m. But you're a warrior. And you paced yourself with the booze and wore comfortable shoes. Was it worth it? Hell yeah it was. You just earned yourself a minor Cleveland victory parade with an EPMD/Slick Rick/Ghostface soundtrack. Hope you took Wednesday off though.
You resisted commenting on a Cleveland.com political article.
Bonus points if you were also able to resist reading the comments. +1 if it's an article about retiring Chief Wahoo. +3 if it's election-related. +5 if it involves Cleveland law enforcement.
You resisted sharing and/or writing another thinkpiece about how Cleveland is The New Portland, Brooklyn, Austin, et al.
You get it. We have small-batch coffee roasters, a pop-up comedy scene, and a 3-D printer. But you're too smart to think that anything's the new anything, and you're not afraid to say it. For that, here's your crown.
LeBron is still really good at basketball.
Mod-out your pickup with a big screen and drive around town replaying The Block on a loop. They'll all fall in line 'til your wake is a mess of high-fives and grown-man/lady tears, just like they did during the actual parade. Thanks, LeBron.