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

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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. 

How to Drive Chicago: Crosswalk Common Sense

OK. Week 3 brings us to the first lesson for traveling on foot.

3. Survive.  When on foot and waiting for the “walk” sign to flash, do not stand in the street!  Stand on the sidewalks as far back as possible. Daily I see people standing at intersections with their toes over the curb, or worse yet, with 1 hoof in the street.. as if this will get them to their destination sooner.  I get it. You’re in a hurry.  That extra 5 feet is not going to affect your arrival time and chance are you’re in someone’s or something’s way.  I’ve seen buses nearly tear faces off.  I’ve seen delivery trucks dislocate knees.  Move back!

Not to mention the common occurrence of the 85 yr old who thought the accelerator was the brake and careened into a crowd killing or maiming men, women and children.  Likewise when a driver has a grabber or stroke behind the wheel. Give yourself a fighting chance.  I’ve taught all my kids to stand as far back from the curb as possible. It won’t make you late, but it may save your life.

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Rendering by my friend Wilson