The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Observations: Chicago

  • First, you must learn to pronounce the city name. It is Chi-ca-go, or Cha-ca-ga, depending on if you live North or South of Roosevelt Rd.
  • Next, if your road map is more than a few weeks old, throw it out and buy a new one. If you are in Naperville and your map is one day old, then it is already obsolete.
  • Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. Chicago has its own version of traffic rules... "Hold on and pray."
  • There is no such thing as a dangerous high-speed chase in Chicago. We all drive like that.
  • All directions start with, "I-94"... which has no beginning and no end.
  • The morning rush hour is from 6 to 10. The evening rush hour is from 3 to 7. Friday's rush hour starts Thursday morning.
  • If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will be rear ended, cussed out and possibly shot. When you are the first one on the starting line, count to five when the light turns green before going to avoid crashing with all the drivers running the red light in cross-traffic.
  • Construction on Northwest Tollway is a way of life and a permanent form of entertainment. We had sooooo much fun with that we have added Elgin-O'Hare and the I-355 to the mix.
  • All unexplained sights are explained by the phrase, "Oh, we're in Cicero!"
  • If someone actually has their turn signal on, it is probably a factory defect.
  • Car horns are actually "Road Rage" indicators.
  • All old ladies with blue hair in Mercedes have the right of way. Period.
  • First Ave, La Grange Rd, Northwest Highway...all mysteriously change names as you cross intersections.
  • If you are asking directions in Cicero you must have knowledge of Spanish. In Bridgeport, Mandarin Chinese will be your best bet. If you stop to ask directions on the West or South side, you'd better be armed.
  • A trip across town (east to west) will take a minimum of four hours, although many north/south expressways have unposted minimum speeds of 75.
  • The minimum acceptable speed on the Dan Ryan is 85. Anything less is considered downright sissy.
  • The wrought iron on windows near Englewood and Austin is NOT ornamental.
  • The Congress Expressway is our daily version of NASCAR.
  • The Dan Ryan is called "The Death Trap" for two reasons: "death" and "trap."
  • If it's 100 degrees, It's taste of Chicago time. If it's 10 degrees and sleeting/snowing, it's opening day at Wrigley Field. If it has rained 6 inches in the last hour, the Western open Golf Classic is in the second round.
  • If you go to Wrigley Field, pay the $25 to park in the "Cubs Lot". Parking elsewhere could cost up to $2500 for damages, towing fees, parking tickets, etc. If some guy with a flag tries to get you to park in his "yard," run over him.

Submitted by reader S.P.

Humor: Airplane squawks

"Squawk" is the aviation term for a maintenance request. These are squawks allegedly logged by QUANTAS pilots. The solutions logged by the company's maintenance engieers follow.

Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
Almost replaced left inside main tire.
Test flight OK, except autoland very rough.
Autoland not installed on this aircraft.
No. 2 propeller seeping prop fluid.
No. 2 propeller seepage normal. No's 1, 3, and 4 propellers lack normal seepage.
Something loose in cockpit.
Something tightened in cockpit.
Dead bugs on windshield.
Live bugs on back-order.
Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 fpm descent.
Cannot reproduce problem on ground.
Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
Evidence removed.
DME volume unbelievably loud.
DME volume set to more believable level.
Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
That's what they're there for.
IFF inoperative.
IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.
Suspected crack in windshield.
Suspect you're right.
Number 3 engine missing.
Engine found on right wing after brief search.
Aircraft handles funny.
Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.
Target radar hums.
Reprogrammed target radar with words.
Mouse in cockpit.
Cat installed.

Submitted by reader D.B.

Observation: When you hate your job

Next time you have an "I hate my job" kind of day, try this:

On your way home from work, stop at your local pharmacy and go to the thermometer section. You will need to purchase a rectal thermometer made by Q-Tip. Be very sure that you get this brand.

When you get home, lock your doors, draw the drapes, and disconnect the phone so you will not be disturbed during your therapy. Change into comfortable clothing, such as a sweat suit and lie down on your bed. Open the package and remove the thermometer. Carefully place it on the bedside table so that it will not become chipped or broken.

Take out the written material that accompanies the thermometer and read it. You will notice that in small print there is a statement:

Every rectal thermometer made by Q-Tip is personally tested.

Now, close your eyes and repeat out loud five times: "I am so glad I do not work in quality control at the Q-Tip Company."

Submitted by reader C.H.

List: You know you're Italian when...

  • You're 5'4", can bench-press 325 pounds, shave twice a day and you still cry when your mother yells at you.
  • You carry your lunch in a produce bag because you can't fit 2 mortadella "sangwitches," 4 oranges, 2 bananas and pizzelles into a regular paper lunch bag.
  • Your father owns 5 houses, has $300,000 in the bank, but still drives a '76 black Mercury.
  • Your mechanic, plumber, electrician, accountant and travel agent are all blood relatives.
  • You consider dunking a pack of Stella D'Oro "S" cookies in milk as a nutritious breakfast.
  • You live in a 900 square foot bungalow, but still have 2 kitchens (one in the basement).
  • Your 2 best friends are your cousin and your brother-in-law's brother-in-law.
  • You are a VIP at more than 4 after hours clubs.
  • You have at least 5 cousins living in the same town or street. All 5 of these cousins are named after your grandfather or grandmother.
  • A high school diploma and 1 year of community college has earned you the title of "professor" among your aunts.
  • You are on a first name basis with at least 8 banquet hall owners.
  • You only get one good shave from a disposable razor.
  • If someone in your family grows beyond 5'9", it is presumed his mother had an affair.
  • There were more than 28 people in your bridal party.
  • You netted more than $50,000 at your First Communion.
  • You eat Sunday dinner at 2:00.
  • You know what a riceball really is.
  • You have pasta on Sundays and Thursdays.
  • On Christmas Eve...only fish.
  • You have a gold chain with a cross and your horn.
  • Your Momma's meatballs are the best.
  • Your favorite movies are: Godfather, Goodfellas, Bronx Tale, The Last Don and Moonstruck.
  • You've been hit with a wooden spoon or had a shoe thrown at you.
  • Plastic on the furniture is normal.
  • You know how to pronounce "manicotti."
  • You've called someone a "mamaluke."
  • You own a Pinky Ring.
  • And you understand, "Bada Bing, Bada Boom."

Submitted by reader B.i.

Joke: the Rabbit

A lady opened her refrigerator and saw a rabbit sitting on one of the shelves. "What are you doing in there?" she asked.

The rabbit replied, "This is a Westinghouse, isn't it?"

"Why, yes," replied the lady.

"Well," the rabbit said, "I'm westing."

Submitted by reader S.P.

List: Fun things to do in an elevator

This one first came to us in 1995. It's a classic.

  1. Make race car noises when anyone gets on or off.
  2. Blow your nose and offer to show the contents of your kleenex to other passengers.
  3. Grimace painfully while smacking your forehead and muttering: "Shut up, dammit, all of you just shut UP!"
  4. Whistle the first seven notes of "It's a Small World" incessantly.
  5. Sell Girl Scout cookies.
  6. On a long ride, sway side to side at the natural frequency of the elevator.
  7. Shave.
  8. Crack open your briefcase or purse, and while peering inside ask: "Got enough air in there?"
  9. Offer name tags to everyone getting on the elevator. Wear yours upside-down.
  10. Stand silent and motionless in the corner, facing the wall, without getting off.
  11. When arriving at your floor, grunt and strain to yank the doors open, then act embarrassed when they open by themselves.
  12. Lean over to another passenger and whisper: "Noogie patrol coming!"
  13. Greet everyone getting on the elevator with a warm handshake and ask them to call you Admiral.
  14. One word: Flatulence!
  15. On the highest floor, hold the door open and demand that it stay open until you hear the penny you dropped down the shaft go "plink" at the bottom.
  16. Do Tai Chi exercises.
  17. Stare, grinning, at another passenger for a while, and then announce: "I’ve got new socks on!"
  18. When at least 8 people have boarded, moan from the back: "Oh, not now, damn motion sickness!"
  19. Give religious tracts to each passenger.
  20. Meow occasionally.
  21. Bet the other passengers you can fit a quarter in your nose.
  22. Frown and mutter "gotta go, gotta go" then sigh and say "oops!"
  23. Show other passengers a wound and ask if it looks infected.
  24. Sing "Mary had a little lamb" while continually pushing buttons.
  25. Holler "Chutes away!" whenever the elevator descends.
  26. Walk on with a cooler that says "human head" on the side.
  27. Stare at another passenger for a while, then announce "You’re one of THEM!" and move to the far corner.
  28. Burp, and then say "mmmm...tasty!"
  29. Leave a box between the doors.
  30. Ask each passenger getting on if you can push the button for them.
  31. Wear a puppet on your hand and talk to other passengers "through" it.
  32. Start a sing-along.
  33. When the elevator is silent, look around and ask "is that your beeper?"
  34. Play the harmonica.
  35. Shadow box.
  36. Say "Ding!" at each floor.
  37. Lean against the button panel.
  38. Say "I wonder what all these do" and push the red buttons.
  39. Listen to the elevator walls with a stethoscope.
  40. Draw a little square on the floor with chalk and announce that this is your "personal space."
  41. Bring a chair along.
  42. Take a bite of a sandwich and ask another passenger: "Wanna see wha in muh mouf?"
  43. Blow spit bubbles.
  44. Pull your gum out of your mouth in long strings.
  45. Announce in a demonic voice: "I must find a more suitable host body."
  46. Carry a blanket and clutch it protectively.
  47. Make explosion noises when anyone presses a button.
  48. Wear "X-Ray Specs" and leer suggestively at other passengers.
  49. Stare at your thumb and say "I think it's getting larger."
  50. If anyone brushes against you, recoil and holler "Bad touch!"

Commentary: Rules for Patriotism

Here are the new rules regarding displays of patriotism in the U.S.:

  1. To buy an American flag, you must present proof you have voted at least once in the last three elections (yes, local and state elections count).
  2. To display an American flag in any form, you must present proof of voter registration.
  3. To wave an American flag in public, you must be able to name at least one of the following:
    • Your Senator
    • Your Representative
    • Your President ("George Bush" does not count; ambiguous)
  4. To sell any product with an American flag on it, you must answer the following question:
    The Bill of Rights is part of:
    • the Constitution
    • the Magna Carta
    • the Declaration of Independence
  5. Those heard singing patriotic songs in public may be asked to show their voter registration cards.
  6. To be permitted to scream "Nuke Afghanistan", you must be able to correctly locate Afghanistan on a map or globe.
  7. To be permitted to scream "Arabs go home", you must list and correctly locate ten Arab homelands.
  8. Those who wish to express opinions about Arabs and Arab-Americans must pass the following test:
    1. Those who follow the religion of Islam are called:
      • Moslems
      • Muslins
      • Fanatics
    2. The holy book of Islam is called:
      • The Koran
      • The Koram
      • The Bible
    3. In Arabic, God is called:
      • Ali
      • Allah
      • Jehova
  9. Priority for purchase of American flags will be given to those whose ancestors lived on American soil the longest. When all American Indians who wish to display the red, white and blue are satisfied, other applicants will be accepted.
  10. A call for war on any radio talk-show will be construed as a public declaration of willingness to enlist in the US Army; callers will have 24 hours to complete the paperwork.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Submitted by reader S.S.

List: Comparison of Cubs and Sox fans

A Cubs fan is more likely to drive a BMW.
A Sox fan is more likely to break into that BMW and have it in a "chop shop" in less than 15 minutes.

A Sox fan will pick a fight with a Cubs fan and usually win.
A Cubs fan will pick a fight with a Sox fan once he sees he has five of his closest frat buddies with him and the odds are in his favor. He still may lose.

A Cubs fan will watch HBO's "Oz" and talk about its "gritty theme" the next day at the water cooler.
A Sox fan has probably served time in "Oz" and sees it as a love story.

A Cubs fan will bring a girl named Muffy to the game, spend his wallet on the date and have to listen to her talk about accessorizing her clothes and jewelry all evening long.
A Sox fan will bring a girl nicknamed "Pinky" to the game, have his wallet lifted by her and listen to her brag about how quickly she can change a flat tire.

A female Cubs fan is more likely to brag about how she allegedly "hooked up" with former Cubs first baseman Mark Grace one night.
A female Sox fan is likely to brag about how she also allegedly "hooked up" with Grace one night. Hey, "Gracie" was a busy man.

A Cubs fan will shop at Kenneth Cole.
A Sox fan will shoplift at Kenneth Cole.

A Sox fan can describe the entire game from first pitch to finish.
A Cubs fan can tell you how he played hooky from work, went to High Tops for a few "beverages" before the game and then woke up late that night naked on his couch, having gotten sick in a box of Crunch Berries. Tickets still in his pocket, of course.

A Cubs fan wears boxers.
A Sox fan wears...well, whatever he finds on the floor that morning.

A female Cubs fan wears undergarments from Victoria's Secret.
A female Sox fan wears a bulletproof vest.

A Sox fan listens to DMX.
A Cubs fan thinks DMX is a new type of SUV and that he "just can't wait to get on the list to buy one."

A Cubs fan can sit back and listen to Ronnie "Woo-Woo" do his annoying act over and over again.
A Sox fan has to hide his hot dog so that the "Get-up Guy" doesn't gobble it down in one bite.

A Sox fan will stay away from the ballpark until he sees that the organization is serious about winning.
A Cubs fan has no idea what his team's record is. Just "Pass the brew, beer man!"

A Cubs fan watches TV shows "Ally McBeal" and the "West Wing."
A Sox fan watches "WWF Raw is War," and then "America's Most Wanted" to check up on how his "busy" relatives are doing.

A Cubs fan can usually be found pulling his Palm Pilot out at some point in the game to take down an important number
A Sox fan just grabs a pen and writes the number down on his palm.

A Sox fan has been waiting patiently for a World Series Championship for almost a century.
A Cubs fan...well, maybe they do have one thing in common. Just one.

Submitted by reader S.P.

Joke: Horseradish for Pesach

The Jewish community in Madrid needed horseradish for making chrain (horseradish) for Pesach, but all the European Union countries gave them the same reply, "Sorry, we have none to send."

In desperation, the Rabbi phoned one of his Yeshiva friends in Tel Aviv and begged him to send a crate of horseradish by air freight to Madrid.

Two days before Pesach, a crate of grade Aleph tear-jerking Israeli (chrain) horseradish was loaded at Ben Gurion Airport onto the next El Al flight to Madrid, and all seemed to be well.

Unfortunately, when the Rabbi went to the Madrid Airport to claim the horseradish he was informed that a wildcat strike had just broken out and no shipments would be unloaded for at least four days.

As a result, the chrain in Spain stayed mainly on the plane.

Submitted by reader M.B.

List: Modern defintions

Algorithm
\al-go-rhythm\ Tempo with which the ex-Vice President does the Macarena
Arbitrator
\ar'-bi-tray'-ter\ A cook who quits Arby's to work at McDonald's
Avoidable
\uh-voy'-duh-buhl' \ What a bullfighter tries to do
Baloney
\buh-lo'-nee' \ Where some hemlines fall
Bernadette
\burn'-a-det' \ The act of torching a mortgage
Burglarize
\bur'-gler-ize' \ What a crook sees with
Colin Powell
Nickname of Doctor Powell, the prominent proctologist
Control
\kon'-trol\ A short, ugly inmate
Counterfeiters
\kown'-ter-fit'-ers\ Workers who put together kitchen cabinets
Define
\de-fine\ What de judge levels against de defendant
Dick Cheney
\dik-chainy\ Series of tiny metal links encircling the male organ during kinky sex
Eyedropper
\i'-drop-ur\ A clumsy ophthalmologist
George Bush
The pubic area of President Washington
Heroes
\hee-rhos'\ What a guy in a small boat does
Left Bank
\left' bangk' \ What the robber did when his bag was full of loot
Marc Rich
What Samuel L. Clemens' parents boasted when he received his first royalty check for Huckleberry Finn
Misty
\mis-tee' \ How golfers create divots
Parasites
\par'-ih-sites' \ What you see from the top of the Eiffel Tower
Pharmacist
\farm'-uh-sist \ A helper on the farm
Polarize
\po'-lur-ize' \ What penguins see with
Primate
\pri'-mate' \ Removing your spouse from in front of the TV
Relief
\ree-leef' \ What trees do in the spring
Selfish
\sel'-fish' \ What the owner of a seafood store does
Subdued
\sub-dood' \ Like, a guy who, like, works on one of those, like, submarines, man
Sudafed
\sood'-a-fed' \ Brought litigation against a government official

Submitted by reader M.B.