Friday, September 10, 2010

Throwing my hat in the ring (and other stuff)

I’d like to take this opportunity to officially announce my candidacy for mayor of Chicago. I can’t see a better suited candidate than myself.

Chicago bona fides? Definitely. Both parents and all four grandparents were born and raised there. Moms from the southwest side, Dads from the Southeast side, so fittingly they met at the Museum of Science and Industry, the palace of the South Side. My maternal grandpa is originally from the West Side, as are the Cubs, and thus it’s through him that I inherit my Cubs fandom despite my South Side lineage. I also spent years on the North Side, and I’ve always been all about the Bulls, Bears, and Blackhawks.

Shadowy past for a dark horse candidate? Damn straight. I claim to have been born in a place called Rock Island, Illinois. You’ve never heard of Rock Island. I totally could have made it up. I became a card carrying Chicago Democrat when I knocked on the wrong door at a strip mall on the outskirts of town when expecting a job interview in hopes of becoming a door-to-door salesman for a pyramid scheme. I’ve held “permanent residence” in more cities than you’ve been to. I live in a foreign country. Rahm and Jesse Jr. cannot beat me in the questionable origins department.

Good ideas? Fuckin’ a. On day one, I will declare that the cops will only do police work henceforth. No more chickenshit tickets. No more harassing citizens for parking 3 inches over a magic yellow line, or for turning left on green at a light that for some reason doesn’t allow turning left on green for 90 minutes each day. No way. The police will have the job of catching criminals. This isn’t Los Angeles. Chicago is a goddamn real city, and the police are going to start acting like it.

The problem, of course, is that bullshit tickets raise a lot of revenue for the city. New revenue will have to come from somewhere. That somewhere will be O’hare.

First off, I will annex Elk Grove Village. Trust me, there’s nothing there but third rate titty bars and regional office parks, nothing of value will be lost. Plus, Obama is a Chicago guy, I’m sure the feds will support my annexation. After annexing Elk Grove, I will demolish it and build runways. Lots of runways. O’hare will regain it’s rightful spot as the busiest, biggest, and most important airport in the world. Fuck Atlanta and Heathrow.

Next, I will convert O’hare into a Special Economic Zone. Citizens will be allowed to buy booze, smokes, and gas for lower prices than Indiana or Wisconsin. High prices in the city would remain, but anybody could take the El to O’hare to buy cheap smokes and booze rather than taking that tax money out of state. Of course, I’ll also establish a casino at O’hare, but only airside. I don’t want Chicago’s hard working poor wasting their cash at my convenient casino, but I do want rich douche bags that are changing planes between Houston and Moscow to blow some cash on blackjack.

Finally, I would ban the abhorrence of garnishing a hot dog with ketchup in restaurants. I’d be fair, of course. This could still be allowed at Navy Pier, the Loop, the Near North, at Wrigleyville on game days, and at the airports. Tourists don’t know any better. Some hot dog stands around town don’t get it though. No self respecting Chicagoan should ever have to request “no ketchup.” It should just be understood.

I saw “The Expendables” a couple weeks ago. Any time Stallone and Lundgren join forces, I’m buying a ticket. It lived up to expectations. Two of my favorite exchanges:

Stallone fighting Eric Roberts, the final boss. Final boss is apropos, as the movie ran like a video game. During the final fight, Roberts says to Stallone: “You know, you and me, we’re the same!” Whoa, action movie bad guys never say that.

Earlier in the movie, Schwarzenegger and Stallone briefly shared the screen. They were rival mercenaries, and delivered this gem (when reading this, remember to think with the most generic, least emotional Sly and Arnold voices you can.)

Schwarzenegger: We should have dinner.

Stallone: When?

Schwarzenegger: In a thousand years.

Stallone: That’s too soon.

Awesome. I also loved the fact that Expendables premiered the same week as “Eat Pray Love” and won. Julia Roberts lost to her brother. This gave me endless joy, especially since a message board I frequent was discussing the whole “Eat Pray Love” thing that week, and thus I spent a solid portion of that week directing rage in Elizabeth Gilbert’s general direction despite the fact that I’ve never read her book.

I’m in three fantasy football leagues this year. This is a record for me, unless you count 2007 when ESPN first introduced mock drafts and the drafted teams didn’t get deleted and I ended up in 10 leagues that I didn’t care about or pay attention to (much). One more league shouldn’t break me.

I always have fairly awesome teams in fantasy football, and I make the playoffs 87% of the time, yet never actually win any championships or money. I’m the Minnesota Twins of fantasy football. I blow 20 some hours a week studying it for several months a year. Why do I keep doing it? Actually, not only keep doing it, but ramp up my participation? Draft Day. Draft Day rules. I can do mock drafts all day, but nothing beats a real draft. At a mock draft, nothing is at stake, but more importantly there’s no comedy. People who are bothering to mock draft are geeks like me. Everybody knows what each player’s value is. I could do 20 mock drafts from, say, the 6th position, and draft essentially the same team each time. There are no surprises.

Real drafts are another animal. For some reason, when stakes and commitment are involved, people make stupid choices. Good players fuck up here and there and take a flyer on Eddie Royal 4 rounds too early. Bad players take Mark Sanchez in the single digit rounds, draft 4th string Chiefs running backs, draft Vincent Jackson during a highly publicized hold out, and other such hilarious moves. One girl (a buddy’s wife) drafted the Redskin’s backup tight end in the seventh round. Of course, since she’s a girl and a buddy’s wife, it’s taboo to actually make fun of her for such ridiculousness during the draft.

In conclusion, vote Jaehak for mayor!

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