Thursday, February 12, 2009

Why Chicago Sucks (Part 1 of 3 )

I live in Chicago and I consider it to be a sub par city for at least 13 reasons. There are probably more but I'm going with 13 because of the superstitious significance. The goal of this series of articles is to get you, the woeful, miserable Chicago resident to see the light (not easy in sunless Chicago) and figure out a way to move to a better place. The first 4 reasons are included in this post entitled aptly Why Chicago Sucks (Part 1 of 3).

The Highest Sales Tax in the Universe – Yes it is true. The Hubble telescope could not find a higher sales tax anywhere. The county board and city hall cannot continue their illustrious history of graft, payoffs, nepotism and cronyism without more money from you, the consumer. As a matter of fact, if the Hubble telescope is pointed at Chicago there is a law that allows the Cook County board to tax the telescope, all the people that created it and their progeny for the next ten generations. I hope those telescope operators are infertile. I’m going for a vasectomy right now.

The Most Awesomest Weather Anywhere
Winter (winter) – Winter exists in Chicago almost every day. Even in the other seasons. In the winter the sun is banned for the most part. Even it thinks the taxes are too high. Instead we have these amorphous gray clouds that are obviously angry about something. I believe they are upset about being in Chicago and once they blow into Indiana they turn white again and allow the sun to be seen. Well okay maybe not Indiana. They probably turn white when they get to Europe. There is also a lot of wind. So if it’s 25 degrees outside it might be bearable somewhere else. But in the Hell that is Chicago there is a nice lake breeze that makes it feel like you are doing a penguin march in Antarctica. Chicago is mind and body numbingly cold. There is no way to sugar coat it. If you tried it would snow and wet the sugar, which would freeze it solid like cement and then you would slip on it, and break your neck.
Spring (Winter) – The spring in Chicago is actually a lesser form of winter. It still snows but now there is also freezing rain and hail. That’s ice balls being thrown at you from some pissed off Olympian God who resides in those gray clouds. The temperature barely gets above freezing. During the spring, you can finally stop wearing long johns, boots with steel cleats, two wool hats, more long johns, thick woolen scarves and gloves bigger than soccer goalies wear. You stop wearing these things because you become optimistic. When you go outside you realize you’ve made an error but it’s too late.
Summer (Winter) - Even in the summer it’s like winter because you can’t go outside due to the intense heat and humidity so you stay inside and crank the air conditioning, which can sometimes feel like winter. The other days it just rains.
Autumn (Winter) – Sometimes it snows in autumn. Sometimes it is really hot so you turn on the air conditioning which makes it feel like it should snow in your house. Sometimes it is the same as spring with the freezing rain and hail. Leaves do fall during this period. It is the only evidence that it is a different season from the other three. Sometimes autumn is autumn but mostly it's just winter in disguise.

365 days of winter is your fate in this god forsaken city.

Public Transportation – This deserves its own blog entry and I am going to work on that. Anyway, if you like watching three or four buses come to a stop within a minute of each other and then no other bus shows up for 30 minutes then Chicago is your mass transit heaven. We have a train here called the Brown line (a fitting name). It is on a rickety, 6000 year old elevated track above the frozen tundra. It was designed, ingeniously, to snake around every corner to minimize its speed. The urban non-planners did not want to get commuters home too fast because Chicago looks really lovely from 30 feet above the ground. You can see all the dirt, garbage, black snow and segregated slums a lot better from up there. Many of these train lines go into what’s called The Loop where, you guessed it; they drive around in a loop downtown at very high speeds…if you’re a turtle. If you want to feel close to death then ride on a Chicago El train. It’s like an amusement park ride but without the safety.
Chicago’s mass transit system is an abomination. It is the ugly stepchild locked away in the attic. It is the gristle on your steak. It is a dental patient that just ate an Oreo. It is an electric powered rectal exam. It is like defecating in one of your cooking pots because your toilet doesn’t work. There are cities in Botswana with better transportation systems. Have you seen those buses in Venezuela and Panama that allow people to carry their livestock on board? Those are preferable to the CTA. Have you seen those trains in India where people ride hanging out the side or on the roof of the cars? Better than the CTA.

Segregated Neighborhoods – No matter what color your skin is Chicago has neighborhoods for you to live in where you can feel like part of the tribe, loved by your own kind and where you will never, ever have to befriend or learn about people of other races, religions or countries. That’s one of the great things about Chicago. It’s all-inclusive as long as you include yourself in a neighborhood with others of your ilk.

Did you rent that U-Haul yet? No? Okay fine. To be continued.....

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