#809: The Pantheon of Terrible Chicago Mascots Welcomes Jewel-Osco’s JoJo, Who Feeds on Children’s Darkness

June 28th, 2017 § permalink

Please take a moment to enjoy this image of JoJo the Bloodshot before beginning this story.

[Scene: A conference room in a spacious Loop skyscraper. A group of foam and fur creatures wander around the table, chatting and sipping coffee. A pantsless preteen bear trades business cards with a dancing pig as a giant eagle squats and starts to say “I’ve got something-” to an inflatable women’s basketball fan with a jetpack.]

[A giant green pile of sentient moss shaped like a child’s drawing of a dinosaur walks in, takes off his White Sox cap and places an attache case at the head of the conference table.] » Read the rest of this entry «

#803: The Machine

June 14th, 2017 § permalink

It starts with a reference at work, that’s where the machine rumbles to life.

We’re past the point as a culture where we tell people news. The assumption now is that we already know what happened. The assumption is that we already know who killed whom by firing what randomly where. The assumption when chatting in the office is that it’s OK to start right in on the references and skip the 5 Ws and the H (who, what, when, where, why and how many dead). » Read the rest of this entry «

#789: Cram

May 12th, 2017 § permalink

Rod Balgovijic went to prison for six and a half… fourteen… life?

Richard L. Daily was the first mayor of the city, known as the Boss on Five.

Do I talk about the Omnibus Boodlers, or just start with Kinky Dink?

Oh wow, I have to be a tour guide again. » Read the rest of this entry «

#787: A Movie House

May 8th, 2017 § permalink

By rights, it should be a chain restaurant.

That’s what the area’s best for. State Street, that great street where the only groups that can afford the ground-floor rents are multinational corporations shilling either cheap Chinese-made clothing or the finest of mass-produced sandwich meats. » Read the rest of this entry «

#780: It Started Here

April 21st, 2017 § permalink

It’s one of those mighty and mighty common glass towers that dot downtown Chicago. It’s a glimmering, glistening testament to beautify and individualism, just like the two across the river from it.

It’s condos and rental spaces for stores that don’t seem to materialize. There are ads on the wall for a new ping pong bar, the trendiest of trends for 2017.

Here’s where it all started for Chicago news. This slapdash casement of glass and pretension is the site of the first newspaper ever printed in the city. » Read the rest of this entry «

#773: It’s Time We Admit “Land of Lincoln” is a Terrible Slogan

April 5th, 2017 § permalink

I’ve been hearing about it at work for about two weeks.

Just little barbs and jabs. A few references here and there. Snarky asides, glare in the eyes as they call me out.

But I’ll stand by what I said, may god or man judge me how they will: “Land of Lincoln” is a terrible state slogan.

» Read the rest of this entry «

#770: Quack Cures and How Bad They’d Kill You

March 29th, 2017 § permalink

I’m currently off in South Dakota with the family, looking at dinosaur stuff and chasing the wild jackalope. I’ll be back Thursday, but to tide my throng of fans, here are a few Chicago-based 1800s quack cure ads from a book I bought at Wall Drug, along with brief commentary on if they would kill you. » Read the rest of this entry «

#763: Silence in the Library

March 13th, 2017 § permalink

They call it a library, writing Library with a capital L in the emails setting up the date.

“The Living Room is being used on Tuesday but the Library next to the Living Room would be available for you,” the email from the event manager read.

I have to tread carefully, as this was a work appointment. Not a “this website” work but Work also with a capital. The place that feeds me and clothes me and where I find myself saying things like “workflow,” “bandwidth” and “talk offline.”

So I’ll be cautious where I can and euphemistic when I need to. There’s nothing bad that will be said here at all, but a place where people say “Do you have the bandwidth for this project?” instead of “Hey, you got time for this?” is a place whose boundaries must be honored. They let me do my silly site, I keep them free from its pages. » Read the rest of this entry «

#762: A Wonderful Thing on International Women’s Day

March 10th, 2017 § permalink

I guess I could tell you what his sign said, but I won’t. Not because I think I’m saving any souls or sparing any innocent ears, but because it pleases me that not spreading his words will make him feel pain, just a tad.

But for the story’s sake, I should describe the man. No good tale without a protagonist, eh?

He was an awful human being decked up to tell the world how awful he was.  » Read the rest of this entry «

#755: A Cask of Amontillado

February 22nd, 2017 § permalink

“I wouldn’t get walled up for that,” she said, passing me the small snifter of medium dry sherry. “I would for a Palo Cortado, though.”

I took the glass, sniffed and sipped the amontillado. It had a semi-pleasant taste that I liked quite a bit. Not good exactly, but unforgettable.

It was a taste I’ll never taste again at a place I’ll never go to. » Read the rest of this entry «

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing the Loop/Downtown category at 1,001 Chicago Afternoons.

  • Get Stories by Email

  • Chicago Corruption Walking Tour

    Join the email list for tour dates and info.