“I’ll trade you my apple and box of Lunchables for your delicious chocolate pudding snack”

Alfonso Soriano. Marlon Byrd. Aramis Ramirez. Kosuke Fukudome. John Grabow. Carlos Marmol.

I hate the trade deadline. I seriously hate it.

Like a thirsty man lying in the middle of desert with vultures swarming all around him (or in our case, seagulls). You lie there fighting to stay alive while they flock in groups just waiting for you to finally give up.

Or like a meal during Sunday dinner when you’re sitting there eating your food, some of it just alright, some of it you’re not so sure about whether you want to eat it or not or maybe save it for later. Fat relatives who have already had their share, sitting there bored yet happy with their bellies full of delicious goodness, enjoying the best part of their day yet they still feel the need to lean over with their grubby paws and their silver forks asking that annoying question ‘are you done with that? can I have it?’ only without the decency to wait until you’ve decided you actually are done and finished with this year’s meal.

You know what? NO! I’m not done with it. Maybe I just want to play with food a little while longer if you don’t mind. What are you in such a rush for? You’re clearly happy with the meal you’ve eaten. Gloating in your head of the table chair at the meal you produced and amazingly effective you were in consuming it all and beating the rest of us to the finish line. Now you have the gall to sit there and try to take the best parts of my meal, or the scraps I’m not so sure whether I want any longer before I officially stop trying myself? That is just wrong.

Or like a kid sitting in his school cafeteria. Off in the corner while the cool kids celebrate their popularity and their yearbook signatures and their game winning kickball run they scored in recess a period earlier, for the third day in a row. Just sitting there with his misfit toy lunch of random, no name-brand pieces to eat except perhaps one delicious pride and joy in the entire brown bag lunch. Eating the rest of it because you have to, pieces that no one else would ever want and no one else in the room, all those hot lunch eaters got to avoid sitting in the position you’re in looking at the roster of so called ‘edible treats’ you’ve been dealt to ‘enjoy’ that day. Sitting there trying to decide when to call it a day with all of that so that you can get to the one piece that actually makes all of your lunches worth experiencing. And then those kids who have it all. Those kids who don’t want for anything, have the nerve to come over with what they’ve projected as scraps (probably even pieces they bullied from other kids) and try to deal with you to get your amazing, pudding snack.

“Hey, kid”, they say. “I’ll trade you this apple and a box of ‘Lunchables’ for your chocolate pudding, right here, right now.”

“What?!? An apple and a box of Lunchables for my chocolate pudding? Seriously? What am I going to do with an apple and a lunchable?”

“Kid, look”, they say. “We sit across from you in the same cafeteria day after day after day. We know what you bring to the table. We’ve seen your lunches all year and quite honestly, they’re mediocre at best.”

This doesn’t help at all.

“Look at our lunches”, they say. “Our lunches are amazing. Every thing about them, stellar. Your pudding is being wasted on a lunch that is hardly even average day in a day out. You add an apple and a box of Lunchables to your lunch and now we’re starting to get somewhere. You take your chocolate pudding and put it in my lunch bag? I have the best lunch in the cafeteria.”

It’s hard to argue with.

“Come on”, they say. “You’ve enjoyed the chocolate pudding long enough. You could use a new direction. Give me the pudding. Let me use it and help it hit it’s full potential as a contributor to the best lunch in school. You’re wasting what it brings to the table. Come on. Take the apple and lunchables. You may not like it now, but later I believe you’ll really come around to the idea. What do you say?”

“What do I say? Hmm….how about I say NO. Stop! I’m not done yet. Alright?!? I’m not done with the food on my plate so take your little greedy forks and back off. I’m not so sure I’m ready to stop putting up a fight so the vultures and look around for another body and see what they can pick off of them. And as for the chocolate pudding? What’s the rush?!? It’s July 21st. Technically I have another 10 days or so to enjoy my chocolate pudding before I can’t take your apple and Lunchables. I LIKE having my chocolate pudding. It’s what makes the lunch enjoyable. Sure the rest of it is below average, but it’s my lunch and my decision and I just may stick with it.

I know you need the chocolate pudding. I know what it could do for your lunch. Make you even cooler. Make what you bring to the table the best in the cafe. Well, I’m not so sure that I’m done with it yet. And I’m not so sure I don’t want to save it for later.

So back off. Give me some room. And let me think about this. I’m not so crazy about your stupid apple and box of Lunchables even though it may be better for me in the long run. And you fat relatives at the dinner table who already had enough to eat…same goes for you.

Everybody just chill out. I understand it looks like I have a lot for you to take. I understand why you want to take it. However, thing is. Maybe I’m not done yet. And maybe, just maybe…I want to save it for later.”

That’s what the trade deadline feels like to me.

I don’t like it.

Go Cubs Go!

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