You may be familiar with some of our previous work, what with Kris Bryant doing a Quantum Leap and my original goofball idea of Theo Epstein as Indiana Jones. It’s been a while since I’ve had time to think about another one, what with school and life, but now that the school year is done for me, I have a bit of time to play around before having to get back into the teacher grind again.
As you might have heard, Ghostbusters is one of the best movies ever, and one of my favorites as a kid and as an adult. I watched both of the original movies, and most of the cartoons during the 80s, too. You may also know that they are rebooting Ghostbusters with a new cast, and many of us are a bit skeptical, although the trailer does look kind of fun. It’s not like the original actors can do much now anyway, what with being old and poor Harold Ramis passing on (rest in peace, sir). You may also remember that when I first discovered I could do Photoshops fairly well, I made the picture here about four years ago…and that will serve as our title card for this latest Cubs Story In Pictures. Accept no substitutes!
World Series Dreaming Productions
- Kris Bryant as Venkman
- Anthony Rizzo as Stantz
- David Ross as Spengler
- Dexter Fowler as Zeddemore
- Tom Tunney as Peck
- Fredbird as Slimer
- Mike Matheny as Gozer
With a special assist from Randall, who is awesome.
Our story begins in the offices of the Bryzzo Souvenir Company, in the basement of a building somewhere on Northwestern University’s campus. Dr. Kris Bryant, a trained scientist, was conducting yet another paranormal behavioral experiment with some student volunteers. Bryant looked at his attractive student volunteer, winked with that patented sparkle in his eye, and continued the test.
“Alright, I’m going to turn over the next card…and you concentrate and tell me what you think it is.”
The student thought deeply and then said, “Is it John Baker?”
Bryant looked surprised, and said, “That’s 5 for 5! You’re not cheating, are you?”
But at that point, the test was interrupted as the Dean came in and said, “You’re being moved off campus, effective immediately.”
This surprised Dr. Anthony Rizzo, and the Dean continued, “Your offense is overrated, you strike out too much, and your conclusions are highly questionable! You are very poor scientists!” And thus, their careers as academic scientists/souvenir vendors ended. But Bryant refused to be deterred.
“For whatever reasons, Tony…call it fate, call it luck, call it karma. I believe everything happens for a reason. I believe that we were destined to get thrown out of this dump,” said Bryant.
Rizzo asked, “For what purpose?”
Bryant answered, “To go into another business for ourselves.” And thus, Bryant and Rizzo recruited their partner, Dr. David Ross, to begin evaluating properties for their new business. They found their way to 1060 West Addison, where they found a building badly in need of repairs.
Bryant said, “So what do you think, Rossy?”
Ross said, “I think this building should be condemned. There’s serious metal fatigue in all the load-bearing members, concrete is falling from the ceiling, and the clubhouse is like a broom closet.” But since Rizzo liked the old manual scoreboard so much, Bryant told the real estate lady that they’d take it. The next step, of course, was to set up their commercial.
Rizzo: “Are you troubled by strange rituals on the baseball field?”
Ross: “Do you experience feelings of dread in the late innings?”
Bryant: “Have you or your family ever suffered from a century-long curse that has no rationale for being?”
Rizzo: “If the answer is ‘yes,’ then don’t wait another minute. Pick up the phone and call the professionals…”
Rizzo: “Our courteous and efficient staff is on call 24 hours a day to serve all your superstitious elimination needs.”
All: “We’re ready to relieve you!”
Pretty soon, the Goatbusters received their first call and raced to the River North Sheraton to test out their new equipment, and hopefully establish their business reputation.
Upon arrival, the Goatbusters were rushed to the scene of the haunting, and as Ross and Rizzo used their special equipment to try to detect the anomaly, Bryant walked off on his own to see if he could corner it himself. When he turned the corner, Bryant saw the floating blob, who looked surprisingly like Fredbird. He clicked on his radio and said, “Come in, Riz…”
After a moment of static, Rizzo came on and said, “Hey Kris, I saw it! I saw it!”
“It’s looking right at me, Tony…”
“He’s an ugly little spud, ain’t he?”
“I think he can hear you, Tony…”
“Don’t move, he won’t hurt you!”
But just then, the Fredbird blob flew right at Bryant, and Bryant screamed in horror. Rizzo, still on the radio, heard the attack and ran to Bryant’s position. “Kris! Kris! Are you OK?” yelled Rizzo as he found Bryant lying on the floor in a pool of gunk.
“He slimed me,” groaned a very disgusted Bryant as he picked himself up off the ground.
That’s when Ross came on the radio and beckoned the Goatbusters to his location in the main ballroom, where the Fredbird had holed up. They cleared the area to set the trap, then tried not to suck as they finally captured Fredbird after a few minutes of random destruction.
Thanks to their destructive yet effective capture of their first pest, the Goatbusters began to get lots of business all over Chicago. They became the subject of talk shows, received sponsorships from Binny’s and Ghost Bed, and even got enough in profits to restart the Bryzzo Souvenir Company, selling all kinds of Goatbusters merchandise. Soon, they had to expand their facility, much to the chagrin of Alderman Tom Tunney, who came in to introduce himself to the Goatbusters one day.
“I’m Alderman Tunney, of the 44th Ward. Are you Kris Bryant?”
“Yes, I’m DOCTOR Bryant…”
“Exactly what are you a doctor of, Mr. Bryant?”
“Well, I have PhDs in dingerology and paradingerology…”
“And now, you catch goats?” Tunney continued incredulously.
“Yeah, you could say that.”
“And how many goats have you caught, Mr. Bryant?”
“I’m not at liberty to say.”
At this point Alderman Tunney was quite frustrated, and said, “I’m curious, I want to know more about what you do here, and make sure you’re not just running some beer garden that would disrupt the everyday activities of our neighbors here in Wrigleyville! Now you either show me what is going on around here, or I come back with a new ordinance that restricts your liquor sales!”
Bryant shot back, “You do that, and I’ll build my beer garden anyway!” And that was the end of that conversation…for now. The Goatbusters went back to work all over the city, busting goats and curses.
It got so busy that the Goatbusters had to hire more help to keep up with demand. As luck would have it, they got a very valuable addition in Dexter Fowler, who had decided to return to Chicago after not having luck finding work in Baltimore.
The Goatbusters appreciated the business, but something was bothering Ross as he took some readings to confirm a hunch as he gathered the guys into a meeting.
Ross: “I’m worried, Rizz. It’s getting crowded in the containment plaza and all my data points to something big.”
Dexter: “What do you mean, big?”
Ross: “Well, let’s say this Hot Doug’s represents the normal amount of psychokinetic energy in Chicago. Based on this morning’s readings, it would be a Hot Doug’s 35 feet long, weighing approximately 600 pounds.”
Dexter: “That’s a pretty big Hot Doug’s.”
Just then, Alderman Tunney stormed in with a ComEd technician and a police officer, pushed past the restricted area, and confronted the Goatbusters.
Tunney: “Shut this off, shut these all off.”
Ross: “I’m warning you, turning off these machines would be extremely hazardous.”
ComEd Guy: “I, uh, never seen anything like this before…”
Tunney: “I’m not interested in your opinion, just shut it off. We already put out a press release anyway!”
Bryant: “Don’t shut it off, I’m warning ya…”
Tunney: “SHUT IT OFF!”
The Goatbusters decided to exit the facility early at that point, as they knew that some fireworks were about to erupt. And erupt they did, as every goat, curse, superstition, and Ronnie Woo-Woo exploded out of the containment plaza and started running wild all over Chicago.
Of course, Alderman Tunney blamed everything on the Goatbusters, who were arrested and sent to jail until the city could figure out what to do about all the shenanigans going on around town. The epicenter of the disturbances appeared to be downtown, at Trump Tower.
Ross: “The structure of this roof cap is exactly like the kind of telemetry tracker that Cubs bloggers use to tweet pictures to their followers.”
Bryant: “I guess they just don’t make them like they used to.”
Rizzo: “No, nobody ever made them like this! The architect was either a certified genius or an authentic wacko! The building is designed to pull in all the bad baseball superstitions that are the source of all the curses in this town.”
The jail cell was silent as they all contemplated this revelation, then Ross continued, “Something terrible is about to enter our world, and Trump Tower is obviously the door. The architects name was Mike Matheny. In 1920, he started a secret society of Devil Magicians. After the 1926 World Series, Matheny decided that only the St. Louis Cardinals should win because they play the game The Right Way. He wasn’t alone. He had thousands of followers in the Best Fans In Baseball when he died. They conducted Devil Magic rituals up on the roof, bizarre rituals intended to keep the Cardinals reigning supreme. And now it looks like Matheny is on the way back from the nether world!”
The conversation would continue in the Mayor’s office, as the City of Chicago had no idea how to combat the Devil Magic. They had no choice but to enlist the aid of the Goatbusters. Against the objections of Alderman Tunney, who caused the mess in the first place, the Goatbusters went back to work, trying to figure out how to defeat the Devil Magic once and for all. They went to Trump Tower and climbed to the roof to confront the specter of Mike Matheny.
They saw Matheny come out of a portal that materialized out of nowhere. Bryant said, “Go get him, Tony!” Rizzo gulped, stepped forward, and said, “Mike the Matheny, good evening. As a duly designated representative of the City of Chicago and Cook County, I order you to cease any and all Devil Magic and return forthwith to St. Louis or to the nearest convenient parallel dimension.”
Bryant rolled his eyes and said sarcastically, “That oughta do it, thanks Riz.” But then Matheny glared at them and said, “Are you free agents?”
Rizzo was confused, and looked at Bryant, who beckoned him to nod yes. But Rizzo, being the boy scout that he was, said simply, “No…?”
Matheny was unimpressed and screamed, “Then…DIEEEEEE!!!” while shooting lightning bolts out of his hands, almost hurling the Goatbusters off the roof. Dexter was not very pleased, as he was technically a free agent before he signed on with the company. “Riz, when someone asks you if you’re a free agent, you say YES!”
The Goatbusters fired upon Matheny, but he disappeared in a poof. Just then, a voice boomed as if over the way-too-loud Wrigley public address system: “CHOOSE THE FORM OF THE DESTRUCTOR.” Bryant started instructing all the Goatbusters to clear their minds, but then…
Matheny: “The choice is made! The Traveler has come!”
Bryant: “Woah woah hey, nobody chose anything! Did you choose anythin?”
Bryant turned to Dexter: “Did YOU?!”
Dexter: “My mind is totally blank.”
Bryant: “I didn’t choose anything!”
And then they all looked at Rizzo, who had a sad look upon his face as he said, “I couldn’t help it. It just popped in there.” The ground shook as they heard giant footsteps coming down the street.
Bryant: “What? WHAT just popped in there?!”
Rizzo: “I…I tried to think…no, it can’t be!”
Bryant: “What did you DO, Tony??”
Rizzo: “…it’s Clark the Cub.”
The Goatbusters looked in horror as the giant manifestation of the lovable pantsless Cubs mascot came down the Magnificent Mile, crushing everything in its path, heading straight for Trump Tower as it sensed Matheny’s Devil magic. Rizzo cried, “I tried to think of the most harmless thing. Something I loved from my childhood. Something that could never ever possibly destroy us. Clark the Cub!”
As the massive bear got ever closer, Bryant said, “Nice thinking, Riz. Okay, let’s fry this guy!” The Goatbusters turned on their particle accelerators and torched the gigantic Clark, who burst into flames but continued advancing upon them.
With their options running out, Ross had an idea which was very dangerous, but if they trusted the process, there was a very good chance they could survive and save Chicago from Devil Magic. Bryant considered the plan for a moment, then said, “I love this plan! I’m excited to be a part of it! Let’s do it!”
With the flaming mascot ascending Trump Tower threatening to crush them in Build-A-Bear floof, the Goatbusters lined up in front of the portal and prepared for the final showdown to send Mike Matheny back to St. Louis.
Miraculously, Ross’ plan worked, and the portal exploded as it was banished back to the nether world. The monstrous fiery Clark also exploded into chunks of faux fur, stuffing, and the burning rotting flesh of the giant person inside the bear costume as thousands of frightened Chicagoans scattered from the falling debris.
As the Goatbusters dug themselves out from the collateral damage left in the wake of the Devil Magic, they could hear the cheering from the streets of downtown Chicago. They had indeed saved the city, and quite possibly the world, from the Best Fans In Baseball.
Dexter got up on a pedestal and yelled, “I LOVE THIS TOWN!”
The Goatbusters descended Trump Tower to rousing applause and cheers. As they drove back to Wrigley Field, Bryant and Rizzo spent the whole car ride convincing David Ross not to retire so they could set up a sequel…