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You know you’re from Chicago if you know…

Image: PV Bella

This is an excerpt from a longer piece I wrote for another project.

I despise the young scribblers working for the local online news media and magazines with no fucking clue about Chicago. Now and then, these dim bulb reprobates write pieces titled, “You know you are from Chicago if you know…”

Crayon-wielding toddlers who came from someplace else write these pieces. They do not know their ass from a hole in the ground, let alone anything about Chicago. They make shit up to impress the witless with their wit.

A longtime scribbler for one of the local papers wrote a book on the subject. He is originally from Ohio and lives in the suburbs. What the fuck does he know?

My bona fides? I was born and raised in Chicago. I know this city and its people like the back of my hand. I did not have to do research. Chicago is my blood, my heart, my DNA.

You know you are from Chicago if you know:

Howyadooin is the official Chicago greeting. No one gives a shit how you are doing. It is just hello.

The lovely unlovely Chicago epithet, Jagoff, can be a humorous, friendly put down or an insult.

You drink beer from a bottle or can.

You drink booze from a half-pint or pint bottle.

The definitions of canoodle, boodle, and boondoggle.

What a goo-goo is.

What a ward heeler is.

What a B-Girl is.

Mario’s on Taylor Street.

The Curse of the Goat.

The most popular member of the Chicago Blackhawks.

What a deuce, fin, saw, double saw, half a century, and a century is.

The meaning of buying a hat, pen, pencil, or tie.

The Who- me tribe.

How to open a fire hydrant on a hot summer day.

Who the Lincoln Park Pirates were.

The difference between a sandwich, sanguich, and samich.

What a stoop is.

What a frunch room is.

How to fish for smelt.

The nickname for smelt fishing.

You ask someone where they’re from, and they name a Catholic parish. Up until a few years ago, this was a South Side Irish thing. But the North Siders got into it.

You never, ever put ketchup on a Chicago hot dog. Never, ever is a long, long time.

Why you never ever put ketchup on a hot dog.

The Underground Wacker exists and why it was built.

You can navigate the underground Wacker/Michigan system without GPS. You can walk it on a rainy day to stay dry without getting lost.

Where to find places to drink after hours.

Where to gamble any day or night beside the OTBs and casinos.

How Mailbox Marilyn got her nickname.

Who “Crazy Mary” was.

Sixteen-inch softball is the only softball played in Chicago. Only grown-up boys with little balls play with twelve-inch softballs.

No real Chicagoan wears gloves to play softball. We take pride in our crooked fingers.

The meaning of “I was away at college.”

Why Lakeshore Drive was called “The last bastion of capitalism in America” by former comedian Shecky Green.

What bars open at 7 AM to grab a few after working the midnight shift or an early morning pick-me-up.

The two busiest days at Jim’s Original when it was on Maxwell Street.

What a listen sandwich is.

What Mild Sauce is and where to find it.

What a bucket of blood is.

Why round Chicago pizza is cut into small squares, and its real name.

Trunk music is not extra-large bass throbbing speakers in a car trunk.

There is no such thing as an honest politician in Chicago.

Three Card Monte (Molly) is not a dealer at the Rivers Casino.

You can tell the ethnicity of people by the food odors emanating from open windows.

Nothing is on the legit in Chicago. Not one fucking thing.

You can use ethnic slurs without offending people you know. People in Chicago talk to each other that way.

Last, you know, when traveling through or doing business in Chicago, our public officials and criminals do not take any shit, and they don’t take American Express*.

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