Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Tuesday, April 23

Gapers Block

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Ever have one of those strange days, when you realize or notice a bunch of things, all in a row, and the totality of them just strikes you as making for a very odd day, and then you go to bed and the next morning you forget all those things, but you remember a few days later when you're at a bar with your friends eating a dollar burger, and your eyes light up and you try to tell all these wacky stories, but you're so eager to remember them yourself that they don't make any sense, and nobody is laughing, except you, which isn't helping the matter?


In the spirit of committing one of those days permanently to (digital) print, and allowing you dear readers to judge the humor value/mind-numbing minutiae of this day, I present you with:

The Things You Would Know If You Were Me on August 12, 2005 (presented chronologically)

• If you own your own sign shop, it is perfectly OK to wear a torn pair of Zubaz that may or may not show off your biscuits to work because, hey, "It's 8:15 in the [expletive deleted] morning!"

• Will the balance on your CTA transit card be erased? "No. It remembers for, like, ever."

• You have a column due in five days, and the one you've been trying to write about how the continued existence of James Bond 007 refutes the decline of American society keeps getting more and more absurd with each revision.

• Your shoes "kick ass."

• You've only seen your ex-girlfriend thrice in the last five months.

• That guy isn't sleeping. He's passed out drunk. At 8:27 in the morning.

• The girl who smokes a cigarette every morning in the El station "oughta to kick that cop's ass," for telling her to put it out — or at least, "somebody oughta kick his ass."

• Didn't you order new checks, like, three months ago? Where the hell are they, anyway?

• That a 300 pound woman who "shot the hell out of her sciatic nerve," three years ago and who is currently traveling in 90° weather with three oversized suitcases sure as hell isn't going to pay for a cab to the airport because she's "not stupid."

• People in the workplace sure do like to know what they're going to be doing "going forward," and that they figure this out by plotting "next steps," pronounced with emphasis on "next," but only want to perform said steps according to a set of seemingly arbitrary "best practices."

• She, i.e. that woman smoking in front of your building, "ain't country," her boyfriend, however, is "country as hell," and that's why he won't sell his car — because "something about country boys" makes them very attached to their cars, as well as "stupid as a [expletive deleted] rocks [sic]."

• Senator Barbara Boxer (Democrat-CA) and Godiva Chocolates (Delicious-Switzerland) send email alerts at almost precisely the same time of day as a general rule.

• Some people, and by some people I mean one specific bearded guy who hangs out under the El tracks, enjoy the company of pigeons, in fact becoming irked when they refuse to alight on his outstretched arm.

• The bartender at the Italian restaurant near work is a "real jerk" because he hasn't bought you a shot yet, despite your consistent buying of shots, and he's sorry, so here's one on the house.

• You should really take it easy with telling people to "take it easy," especially belligerent Cubs fans at bars who have been drinking since 10 in the morning.

• You shouldn't try to shake out a crick in your neck when there is an interracial couple and their child in your line of sight, because it looks like you're disapprovingly shaking your head at them, which will cause them to give you very, very dirty looks.

• If you close Microsoft Outlook, it can't remind you about meetings.

• According to an armchair anthropologist wearing water socks in public, Indians ride the El in larger numbers at 6pm, because they're "harder workers and so they stay at work later."

• If you sing the James Bond theme song — "Dum dum da da la dum dum, dum dum da da la dum dum," — on a quiet El train, at least one person will hum the "ba-dum da-da, wa-wa-wa!" part by the time you get off the train.

• Besides being the title of a popular BBC sitcom, "Coupling" is also a term for a pornography genre, if an Internet search is to be believed.

• When did Uncle Ben become an expert in East Asian cuisine? How far are we going to let them go with his name? Prediction: "Uncle Ben's Fondue."

• You need to wear a ski mask to spray paint "Hell Yeah" really small on hidden walls in obscure alleyways at 10:30 at night.

• The guy who works at the Hollywood Video on Elston Avenue thinks that "Why do you drive on a parkway, but park in a driveway?" is an oxymoron.

• "The Spy Who Loved Me" and "From Russia With Love," are filed under "B" at the video store, for "Bond."

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About the Author(s)

Ramsin Canon covers and works in politics in Chicago. If you have a tip, a borderline illegal leak, or a story that needs to be told, contact him at .

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