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I know I have some Zoners (readers of the Zoner; isn't that cute) who are not located here in Chicago. With a hat tip to my buddy Belch Welch, here are some things you need to know about Chicago:

  • First you must learn to pronounce the city name. It is Chi-caw-go, assuming you live north of Roosevelt Rd., otherwise it's Chi-ca-ga.
  • Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. Chicago has its own version of traffic rules... "Hold on and pray."
  • There is no such thing as a dangerous high-speed chase in Chicago. We all drive like that.
  • All directions start with, "I-94" .. which has no beginning and no end.
  • The morning rush hour is from 5 to 11. The evening rush hour is from 2 to 8. And that's in perfect weather conditions.
  • If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will be rear ended, cussed out and possibly shot.
  • When you are the first one on the starting line, count to five when the light turns green before going to avoid crashing with all the drivers running the red light in cross-traffic.
  • Construction on Northwest Tollway is a way of life and a permanent form of entertainment.
  • We had sooooo much fun with that we have added the Elgin-O'Hare and the I-355 to the mix. (Incidentally the 'Elgin-O'Hare' does NOT go to either Elgin nor O'Hare).
  • All unexplained sights are explained by the phrase,"Oh, we're in Cicero!"
  • If someone actually has their turn signal on, it is probably a factory defect.
  • Car horns are actually "Road Rage" indicators.
  • All old ladies with blue hair in Buicks or Caddys have the right of way. Period.
  • First Ave, LaGrange Rd, NW Highway, all mysteriously change names as you cross intersections (only a few of many examples).
  • If asking directions in Cicero you must speak Spanish. If you stop to ask directions on the West side you'd better be armed.
  • A trip across town (East to West) will take a minimum of four hours.
  • Although many expressways (they are not freeways), have posted speed limits of 55, the minimum acceptable speed on expressways is 85. Anything better get out of the left lane.
  • The wrought iron on windows in Englewood, Lawndale and Austin are not ornamental.
  • The Congress expressway (Ike) is our daily version of NASCAR.
  • If it's 100 degrees, it's "Taste of Chicago". If it's 20 degrees and sleeting/snowing, it's opening day at Wrigley or Comiskey. If it's rained 6 inches in the last hour, the Western Open is in the second round.
  • If you go to Wrigley Field pay the $25.00 to park in "Cubs Lot." Parking elsewhere could cost up to $2500 for damages, towing fees, parking tickets, etc.

You might be from Chicago if...

  • You don't pronounce the "s" at the end of Illinois.
  • You become irate at people who do
  • You measure distance in minutes.
  • You have no problem spelling or pronouncing "Des Plaines".
  • Your school classes were cancelled because of the cold. Your school classes were cancelled because of the heat.
  • You've ever had to switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day.
  • Stores don't have sacks, they have bags.
  • You end your sentences with an unnecessary preposition. (Ex.: "Where's my coat at?" or "If you go to the Jewel I wanna go with,"
  • You carry jumper cables in your car.
  • You drink "pop".
  • You realize that I-290, I-90, I-94, and I-294 are all different roads.
  • You refer to any interstate highway as "the Tollway". You know the names of the interstates: Stevenson, Kennedy, Eisenhower, Dan Ryan, Reagan, Bishop Ford.
  • You refer to anything South of I-80 as "Southern Illinois" & anything west of Rt. 47 Iowa!
  • You refer to Lake Michigan as "The Lake." and you refer to Chicago as "The City."
  • No matter where you are, when you hear the term "Downtown" you immediately assume they're talking about Downtown Chicago.
  • You buy "The Trib."
  • You know what goes on a "Chicago" Hot Dog....and you are permitted to shoot anyone who puts ketchup on a hot dog.
  • You know what Chicago Style Pizza REALLY is.
  • You know why they call Chicago "The Windy City."
  • You understand what "lake-effect" means.
  • You know the difference between Amtrak and Metra, and know which station they end up at (oops ...ending preposition again).
  • You have ridden the "L."
  • You can distinguish between the following area codes: 847, 630, 773, >708, 312, & 815.
  • You know what the phone number is to Empire Carpet.


Anonymous said...

"Hold on and pray"??? Hehe. Totally assuming your joking here, but in case you don't get it, let me put it this way: People drive crazier in Denver, let alone almost everywhere else in the world ;) Chi-town is a breeze!

The Zoner said...

I don't think you've driven here enough.

Cedar said...

Ha. Those are great. I live in Maryland but grew up near Chicago. I think I do 80% of those things.

However, I agree with the previous poster, there are worse places to drive...

Brett said...

You probably have never lived anywhere but Chicago if... don't realize that people everywhere know the Empire phone #:

Chicago dogs are the best. Have you been to Gene and Jude's?

Jacksonville, FL

Bulletproof Shoes̢㢠said...

Loved your list.
Here's another:

You might be from Chicago if...

When you ask "Does this bus go to-da-loop?", you're not asking about the sound the horn makes.