Column: From the Chicago Tribune: It’s Cubs vs. Los Angeles, city of smog and failure
Having that information and knowing, as of late Thursday, that the team standing between the Cubs and a championship series is the Los Angeles Dodgers, a Chicago columnist of low character might be compelled to swiftly write something rude about the urine-soaked streets of the Dodgers’ home city.
Readers complied, because they are good people, and after the Dodgers beat the Washington Nationals, I used some of this crowdsourced research to augment the following very important and historically accurate(ish) history of the unfortunate city of Los Angeles.
(I’ll remind readers again that Chicago teams are 3-0 in playoff series when I write helpful and informative columns like this. You’re welcome.)
Known widely today as “The Birthplace of Cocaine,” Los Angeles is a stunningly unfortunate city on the Pacific Ocean, located in a semi-arid region known as California’s Crotch.
It was founded in 1781 by two Spanish actors who needed a big city to fail in before they could realize their dreams of waitering. As settlers — known as pobladores, or “aspirational layabouts” — rushed in, the city was named El Pueblo de la Reyna de los Angeles, which roughly translates to “City that Angels Despise.”
Despite the intolerable smell of whale carcasses and a lice infestation that became permanent, the city grew in popularity thanks to the ready availability of marijuana and artisanal smoothies.
By the mid-1800s, buoyed by the California Gold Rush and a budding pornography industry, Los Angeles had become a densely populated haven for hooligans, bandits, prostitutes and executive producers. Fortunately, it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1871 and remained vacant until the early 1900s, when a man named Francis Cocaine rode in on his donkey, 8-Ball, and began planting coca seeds between the whale carcasses.
The coca plants beautified the land and Cocaine enjoyed his privacy until one day he tripped and fell nostril-first into a pile of dry coca leaves. Seventy-nine hours later he had built a small city and was still going strong as passing settlers began to move into the various houses and apartment buildings.
Soon, all the settlers were falling nostril-first into piles of dry coca leaves and within two months Los Angeles was a frenetic boomtown with horrible traffic and a methadone clinic on every corner. Residents so loved the founder of new Los Angeles that they made the city’s motto: Everyone Loves Cocaine!
Fast-forward to the 1960s and Los Angeles had become a hub of American entertainment and moral decay, churning out films, television shows and people who think highly of themselves for no qualitative or quantifiable reasons.
Los Angeles Mayor Reality Dodger was the first politician to suggest that the city start a baseball team, and so, in 1962, the Los Angeles Dodgers moved into Dodger Stadium, which was built in one night along the edge of a field of coca plants.
The team didn’t play for the first several years because each player, like all other residents of Los Angeles, was “waiting on a call about this thing I’ve got going.” By the early 1970s, however, the team was rolling and made a name for itself as the first Major League Baseball franchise to allow players to wear flip-flops.
Though the city still struggles with whale carcasses, Los Angeles has become a favorite locale for people who enjoy smog and failure. It is the one place in the country where baristas outnumber nonbaristas and, as one astute reader pointed out, it lacks a traditional sewer system, directing all waste and rainwater runoff into the living room of an aging hippie surfer in Venice Beach.
In 2015, Los Angeles was again at the top of Newsweek magazine’s list of Cities Most Likely To Be Cast Into the Sea By An Angry God.
I hope this helps my fellow Chicagoans prepare for the National League Championship Series. And remember, if you happen to catch one of the games in Los Angeles, make sure you try the cocaine. I hear it’s fantastic.
Huppke writes the column “Important thoughts from my fingers” for the Chicago Tribune.
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