How to Chicago: Mass Murderer Rant

50. News media, I beg you to stop using the actual name of a mass murderer after a horrific event. I understand the importance of getting the name out there once, but after that they should be known as nothing more than the culprit, or the murderer, whatever. Just stop using their name. I have to believe it is exactly what they wanted. They want to go down in infamy. “They’ll speak of my heinousness for years to come.”

This being the anniversary of Sandy Hook I heard the murderers name numerous times this morning on the news. Great. Way to keep his personal narrative alive. Exactly what he wanted. Instead of empathy for the families I felt rage against him and hearing his name easily conjured images of his face in my mind.

I never want to see that image again.

I have to believe that having their name spoken in the 24 hour news cycle both acutely and chronically is a motivation for psychopaths.

Perhaps it would deter future killers knowing that no one would know who actually committed the act and they will not be remembered. Hell, if it stops 1 person it’s successful.

I’m willing to try anything.

I emailed WGN news this post this morning. If you agree, maybe you should contact your news outlet.

How to Chicago: Snoring

46. Snoring. If anyone has ever told you that you snore, just know that person has very carefully weighed the pros and cons of letting you live.

It’s staggering the number of marriages disturbed by snoring. I personally believe that laying into your “loved” one for this unintentional occurrence is akin to complaining about them being diabetic or having ADHD or being left handed. Go easy. They’re not doing it on purpose. And I bet you snore as well from time to time, but your consort simply isn’t bothered by it like you are.

I’ve tried sleeping on my side, using a sound machine to drown it out, ear plugs worn by my wife, jaw straps to hold my mouth closed and various mouth guards.

Alas, we entered sleep divorce. Taking turns sleeping on the couch, in the basement, or in the attic. Anywhere that wasn’t together. ‘Twas, as they say in France, a bummer.

Persistence has paid off, however. I have found a solution. A mouth guard called the SnoreRx. It pulls your lower jaw forward and has greatly decreased the snore. It differs from other mouth guards in that the amount of lower jaw movement is adjustable making it more comfortable to sleep in. It takes some getting used to, but stay with and it may help.

https://www.snorerx.com/

We are happily bed married again.

How to Drive Chicago: “Shitgun!”


36. Drive. And Survive. And Thrive. We were pulling out of a parking lot recently after our ten thousandth little league game and we drove past another family. I watched 2 siblings fighting for the front seat. What started as a verbal argument ended with Homer on Bart style choking. Parents in tears. Human sacrifice. Dogs and cats living together. Mass hysteria. 

But you . . . you’re better than that. You’ve figured this out already. Or, maybe you’re one of those families who’s flatulence has no odor and your clones never argue. If that is NOT the case, allow me to help.  

Child “A” in the front seat on the way to all destinations. Child “B” in the front seat anytime you are on the way home. Done. That’s it. Doesn’t matter if it’s a one-way trip. Doesn’t matter if you’re dropping one off at an orphanage and he will never ride with you again.  “A” in front on the way there. “B” in front on the way back. 

Doesn’t matter if the getaway trip takes 5 hours and then we find a worm hole and the return is 6 minutes. “A” on the way there. “B” on the way back. 

Accordion your car killing your family? Does not matter. Corpse “A” in front. Corpse “B” in back. 

Now, I’m quite aware of the math issues if you own a third child. In that case, keep it simple. The baby stays in back until your oldest stops riding with you. Good to keep her confidence down anyways. Make it up to her in some other way. Let her lead prayers or something 

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 Chicago: If you Bike, Wear White

Drawing by Wilson


25. Survive. Back in my sports radio listening days the renowned commentator Tony Kornheiser used to sign his show off with “If your’e out on your bike tonight, do wear white”.  Initially it struck me as a peculiar way to end a sports show. As time passed however, I began to really appreciate what I thought was a solid and unique public service announcement. Later I heard that it was more a tribute to the Rolling Stones tune “Something Happened To Me Yesterday”.

Blah, blah blah…..who cares. I’ve been observing bike riders during dusk, early and full evening for years now. I must continue to pass the advice on. If you are out on your bike tonight, do wear white. It makes a shocking difference in your visibility to drivers. Bike reflectors do not get the job done. It’s stunning how often I see people young and not young zipping around the neighborhood in black T-shirts and dark shorts. They appear from nowhere. Drivers cannot see you until they are figuratively on top of you. An easy way to keep that statement from going literal would be to throw on a white T-shirt before you head out on your high wheel. Give yourself a fighting chance.

Dedicated to Philando.

Fear is not an excuse for murder. 

How to Drive Chicago: Doored

20.  Survive.  More than 25,000 people use bicycles to commute each day in Chicago. The city has more than 200 miles of protected bike lanes.  This post, however, is once again about drivers. Obviously, general awareness of bicyclists in large cities is paramount. Let’s get more specific. After parking, before exiting your vehicle take five seconds and look at all your mirrors.  By gosh even turn your head around.  Look to see if there are any bikers zipping by on your left.  They can materialize from the ether in a blink. We MUST be heedful of them.  I’ve heard many, horrific accounts on what a car door can do to human on a bike. Like involuntarily manslaughter them. 

Chicago Ordinance 9-80-035 states 

“No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so, and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.”

Hitting a rider, or forcing them into a collision with another vehicle can result in $1000 fine, but obviously it can do much worse. 

A good habit for drivers would be to open your door with your right hand, forcing you to turn your head to the left. 

Please try it. 

P.S. The news is reporting that a car has lost control and careened onto a sidewalk in Times Square. 

Refer to my January archives. Blog Entry #3. 

How to Chicago: Abduction Instruction, or Abduction Obstruction.? Ok Fine. Stranger Danger

17. Survive.  Final tip for April….Stranger danger was not just a trendy panic during the Reagan administration. You certainly, without question must teach your offspring about kidnappers. Think like a criminal and present as many different scenarios to your clones as you can muster. Although “Do you want some candy?” can probably be upgraded with “How about some free wifi?”.  Do it early in their life and do it often.  

“Run!” pretty much sums up my advice. Monsters may threaten that they have a gun or knife, but they don’t, or if they show one, ignore it. It’s an empty threat to scare. Run! It’s your best defense. Yelling “Help!” “Police!” is important too. Create a scene.

How to Chicago: Lock it Up

16. Survive.  City living 101. Lock your doors! Your home, your car, your garage, your crawl space, your gate. Namely your garage. 20 years in the city and it’s the only spot they’ve been successful in burgling me. A few times. And it wasn’t that I left said garage unlocked regularly. It was only the few times I forgot to turn the bolt. Which means the miscreants either got very lucky, or they were casing my place. Coming through and checking the door regularly. I think it was the latter. Most often they’re looking for bikes. Never leave them out overnight and rarely during the day either. They can be lifted in a matter of seconds.

Also, do not leave electrical devices in view of windows when leaving home. Laptops, iPads, iPhones, phone pods, pad books, pad laps, poop tops, ubertubes etc. Again, there’s a fair chance that your place is being cased by local criminals. They know that you’re in and out of the house several times a day. They will absolutely bust into your crib to grab a MacBook in plain sight. It only takes several seconds and it’s just too tempting for idiots. Do a quick walk through every time you leave your home and move devices out of sight. It makes a difference. 

How to Drive Chicago: Road Rage

IMG_3431

Rendering by Owen

13. Survive.   All of this city driving can be exasperating.  Emotions can run high. I’ll admit I have been prone to verbal altercations in the past. Maybe even some road rage. I’ve changed. I’ve watched enough “First 48” to know that innumerable murders occur during heat of the moment exchanges. Last December in Arkansas, 3 year old Acen King was shot and killed when a man fired into a car that he thought had been following him too closely. Holy shit !

Throw a bird to someone and they could absolutely get out and shoot you in the head. It happens. Holler at somebody for tossing trash out the window and you never know if they’re packing a Glock and having a bad day. Just let it go. It’s not worth it. Meditate or something.

Nevertheless, if you absolutely must express yourself physically and/or verbally to a moronic motorist, pedestrian or elected official, instead of the trite “fuck you” and tired middle finger try blowing them a kiss. Get creative. “Jesus loves you” is way more weird and amusing and usually gets under your foe’s skin just the right amount. You’ve been warned, however. You may be shot in the head.