I met Eddie Carroll, the Morgan Park neighborhood Philosopher, Gad-about Swain and Roofer to the Stars in the very long lines at County Fair Foods at 108th & Western. The after-Mass crowds of shoppers from Sts. Barnabas, Cajetan, John Fisher (east of California) and Walter parishes were especially active this Sunday.
I asked Eddie about the upcoming NATO Summit and what Chicago could do to welcome the salt-water Belgians, Brits, Spaniards Germans and Gauls.
Eddie said that Chicago has the most beautiful skyline, because of our lakefront and the imagination of the sons of Burnham, a world class playground for tourists complete with Beans and fountains old and new.
He grew more thoughtful than usual and soon decanted his latest vintage of thought on this matter.
" Pat, this is one great town for kids, sport, art, literature, music and stand-up comedy. I hope that our European guests will avail themselves of the first class wits and humorists featured at Chicago's fine light entertainment venues - Second City, Zanies, of course. But they might also take in the laughs at blue-collar neighborhood taverns and saloons - Stash's Dot U Again?, Lou's Change, Bar Nun, the Flags, Fluke's Wrong Wit U? out here and away from the dry Urban Center. Here is some of the side-splitting drollery that our guests might hear here* from the likes of any one of the comic genius gents coming out of the head after leaving a bucket o' beer for the Water Reclamation District. A McKinley Park MadCap, or Canaryville Cut-up, or Hegwisch Humorist with a shirt-tail pecker protruding zipper high to play Panatloon- we are an earthy lot given to free expression and damn the outcomes and costs. I heard ourt own local wags offer these droll insights - exemplum gratia . . .
The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist threats so they have raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." Londoners have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies all but ran out.Pat, I sure hope that our NATO guests and all of the foreign and domestic journalists, Wobblies, Reds, Anarchists, Occupiers, Michael Moore, Susan Sarandon, Noam Chomsky, and other humorlessly worn-out folks get a chance to bump into real Chicagoans and get the full favor of this our City of Neighborhoods. We are a droll folk."
Also, the French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide." The only two higher levels in France are "Surrender" and "Collaborate." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France's white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country's military capability.
It is not only the English and French who are on a heightened level of alert. Italy has increased its alert level from "Shout Loudly and Excitedly" to "Elaborate Military Posturing." Two more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and "Change Sides."
The Germans also increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs." Two higher levels remain: "Invade a Neighbour" and "Lose."
Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual and the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.
Lastly, the Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish Navy can get a really good look at the Old Spanish Navy.
I thanked Eddie for the wholesome and thoughtfully pleasant use of time in the line. Eddie stacked his selections onto Donna's check out converyer belt - organic vegetables, brown rice, Fava beans, soy curds, plain Greek yogurts, Perrier, and a 16 oz. bottle of Pepto Bismal marked down to $ 2.75. Eddie remarked, "That is value, Patrick. That is value. I see you have a basket full of empty calories, salty and sugary snacks, canned soup - Progresso naturally, Flamin Hotz, and Slim Jims. Looks like a five dollar Billy Buck's ( equal or exceeeding $ 100 in goods) day for the Hickey Household. Yet, no Pepto Bismal. No Pepto Bismal. Think of that."
With that signal blessing we parted.