To the five guys in front of us at the Springsteen concert: You paid $75 bucks for those tickets. Maybe stay sober enough to remember at least a few minutes of the show. And I know it was Springsteen, and not the opera, and I “whooed” just as loudly as you did during “Badlands,” but when you “whoo” during “The River,” you’re just outing yourself as a total asshat. Enjoy your hangover.
To the Chicago Cubs: You guys have accomplished the impossible. You’ve made this city forget that the Bears suck. (Go Packers!)
To new people who make cracks about journalists in front of me and think they’re scoring points: When’s the last time anyone in your line of work died to accomplish his or her job? If you can’t answer that question, and you don’t know the singular of “media,” shut up. (Plus, who the hell gets off thinking they can just insult anybody’s job? I mean, who thinks it’s okay to meet someone for the first time and immediately give them shit about what they do? Jesus.)
To old people who make cracks about journalists in front of me and think it’s funny: Guys, come on. You know how I feel about this. It’s serious with me. I don’t make fun of you about gun control, funding for Alzheimers or tutoring homeless kids.
To the People’s Republic of Oak Park, its farmer’s market, its brand-new palace of a library, its three bookstores in two blocks, its tiny little restaurants, its narrow little streets, its fucked-up parking rules, its paranoid Bush-voting north-siders, its hippie-chick Harrison Arts District gallery owners, its bicycles, its dog obsession, its place on two L lines, its United Nations neighborhoods, its screwy condo associations, and its tall, tall, golden-hued trees in the fall: I love you. Please grow, but don’t ever change.
To everybody driving a Hummer, an Eddie Bauer edition Ford Giant Thing, or a pickup truck with more than three elements of detailing on it and no work equipment of any kind in the back: How’s that $2 per gallon working out for you these days? Tools.
To my downstairs neighbor: If you don’t keep your stupid cat in its apartment and prevent it from coming up here and batting at the screen on my window and scaring my ferret half to death, Mr. Kitty is going to be a hat. Or possibly a nice pair of gloves.
To Michael Ondaatje, J. Michael Straczynski, Aaron Sorkin, Mark Helpin and whoever wrote Howard Dean’s speech about the Boston Tea Party and what it means to commit a Patriot Act: I don’t care if you snort coke, write right-wing polemics for the Wall Street Journal or play golf with Satan. Your words lift people up and make them better than they are.
To the staff at the Buzz Caf: You guys are way nicer at 6 a.m. than any real people should be. And that thing you make called the Atomic Red Eye: There is heroin in that, right? Because I crave it beyond all reason.