My title is mostly just a cheap way to capitalize on Star Wars mania that is sweeping the world. The hype is everywhere. As I was walking into the office from the train station yesterday morning, I encountered a colleague. I had walked nearly the whole way from the station next to him, but hadn’t recognized him because he was bundled up against the cold. Before I recognized him, I heard him. At first I thought he was making the ugh! ugh! ugh! shriek I make (sometimes in my head and sometimes very much out loud) when it is bitingly cold, and tears are streaming down my face as I fight through the Chicago wind. Then I realized he actually was humming, humming the full 10-minute walk between the train station and the office. When I finally realized he was my colleague and we exchanged greetings, he explained he was listening through his earbuds to the soundtrack from Star Wars the Force Awakens.
We chatted for a while about the series, he knowing everything and I knowing next to nothing. I remember when the first Star Wars came out and, of course, I saw it. But after maybe the second one, I lost track of the series. My colleague had seen every one, several times.
Star Wars came out in Spring of 1977, but films took a while to make it to our cinema in Danville, KY. Once it arrived, it stayed for months and sold out night after night.
About that time, Arsenal looked like this:
I think we can all agree that if 1977 doesn’t sound like a long time ago, that photo more than proves it was. A galaxy far far away, indeed.
This morning, my son and I are headed to the airport in Chicago. We’ll take the early morning flight to London, on our way to to the Manchester City match that’s taking place on Monday. Usually we take an evening flight and arrive in the morning London time and sleep on the plane, but this time we arrived late at night, about 10:40 local time.
Earlier in the week a different colleague from the London office was visiting Chicago. He, too, is a massive Arsenal fan. We got a chance to visit live for the first time and chat about our mutual obsession. He told me that when he heard I was going to use a portion of these tickets, he thought I must have been relocating to the London office. He remarked that he finds it so depressing to ride the train home after an Arsenal loss, he can’t imagine what it would be like to invest in a trip and then have to fly home for 8 hours with a loss to ruminate over.
I haven’t yet had to do that, but this time we’re playing a top team, a tricky one. This was the riskiest of all tickets I picked up at the beginning of the season if the goal is to avoid 8 hours of bad feelings. (I also picked up the Leicester City tickets. Who knew they were going to be looking so good at this point?) But the goal is to be with the team, good feelings or bad. No guts, no glory.
My son and I can’t wait for the match. But to avoid 8 hours of bad feelings, I have only this to say: May the force be with us.