Pick-A-Day

September 2020
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Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

In just a few hours I’ll be leaving the Windy City—headed back home and to meet the Cynical Queer.

My time in Chicago has been good and productive—even as damaged by an unusually severe case of jetlag. I didn’t accomplish everything on my agenda—but it was given that this was impossible. Instead I’ve made a huge dent and met a couple of interesting people along the way.

I leave town happy.

First, Chicago is a magical bit closer to Ft. Collins, Colorado, than Indianapolis or Bloomington. The limits of Fat Tire Amber Ale distribution happen somewhere between the two—but since I hadn’t known this, I wasted a couple of days drinking swill.

Fat Tire Amber Ale brings back a number of memories from the University of Wyoming. During my MA days, a number of us in the grad program would get together once a week—probably Thursday evenings, but maybe Friday—in the student unions and drink beer: Expensive pitchers of Fat Tire.

Professors would join us and I remember that on one occasion the professor wondered why we were drinking the expensive beer instead of the cheep beer; mind you the difference was probably $2-3 a pitcher. We justified it by pointing out that we only did this once a week and that the rest of the beer consisted of Urine, Urine Lite, or Coors Lite. I don’t think the professor was convinced, but his opinion didn’t matter since he came from a country that is infamous for drinking warm beer.

Secondly, I went to the IO Improv club last night. It’s now IO, but as I recall, it used to be called the Improv Olympics. I saw the cabaret show featuring the comedic stylings of The Frank Hayes 4 and the Cook County Social Club. One never quite knows what to expect attending these shows—and after ordering an awful beer (no Fat Tire available!), I settled in and watched the show.

First up were the three members of The Frank Hayes 4. With this group of 3 (surely part of some kind of joke) there are two distinct possibilities: First, my cultural awareness is deficient and the comedians were making fun of things that I’ve never heard of since I’ve been living in Germany for five years. That, or they just weren’t funny. Sure there were some boner jokes, sure they threw the “C” word around, but I just didn’t actually find it funny. It was more of a relief when their 40 minutes were up and they exited the stage.

I was worried that I’d wasted $12 on something which was culturally and socially beyond me—that after 5 years of living a Goethe-Centric Life, I am not really culturally aware of things American.

I was wrong; the Cook County Social Club—the following act—was much funnier. Consisting of four very talented individuals, I laughed, and I laughed a lot. Building off of the suggest word, “cucumber,” an elaborate tale of four friends was told. Sitting in my “Chicago Office” this morning, it’s hard for me to put my finger on exactly what made me laugh and why this group worked. The guys had really good facial controls making wonderful faces and able to convey a wide range of emotions. The story they told, although with bawdy elements, was clever and funny—and when their 40 minutes were up, I was disappointed. I wanted it to last longer.

Finally, and the last reason I leave town happy, the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest album is available for download for only 9,99€ plus 0,37€ credit card processing fee.

Anybody care to guess what I’ll be listening to for the next 24 hours?

See you on the other side of the pond.

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