October 2008. A week after the Chicago Cubs disgraced themselves in the playoffs. Less than one month before the Obama election.
I’m hungry. For lunch. I leave work and walk through the the Tribune Tower lobby. Occasionally in the lobby there are celebrity sightings. That day in October was a most unusual‚ yet most appropriate guest standing in the Tribune Tower lobby.
Ronny Woo-woo, the “ultimate” Cubs fan. For those who don’t know Ronnie Woo-woo. He’s this dude who dresses up in a full cubs uniform and attends every cubs game in the bleachers and YELLS, “GO WOO CUBS! WOO! GO CUBS! WOO!” And he does it non-stop throughout the game. Cubs fans have a love/hate relationship with him. It’s cool that he has such passion. But seriously, you can hear this man across the park in Wrigley.
He is simply a fixture of Wrigley Field. Seeing him out of the context of Wrigley is truly bizarre. But he is in the Tribune Tower lobby. Tribune Company still owns the Cubs. In a way it’s fitting that Ronny Woo-Woo is in the Tribune Tower lobby.
First I snap an unsuspecting photo with my cell phone–pretending I’m talking while I photograph him. Then I go up to him and welcome him…
“Hey Ronny! Welcome!”
I ask him, “What’s going on? Too bad about them Cubs, eh? ”
Ronnie replies, “Oh that’s ok. We got Obama to root for now! Obama woo! 2008! Woo! Obamma Woo!”
He literally said that. Although he didn’t yell it out.
I laugh and ask him if he comes down here often. He replied, “Nope, I haven’t been down here in 22 years.”
I’m shocked, “Really?! Well, welcome to Tribune Tower.” He thanks me and I walk out.
As I walk down Michigan Avenue, I’m delighted that I ran into him in the lobby. But then I realize that it would have been REALLY cool to give him a tour of the Tribune Tower. I love giving people tours of the building. Imagine hanging out with Ronny Woo-woo showing him around. That would be mad-whack-crazy! But then I rationalize that it would be kinda weird for me to walk around with him, because as I show him the newspaper floor, I don’t really know anybody down there, so it would be a little weird as people would be like, uh, who are you bringing Ronnie Woo Woo around? And he might want me to introduce him to some sports reporters or something. Then again, maybe he already knows the Cubs reports. Oh. And maybe some of the sports reporters might not want to be interrupted by him. But then maybe they would. *Shrugs* Who knows.
I debate this over and over in my head, and then I just rationalize that by this point he would have either left the building, or someone else would have shown him around by now.
An hour later I come back to the lobby ready to ask security what ended up happening to Ronnie. But lo and behold who is STILL standing in the lobby? Ronnie Woo Woo. He’s been there the whole time. I’m all excited and bouncy seeing him again. I go up to him and welcome him and said something stupid like, “Oh wow! You are still here!” The security guards behind the desk just kinda roll their eyes. So I know to just leave it at that. I wasn’t about to get in the middle of that.