How to Chicago: Don’t Mess with Cops

33. Survive. Don’t mess with police. Common sense for most people, but there are a few of us that have trouble with authority. Growing up in the suburbs this became an issue for me. I thought putting the kibosh on teenage fun was the primary objective of police in the absence of any “real” crime. Maybe. Maybe not. What is certain is that I was irreverent when they appeared. 

In an expansive metropolis, however, it’s very different. Police there are perpetually working with real problems, real crime, real morons and issues. Their job is arduous. Their job is scary. They won’t mess with your average citizen unless you are doing something very stupid or really wrong. 

So don’t add to their shit pile by being an asshole. 

Unless you live in Geneva or some place. In that case, dick away. They are trying to ruin your fun. 

How to Drive Chicago: Parallel Park

32. Drive. So many city dwellers fail at this simple maneuver. I, for one, am a prodigious parker by parallel. Give me 1 inch clearance from front and back bumper and I’ll slide in there faster than you can say purple rain. I actually have it listed on my resume. 

– Attended Elmhurst College

– Physical Therapist

– ’91 Homecoming King

– Saw Prince live in concert

– Parallel parking god. 

How apropos as most people don’t know that Prince was an amazing parallel parker as well. 

I digress. Learn how to parallel park. I mean go out and practice it if you have to. It’s essential for living in any big city and it’s embarrassing if you can’t get it done quickly.  Use your hazards to clue in cars to the rear that you are parking (a turn signal seems to confuse people behind). Set up directly parallel with the car that will ultimately be in front of you. Reverse. Turn the wheel all the way to the right. One one thousand. two one thousand. Turn the wheel all the way to the left. Boom. Bob’s your uncle. You’re done. 

How to Drive Chicago: Do Not Swerve into Oncoming Traffic to Avoid Potholes

31. Drive. There are 1.8 million potholes in Chicago proper. Do not swerve into oncoming traffic to avoid them. Come on. I’m astonished at how often I see this. If you need to avoid a pothole or any obstruction in your lane, slow down and do it cautiously . You may actually have to wait for oncoming traffic to pass before you maneuver around your pothole. Do not swerve to the left into approaching traffic at full speed causing the driver opposite you to hammer on their brakes. That is just acutely ignorant. The issue is on your side of the road. You’re the one that must yield.