If you had a choice, would you make millions playing baseball, or spend three years with the head of a toad and the body of a smaller, uglier toad? Most of us would choose the former, which is why actual curse victims say calling the Chicago Cubs “cursed” is a slap in the face.
To review: The “Curse of the Billy Goat” is said to have begun in 1945, when the ushers at Wrigley Field would not let a barnyard animal into a building in the middle of a large city. The Chicago Cubs then suffered one of two possible outcomes of baseball’s World Series (they lost).
“I remember hearing about this curse when the Cubs lost that year,” says Carl “Toad Hands” Rollins. “I was at home listening to the radio—I was laid off from my job at the stockyard because I couldn’t do anything with my hands, on account of them being turned into toads.”
“The worst part is,” says Rollins, “my wife had a voodoo medicine man put the curse on me because she thought I was cheating on her, and I had actually just been out trying to find her the perfect anniversary present.”
In 1973, another failed attempt was made to bring a goat (a cloven-hooved beast known primarily for its unpleasant “bleating” noise) into a place where people pay to eat food. The result? Within a couple of years, Major League Baseball players were allowed to file for “free agency,” sending their salaries skyrocketing into the top one percent of American wages. Meanwhile, Linda “She’s Got a Toad ‘Down There’” Fuentes ended up in the bottom one percent of wages after she quit her job and headed to central America to hunt down the Santera who cursed her. As a visiting friend explained the rules of free agency to Ms. Fuentes, she replied, “Must be nice,” before being devoured by a jaguar.
Finally, in the 1980s, in an attempt to reverse the curse, the Cubs organization started letting one goat per year be brought to the games, on Opening Day. However, according to historians, the team didn’t let ENOUGH goats into baseball games. This continuation of the curse caused Cubs such as Ryne Sandberg (who, in 1992, became the highest-paid player in baseball by signing a $28.4 million contract) to suffer the indignity of losing a few games.
“I wish Sandberg could have broken me off a couple hundred bucks to pay my poker debts to that damn wizard” said James “Turned Into Two Toads That Fight Each Other” Dillard.
By the 2000s, Cubs fans had taken to cutting the heads off of goats and hanging them from a statue of late broadcaster Harry Caray. “Those poor Cubs, cursed to go home to their mansions at the end of every season without having to work an extra month. They are truly the victims of a curse. Hey what are you doing with that knife… BAHHHHHHHHH!!!!” said a goat, whose body was ground into dog food and whose head was removed by baseball-loving butchers.
Whatever happens to the Cubs this year, the National Association of Man-Toad Hybrids (NAMTH) is calling on the media to simply refer to the team’s ultimate fate as “winning” and “losing” and not “falling victim to” or “reversing” the “curse.” “It’s time to save that word ‘curse’ for those of us who had a ‘root’ put on our ‘juju’ by a scorned warlock,” says a NAMTH press release, “or at the very least just use it for hardcore losers like the Detroit Lions.”
Tony Zaret is a writer and comedian from New York City. Follow him on Twitter for more curse victim advocacy.