Chicago and Illinois residents awoke this morning to a new set of Chicago ordinances. Mayor Daley called an early morning secret meeting of the Chicago City Council. New city ordinances were enacted under the cover of night, surprisingly reminiscent of the Miegs Field Airport closing. The new Chicago ordinances take effect immediately.
All reporters are hereby prohibited from using the words “clout” and “bribes” in the same sentence with the name of Da Mayor or any council member.
Parking ticket books will be issued to all Chicagoans who purchase a Chicago city sticker.
Richard J. Daley is now formally recognized as one of Chicago’s founding fathers.
Illinois is now officially a suburb of the city of Chicago.
Lawsuits against the city of Chicago will immediately be dismissed if not filed by an attorney with Machine clout.
Four-day school week will become the law for teachers. Students will continue to attend school five days per week.
Old police motto of “To Serve and Protect” on police cruisers will be replaced with “To Curb and Collect.”
O’Hare Airport passengers are now officially Chicago citizens and must pay property taxes while at O’Hare.
Lake Michigan is now Lake Chicago.
St. Patrick’s Day will only be celebrated on March 17.
Days of the week beginning with the letter “R” or “D” are now parking meter holidays.
Alternate Leap Days will be designated “The City that Works” Day, whereupon all city workers must work a full day.
Yesterday’s problems will be deferred to future generations.
When I joined the Marines, I had to spend the night at a hotel on Michigan Avenue near Roosevelt Road the night before we went to AFEES (Armed Forces Entrance and Examination Station) on Michigan and Balbo. I was so nervous about joining the Marines that I didn’t sleep much the night before. The next day, we had to take intelligence tests and physical exams all day long. From there, we went to O’Hare Airport where we flew to San Diego for boot camp. An interesting thing happened to me while boarding the plane. As I waited in line to get on the plane, I joked about being afraid to fly with a female whom I thought was part of the flight crew. She laughed and we talked a little. When I sat down, I noticed that she had followed me to my seat and had sat down next to me. She was very pretty in a plain sort of way. She had long, light-brown hair and hazel eyes. And she had such perfect teeth. Very white, but not unnaturally white, and all perfectly aligned. We were probably about the same age. “You don’t mind if I sit with you, do you?” she asked, even though she was already sitting next to me. She caught me off guard, so I took a moment to respond. “N-Not at all.” She held my hand and said, “This is to comfort you since you’re afraid of flying.” I couldn’t believe this was happening to me! Oh, yes, and she had this–I couldn’t quite place it–sexy, non-Chicago accent. I loved listening to her speak! Well, I told her that I was on my way to Marine Corps boot camp in San Diego and she told me that her father was a colonel in the Marines. What a coincidence! And I was afraid that she would stop liking me if she discovered that I would soon be a jarhead. She actually took a liking to me and we talked and talked. We had quite a few things in common. This was a three-and-a-half hour flight and I was tired from not sleeping well the night before. Well, I nodded off while I was looking out the window. I had forgotten all about Amy. When I later woke up. not only was Amy still holding my hand, but she had also fallen asleep with her head on my shoulder. I guess she was very comfortable with me as a person and also as a pillow. I liked watching her sleep like that. She eventually even got more comfortable as she turned her body towards me and put her free arm around my waist. Later, she actually drooled on my shoulder a little. When she finally woke up, I felt as if I we had known each other for ages. She gave me her address in Quantico, Virginia, and told me to write to her. Her full name was Amy Trostle Barnes. She was so interesting and I had met her at exactly the right moment when I needed a shoulder to lean on. Well, I wrote to her while I was in boot camp and for about a year after that. But we never met in person again.
Well, since I always talk about my name, let me get back to the name of David Rodríguez. Well, actually, David Diego Rodríguez. I bring it up again because I plan on going to Mexico in July with my sons. And every American citizen needs a U.S. Passport to return to the U.S.
So, I had to apply for passports for all three of my sons who are natural citizen by virtue of having been born in Chicago, Illinois. Two of the three passports were immediately processed by U.S. Department of State. The one for my son with my name caused a delay. Apparently, they needed more documentation for him. I guess there are just too many David Rodríguezes. He’s only 18, so he doesn’t have a credit history, a driver license, or a credit card. They needed more proof to verify his identity. I wasn’t sure what they wanted or what other documentation I could provide. One of the enclosures listed in the letter was a Supplemental Identification List, which they had forgotten to enclose. I sent everything I could think of, including photocopies of his state ID, his school ID, his W-2 forms, federal tax return, state tax return, a prescription label with his name and address. I was extremely relieved when they accepted the enclosed documentation. I finally received his passport yesterday. We’re all set to go to Mexico now.
I remember when I went to Mexico in 1978, things were so much different. I had forgotten how to speak Spanish. I still understood it, but I never had to speak it much in Chicago. I stayed in Mexico for about a month and so I quickly learned to speak Spanish again. However, when I returned to Chicago, I had trouble speaking English again. I flew back on Mexicana Airlines and when I was in Customs at O’Hare Airport the agent asked me for my proof of citizenship. All I had was my driver’s license and birth certificate. I gave them to him and then I worried that they wouldn’t let me go back to Chicago. You see, my driver’s license didn’t have a picture of me. Back then, they were printed on thin cardboard and only described the driver as 5’8″, 128 Lbs., BRN Hair, BRN Eyes. My birth certificate didn’t have much information on it either and my last name was misspelled as, “Rodriquez” with a “q” instead of “g.” (My mother never thought the mistake was important enough to correct when she received my birth certificate in the mail soon after I was born.) The agent looked at my documents carefully and asked me if I had anything to declare. I understood him perfectly, but I couldn’t form the words in English. I thought for sure that I would be detained by the authorities because I couldn’t make myself speak my fluent south side English. But miraculously, he let me through. I could then understand how there were so many illegal immigrants from many countries in the U.S.
When I went to Mexico last December, it was a little more difficult to enter Mexico. I handed my passport to the agent and he entered the information on a computer. He asked me some questions and when I answered them satisfactorily, he let me back into the U.S. Then about 60 miles into the U.S. there was another checkpoint where I had to present my passport again and answer some more questions. I think they mainly asked me the questions to see if I really spoke English to prove I was a U.S. citizen. The agent spoke quickly and slurred his words together as if to test my knowledge of English. Either that or he was just bored of his job and just going through the motions. He asked me where I was from. When I said Chicago, he asked, “Born and raised there?” “No. I was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.” I suppose that if someone didn’t speak English well, they wouldn’t have been able to answer those questions, raising suspicions. I was just glad that I didn’t have trouble speaking English this time.