Monday, February 22, 2010


If you've lived in Chicago in the wintertime and you dare to drive your car after a snowstorm, you learn the game of...'RIDING THE ICY RUTS'. These ruts are made by a million tires, transversing the side streets. You hope your car's undercarraige doesn't "bottom out" as you journey out into the unknown. Cars are parked on either side of the side streets as you drive, and there is no place to go except into the grooves of horror.

When two cars face each other at an impasse, the drivers of the "iron monsters" sit and look at each otehr in disgust, daring each other to take the first chance. The driver who has the balls to drive around the other car has to goose his engine to escape the ruts. His car usually goes into an uncontrollable power slide and he ends up sideswiping a brand new Cadillac.

The owner of the damaged new "Caddy" always sees the transgression. He is always sitting in his easy chair by the front picture window...There he lurks, drinking hot coffee and reading his Chicago Tribune. He has the radio on and is listening to Wally Phillips on WGN radio. The guy who owns this Caddy has a job to do. He stays by the window all day if necessary to be ever vigilant so he can alert the Chicago Police Department if there is any damage done to his car. At any malreasance, he calls his Alderman to "chew his ass out" for the lack of city services, and salt trucks with snow plows. This is a Chicago tradition. It has been going on for many a year.

All Chicago residents shovel their walks and parking areas in front of their apartments and homes. After the shoveling is completed, the parking area is declared off-limits to all but the owner of the space. Two ratty chairs are often placed at either side of the space. Boards of various lengths transverse the middle of the space and are placed firmly on the seats of each chair.

Anyone who would ever be so brazen as to remove these sacred items from the area are dealt with harshly! Torture or death would never be questioned by authorities!!! The offender always has it coming to him! The ownership of the space is clear! It is unspoken CHICAGO LAW! All Chicagoans understand this law and abide by it!....

(more tommorow....this is from my 1st book: "The Journey, Memoirs of a South Side Chicago kind of guy)...available on


  1. Isn't that the truth!! Don't mess with someone who has just spent two hours plowing their car out of the snow & cleaning their parking spot. Yes, it is an unwritten law & ALL Chicagoans know NEVER to mess with those lawn chairs!!! The truth sometimes is the funniest!

  2. yes debbie and diane!..chicago has a snow history!