Sign the G&D&MM#D Clipboard: The Charm of Politics in the 19th Ward
A guy with a clipboard knocked on my door the other day. Usually it is a kid from one of the Catholic grammar or high schools selling magazines, raffle tickets, or Jimmy Perbo from down the street looking for my pipe wrench. In political season it is someone with a clipboard and pen.
This fellow looked like he had spent more than a few days marinating his epidermis at the Lucky Leprechaun. He was wearing a faded green softball windbreaker – The Twin Dukes, a Blackhawks knit hat and a three-day -old five-o’clock shadow. “ Here sign this…!”
I told the man, “No thank you.” without asking for what I might be signing. “Hey, I’m running for office.” For which office? Democrat ? Republican? Green? Tea ? Green Tea?
“Just sign it.” Again, “No thank you. “
Charmed! Salve Quirite!
I live in the 19th Ward. I voted last week. If anyone knows exactly what the political game plan in the 19th Ward happens to be and “who exactly is with whom” invite that sage into your well-stocked library/solarium, indicate the well-padded hand sewn Bromley Rococco Leather Chair for his comfort while sliding the companion Ottoman comfortably under his ankles, pour a snifter of warming Brandy de Jerez and have this savant wax extempore on the Chachapoyas (Warriors of the Clouds) of the High Andes and the Kennewick Man as well.
The coming election and its subsequent mate in February is a head-scratcher. Who is with whom? It is to laugh!
Illinois is in the strangle hold of the greatest economic catastrophe since October 1929 and change. Quinn v. Brady. Kirk v. Giannoulias. Incumbents v. Voters. Haters v. Haters.
The only reality is the one the next person who has your ear and elbow is spouting and every casual encounter is punctuated with “Cook County Elevator Asides” – you know the one where the speaker looks straight forward while twisting his mouth scrumptiously toward the ear of the trapped auditor –“Hey, you didn’t hear it from me . . .I’m just saying . . .you know, Hey remember that game at Gatley last week, well Tommy Sumppump . . .from over by Monroe told me that your cousin was with the Albanian . . .you HIS guy . . .and that louse owes me plenty, but his daughter over in Stickney . . .the one that got launched after Sorich went away . . .here’s what’s going to happen . . .this is just me and you . . .I never said nothing . . .but . . .” followed by the scalpel and the long probe . . . “What did you hear from so-and-so? You’re close to Him. He’s with the Kid ain’t he? She told me he was. . .what did you hear? You went to that fund-raiser. Not the big one but the one at Hammy’s house over in St. Walter’s? Oh, you didn’t know about that? Hammy and you went to Little Flower didn’t you?”
The Ward is abuzz. Fear is the new Energy Fuel. Clipboarders, Elbow-grabbers and Elevator- talkers abound! Everyone ‘knows” . . . absolutely nothing.
Therefore, neighbors, keep your own counsel. Tell your mother that you voted already. Better yet; tell every person who probes you . . .’Oh Hell, Yes! He’s my Guy and She’s the Best! Really Terrific, Outstanding! Couldn’t be better!’
When the elections are over and the oxen gored months and months and months ago, have been rationed out, because Tommy – ( you know . . .The Guy)has purchased Venezuelan Oil Futures and they are tied to the Cap and Trade Bill that the damn Republicans except Mark Kirk want to kill and needs to be passed, because, then, Tommy can get his son appointed to the Energy Panel that is looking into converting the Old Clark Oil Refineries in Blue Island, over by Kedzie there, to Energy Efficient Hugo Gas like Joe Kennedy Hawks in Boston and We will all be better off by cutting each other’s throats during this most important election cycle –America Depends upon it! Are you a Right-wing Nut? – Go along. Sure it’s about Governor, Alderman, or State Senator, or US Senator, or Sidewalk Safety Commissioner, so what? It’s always so much more. Sign the #$%^ing Clipboard!
Pat Hickey is a regular columnist for the Chicago Daily Observer and a resident of the 19th Ward.