Jerry Pritikin was getting excited last week, for the first time in a long time.
You see, in 1945, when the Cubs were in the World Series, Pritikin was eight years old. He wanted to go to a game. His father said he was too young, but promised to take him the next time the Cubs won the pennant.
Pritikin has made something of a career out of the ensuing seven consecutive decades of frustration, becoming the Bleacher Preacher who I profiled in the Chicago Reader 13 years ago.
Jerry has a million stories, like the other one about his father, who hated Cubs slugger Dave Kingman, who struck out too frequently and made too much money. The old man was in a coma for the last 30 days of his life. He came out of the coma only once and spoke only one sentence before slipping back for good: "We gotta get rid of Kingman."
The only thing Jerry likes more than sad stories about the Cubs is publicity for himself and for the photographs he took that captured street life in San Francisco in the 1970s. Jerry always wants me to write about him, and but how much can a guy write about a guy, you know?
"How about doing something with me now?" he chirped last week over email, attaching a few pictures of himself in his Bleacher Preacher get-up, mugging for the camera after the Cubs playoff victory against the Cardinals.
I told him we'd better wait and see if the Cubs actually made the World Series. Then maybe I could do a piece on how, at 78, Jerry Pritikin was finally old enough to go to a World Series game.
"I agree, but be ready!" he said.
Maybe next year.
As Jerry likes to say, "I could slip on a banana peel in Iceland."