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Big Rod and Little Caesar

So the Chicago Transit Authority has announced Doomsday once again, and not just one Doomsday, but two of them. What luck for Chicagoland transit riders who might miss the elimination of three dozen CTA bus routes in November! Now they’ll be able to enjoy the evaporation of the rest of the system on January 6.

Unless Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and the State Legislature get their act together in the next few weeks and finally fund the region’s wheezing transit system, up here in Chicagoland, also known as the economic big shoulders of Illinois and, to not a few downstate denizens yearning for a break from the soy fields, civilization, it’s going to get a lot harder for those shoulders to bear the weight of this pork-barrel state.

But let’s face it, dear fellow transit riders, this transit funding crisis is our own fault and it’s time we admitted it (do you hear that, well-meaning CTA Tattler?). No matter how good the transit funding plan that State Transportation Committee Chair Julie Hamos has put together and hustled up and down the statehouse in the past few months, Governor Blagojevich is determined to go down a different road. And isn’t that his prerogative as the governor?

Shame on Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Illinois State Senate President Emil Jones for getting in his way, suggesting anything different, or holding the Hamos funding plan hostage because the governor doesn’t want to be a team player. I, for one, am mortified at the virtual pissing contest that continues to ensue among these, our top three statewide politicos.

Blago must know best, he is our primary state leader, after all. So in any statewide pissing contest, shouldn’t his penis take precedence? And with Mike and Emil not giving Blago’s prop the proper respect it deserves, doesn’t it then fall to us humble transit riders to offer Rod’s rod props if we ever have any hope of achieving satisfaction?

Yesterday at the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield, I sat down for a chat with the First Phallus to try and get at the root of the matter. I waited for what seemed like ages for the little dickens to finally come. But how, exactly, do you address a politically powerful disembodied body part? I began humbly.

Good afternoon Mr…?

“Subjects of the realm address me as Little Caesar the Great, lord of all I behold.”

Pardon me your Greatness. I thought Governor Blagojevich didn’t spend much time here in the Springfield mansion?

“The puppet lives in the northern land of Daley to keep an eye on things there. He is of little use to me here.”

But surely, oh Great One, a phallus without a brain cannot be as successful in politics as one actually attached to a body?

“That’s the trouble with you whole-body people, always thinking so linearly. Of what good would the rest of the governor be to me? As you know, all politicians are numb from the neck up.”

Of course, your Erectness. I have certainly lived long enough in Chicago to concede that point. So please tell me, oh Great and Powerful Little Caesar, what may we humble Chicagoland transit riders do to win your favor and beg you to save our dying transit system?

“Bring me the head of Michael Madigan.”

Surely, Sire, you don’t mean…?

“Yes, and the head of Emil Jones as well! Bring them to me with a ruler. Yes, a golden ruler! Bring them all to me so that I may prove once and for all that I am the greatest, largest, longest, most bulbous phallus in all the realm!”

Careful, oh Great One, with all that agitation, you’re falling off your telephone book! (I quickly smashed the glass out of a nearby emergency panel). Here, your Greatness, let me help you back to your seat with the Royal Emergency Tweezers–

“Silence! The Great and Powerful Little Caesar needs the help of no one! You and your transit-loving Chicagolanders will suffer for your impertinence!”

But, Great One, I was only trying to help.


Did anyone ever tell you you look taller on TV?

“Guards! Guards! Seize him!”

Having gotten little relief from the First Phallus and already running late, I beat a hasty retreat from the mansion and made my way over to the statehouse for a rendez-vous with the phalluses of Michael Madigan and Emil Jones. I was heartbroken to learn I had already missed them. Unfortunately, although assurances were made to me in writing that both phalluses would sit for an interview, as it turned out both members’ members came and exited prematurely.

But that didn’t surprise me one bit. As a Chicagoland transit rider, lately I’ve gotten used to an impotent local government that is embarrassingly unable to offer any lasting satisfaction beyond a well-documented string of broken promises.

Categories: Blagojevich Scandal Politics TRANSIT

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Mike Doyle

I’m an #OpenlyAutistic gay, Hispanic, urbanist, Disney World fan, New York native, politically independent, Jewish blogger in Chicago. I believe in social justice, big cities, and public transit. I write words and raise money for nonprofits. I’ve written this blog since 2005. And counting...

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8 replies

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  4. Mike: I know many people who are reconsidering whether to buy or even remain in Chicago, largely based on the mass transit issue. I have never seen so much anxiety and frustration about Chicago as I do now.

    As for me, I am thinking of sucking it up and moving to NYC, despite your sometimes sour words for Gotham. Yes, it is much more expensive, but at least I don’t have to worry so much about the MTA withering as the CTA is doing.

  5. It’s funny, in a pathetic way, that part of why I moved downtown from Logan Square in 2005 was that I wanted to be spared the worst of whatever the next round of CTA “Doomsday” would bring. I’m certainly glad I live down here at the moment, given the shameful cuts that shameful shenanigans from shameful men in Springfield may be about to visit on the cash cow of Illinois.

    One thing Vivienne leaves out in her comment but told me about in private, her friend is considering not buying a home in Chicago because she doesn’t know how she will get to work come next year. What long-term happiness to the tax base of Chicago it portends when people start deciding to live–and invest hundreds of thousands of house-buying dollars–elsewhere because Governor Blagojevich is more interested in scratching and posturing than doing his job.

    If Doomsday comes about, let’s all remember whose legacy to brand the event to. Since there’s nothing obvious yet to convict him on like so many other Illinois governors before him, I think getting blamed in the history books for the death of Chicago transit would be a fitting way to remember Rod Blagojevich.

    Don’t you?

  6. Is it wrong that I heard Mike Tyson’s voice in my head as the Great and Powerful Phallus? But, seriously, I just spoke with a friend who is considering leaving Chicago because her 3-mile commute to the Loop takes 45 minutes and that last-resort bus route will be eliminated soon–all while her real estate and sales taxes are going up to amongst the highest in the nation.

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