Get out of jukeboxes, you damn Cubs fans!
The pain of the Cardinals' playoff loss is fresh. Agony is everywhere, tears roll like red boulders and the hurt is reflected in the baseball-loving eyes of fans all over the county
We get it. We lost
. But one unnamed Cubs fan just had
to push the envelope, had
to take the trademark Cubs dickery up a couple hundred notches. Indeed, Riverfront Times
can now confirm the horrific reports
are true: During Tuesday's game, someone used an app
to make local jukeboxes play "Go Cubs Go," on repeat, for hours on end at several area bars and bowling alleys.
Twitter user and Arizona native @ClueHeywood
took credit for the prank, tweeting his plans about an hour before the first pitch.
"I'm remote playing 'Go Cubs Go' at every St. Louis-area bar jukebox. I'm trolling Cardinals fans the RIGHT way," he wrote.
And Heywood, as it turns out, wasn't full of shit. Oh no. His trolling was all too real.
"It started about 12:30, one o'clock," says Cheryl Crowl, a bartender at The Hanger
in Belleville. "Oh my god, it scared me at first, because our jukebox doesn't usually play like that, you have to put money in it."
Crowl says the infernal song played twice an hour, and it was still
playing when she left the bar at 6 p.m. Tuesday. (Still, Crowl adds that the bar patrons didn't seem bothered by the folksy strains of Steve Goodman's 1984 hit. "People were so into the game that they ignored the jukebox coming on," she says.)
But it seems that @ClueHeywood may not have been working alone, or, perhaps, he was not the first Cubs fan to corrupt St. Louis' innocent jukeboxes. A manager at West Park Bowl
, in Columbia, says the song began playing on their jukebox on Monday
, although he also says he heard the tune playing yesterday.
And Jean Manzelli, a bartender at Crestwood Bowl
, says the song startled her on Wednesday morning, long after the Cards went down to defeat on Tuesday evening, as she passed the jukebox inside the bar.
"Nobody put money in the jukebox, it just started playing," Manzelli says. "It was just blasting, just really loud."
However, Manzelli says that the bartender on duty during Tuesday's game didn't hear the song play.
After talking with the bartenders, we were left with more questions. Did @ClueHeywood take his plan on a test-run on Monday? Did he copy the prank idea from someone else? Or did he inspire copycat pranksters who now prey on St. Louis jukeboxes for the sheer sadistic thrill of it?
Alas, @ClueHeywood doesn't have all the answers.
"I'm not aware of any co-conspirators," he writes in an email. "I started doing it yesterday morning ... so if someone else precedes me, my hat's off to them!"
Despite his Western roots, our friendly troll — who declined to give his real name — writes that he's "had a soft spot for the Cubs since watching them growing up in the '80s and '90s," adding that he traveled to Chicago last month to catch an earlier Cardinals-Cubs series.
But where did the idea for the prank come from? We'll let @ClueHeywood tell the tale in his own words:
A couple years ago I downloaded the AMI Barlink app to play tunes on the jukebox at my local bar here in Phoenix. After a while I started playing awful songs when I wasn't there just to troll the other regulars...I'd play a song and immediately get hateful text messages. It turned into a give-and-take with my Twitter followers, where they'd tweet me with the bar they were in (anywhere in the US) and I'd play something awful for them on that jukebox...like Christmas songs in the middle of the summer, or Yakety Sax, or Total Eclipse of the Heart. You really have no idea who is in the bar (or if it's even open) when you play a song, but it's pretty funny to imagine it full of confused customers listening to "Feliz Navidad" in June.
I was driving to work yesterday morning when I realized the app could be used for lighthearted evil. So a couple hours before the game I started playing "Go Cubs Go" at any St. Louis area bar that had an available AMI jukebox on the app. I did it for part of the game as well as after the Cubs clinched. I shared what I was doing with my followers and it took off from there.
The reactions from fellow Cubs fans, writes @ClueHeywood, have been uniformly glowing.
"I'm just some dipshit who downloaded an app and used it for some lighthearted ribbing," @ClueHeywood adds. "Most Cardinals fans I've heard from have been good sports. I've only had one bitter and obscene response, sent late at night by what I assume was a Cardinals fan who had drowned his sorrows a little too much. No hard feelings here."
Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at @D_Towski. E-mail the author at Danny.Wicentowski@RiverfrontTimes.com