Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Eerie Erie

Monday through Friday, I take the 145 or the 146 bus from Cornelia to my office because it runs express from Belmont to Michigan Avenue.

I can always tell when the tourist season has begun. Not by the warm weather or sunny skies...

...this is Chicago, where we get 14 days of summer heat and 351 days of "lake effect" cold that forces my testicles to abandon their sack and take refuge deep inside my body, usually in an area directly above my lungs...

...not that I don't enjoy their journey within, but still...

No, I can tell it's Tourist Time in Chi-Town when the 146 bus - - the bus that travels down the Magnificent Mile and takes every Tom, Dick and moron to the big museums - - is filled with slow-assed, double stroller-pushin', wanna-see-Oprah, George W.-lovin' out-of-towners who stand at the entrance to the bus and ask the driver more questions than I had on my SAT's!

Then, they have to find their wallets.

Then, they don't have two single dollar bills.

Then, they don't take into consideration that the bus is actually MOVING, so they don't hold onto any of the rails and plunge head-first onto the bus floor - - first screaming, then laughing to keep from crying, then mourning the broken American Girl Doll they just fell on because it was purchased an hour earlier for the same amount of money that I paid for my last car.

And all of it... slows... down... my... commute.

When the tourists come to town, my bus goes from being an "express route" to travelling at approximately the speed of snails fucking.

It ain't pretty.

But today, an out-of-towner noticed something about my adopted city that I had never seen or even thought about.

A man and his son got on the 146 and sat a few seats down from me.

The son looked like a child actor who was trying so hard to land the role of Jason in the Blaine Community Players' production of FALSETTOS that he wore a "Jason costume" to his audition for the new Corky St. Clair musical theatre extravaganza.





For that reason, I'm calling the boy, "Jason."






Our bus was just about to cross Erie.

Now, for those of you who don't live in the Windy City, please note that the words "street" or "avenue" or the like are hardly ever used after the names of our thoroughfares. There's Michigan Avenue and Halsted Street (sometimes) but more often than not, we Chicagoans travel down "Wacker" or "Monroe" or "Cornelia."

Jason looked up, noticed the name of the street we were crossing and said this exact phrase...


"Erie? It's kind of eerie that we're crossing Erie."


And you know, as simple as that is, I had never thought of Erie as having anything to do with "eerie."

Well, there was that guy's condo that I "visited" one late Saturday night that was located on Erie, but his dungeon was much too well lit to be considered eerie in any way, shape or form.

At any rate, I know it's not an awe-inspiring or mind-numbing observation, but it is a simple example of how blind we are to our everyday surroundings.

How OUR TOWN of me.

Linda Lavin sang it best...






"Goin' through life with blinders on,
it's tough to see."

11 comments:

Lance Noe said...

hello dear, this has nothing to do with nothing but i will be having a 3 hour stop over in chicago on june 28th. i tried to get an extended stop over but my ticket has some f***ing restriction so i can't. if you think we can meet, let me know. Also, i just had sex with my first whitey in 3 years!and ... i thought spider man 3 tanked. what the hell was the "so you think you can dance" section all about? did you really like it? and why? i thought it had lost its heart and was trying too hard. but i did think about you the whole time i watched it!

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

As you know I live in a tourist town and one day I saw a local with a bumpersticker that said: "Why do they call it tourist season if we can't shoot them?"

I almost ran off the road and wet my pants I was laughing so hard.

Stephen Rader said...

Lance - I will be there to hang out with you on June 28th!!! Definitely!! O'Hare or Midway airport?

Congratulations on the caucasian sex!! Where'd you score that!?!?!

I did like SPIDEY 3 and actually, the dance sequence and the "Bad Ass Peter Parker" moments are what made laugh and gave me it's heart. I didn't think it was trying too hard as much as it was kicking everything up a notch.

I'm so excited to see you in June!!

Whim - I want that on a t-shirt for when I ride the 146 in the summer!! I love it!

KBronson said...

OMG....I just snorted a Cheerio through my nose reading your description of your traveling testicle! That will teach me not to eat breakfast while reading your blog! :)

Stephen Rader said...

kbronson - Careful with the "Cheerio through the nose" thing. Snorting those things can become addictive.

I'm pretty sure that's what went wrong with Britney.

Aaron said...

"Blaine Community Players production of FALSETTOS"

I snorted a Cheerio through my OWN nose (and I don't even have any Cheerios).

Thank God I take the 147. The really annoying people don't get on until the ride home, when they're all clustered outside Water Tower Place...

Stephen Rader said...

Aaron - I'm so happy that someone got my WAITING FOR GUFFMAN reference! And yes, you are lucky for taking the 147. The only thing worse than the tourists on the 146 are the Cubs fans in Boystown all summer long, snickering about the gay bars.

Of course, those are the same men who go to the bathroom at Wrigley Field and pee in a huge troff flanked by dozens of other men, all checking out everyone else's junk - - that's basically The Eagle with some baseball thrown in for the fun of it!

Aaron said...

Not MUCH fun, however. And WHATEVER to the snickering about the gay bars. I'm sure most of those gay boys go home luckier than the Cubs will ever see again.

Anonymous said...

Go back to the Hamlet from whence you came Ms. Priss!!! Real Chicagoans NEVER-EVER refer to Chicago as 'Chi'-town, (It's as abhorrent as 'Frisco' to San Franciscans). And FYI: Berry-balls... True Chicagoans don't whine about the weather-!! What the fuck do you expect; palm trees? You're living on the shore of a melted glacier! If you look around, you'll notice that half of the trees are as needly as your dick! Also: We natives despise transplants who don't care enough about their adopted city to learn which thoroughfares are Streets, Avenues, Boulevards or Parkways!

Lastly: True Chicagoans (born or adopted) are polite & courteous to visitors; they are our guests! You accuse them of seeking Oprah. I think YOU need Dr. Phil- What bitterness you harbor for those SOooo less 'sophisticated' than yourself! I bet you used to ride the 151... (Too bad you didn't learn anything)!

I happened upon your 'whine' while browsing for other info. Your lame arrogance pissed me off enough to respond.

My advice: Give up your seat on the bus to the tiny old lady with the oxygen tank... The one with the number tattooed under her forearm. If you ask her how that tattoo got there, she'll say it started with intolerance... Lame-ass fucks who think they're better than the other people on the streetcar. BTW what are you doing riding the 147 express? Is the limo in the shop? Does your Negro have the flu???

See how infectious this is? I sound just like you!

Next time you ride to work, notice Lake Michigan, the trees, parks & beaches! The skyline rising-up before you! Very few urban commuters have such a spectacular view on their way to work! Maybe those annoying tourists see something you've missed?!!

You're no Chicago boy... Shit, I bet you shop at macys! For starters Ms. Chicago 'wanna-be'... BOYCOTT MACYS!!!

Stephen Rader said...

Mr. or Ms. Anonymous - Wow. You're a really big talker for a fuckface who leaves a rant signed "anonymous." Why don't you grow a pair and actually leave a name and an email address. No, you couldn't do that. Because then, you might actually have to stand behind your thoughts and opinions and you can't, now can you?

Now, I'll address a few of your points one by one:

"Real Chicagoans NEVER-EVER refer to Chicago as 'Chi'-town" - Well, one of the longest standing gay groups in the city is the CHI-TOWN SQUARES. Pardon me for thinking that if a Chicago-based, well-repected group adopted "Chi-Town" as a name, that it would be ok for me to use it. You prick.

"True Chicagoans don't whine about the weather-!! - Then, why is it that every single time the digits drop, every conversation I have with any stranger on the street, the bus or a store starts or gravitates to how much they hate the freezing cold weather? Come on, the cold weather here sucks. I mean, who the fuck chooses to visit Chicago in January? Masochists?

"you'll notice that half of the trees are as needly as your dick!" - Come here, little boy, and put this in your mouth and we'll see if you think it's "needly" - - right after you gag on it.

"We natives despise transplants who don't care enough about their adopted city to learn which thoroughfares are Streets, Avenues, Boulevards or Parkways!" - If you natives "despise" it so much, then why the fuck don't you actually USE the words "Street" or "Avenue"?!?!? Is it laziness, stupidity or that Yankee hostility that mama always warned me about?

"True Chicagoans (born or adopted) are polite & courteous to visitors - If that's so, then why is it that when I first visited this city, no one talked to me at any bar or restaurant or store I went to and I was actually laughed at in one instance when I asked a simple question? Is that your Chicago hospitality at work? Or were you just not on The Welcome Wagon that day?

Look, pal. You left this little rant of yours at 2:30 a.m., so whatever it was you were looking up that brought you to my blog, God knows you probably weren't sober when you read it. So, I'll cut you some slack and assume you're just like my ex-boyfriend = a mean, angry drunk.

Humor is based in a lot of things and one of those things is how different we are. And if there comes a day when PC people like you get their way and our differences are off-limiits to discuss, no one will be allowed to be funny because The Thought Police will be at our doorstep.

As I say about the current issued of celebrities using the word "fag," I am not afraid of words or people using the word "fag." I am afraid of the guys who tie Matthew Shepard to a fence, pistol-whip him and leave him for dead. Words cannot hurt us. Actions hurt us. As we said when we were kids, "Sticks and stones..."

So, my dear, grow the fuck up.

And for the record, I haven't darkened the door of a Macy's since the change-over - - not even for Frangos. Can you say that, Fat Ass?

In closing (and notice how I actually DO end when I say I'm going to), the next time a tourist is walking at a snail's pace in front of you down Michigan AVENUE, or when the Taste of Chicago brings so many people downtown that Lake Shore DRIVE becomes a parking lot. or when the Olympics comes to town and you have to wait in line for an hour to get inside just to get a cocktail at your favorite bar - - when those things happen and you get pissed off and make some comment about it to your buddy, remember me and think to yourself, "Wow, I must not be a true Chicagoan. I'm just like little fag with the pink blog." Then go suck a dick and leave everybody alone.

Aaron said...

Oh my God, that was wonderful.