Number of insects “on file” at the state Natural History Survey: 6,000,000.

Boss, there’s this guy out front in a Batman mask… According to Jerry DeMuth (Chicago Industrial Bulletin, July/August 1989), Paul Gibson of the state Department of Commerce and Community Affairs suggests that owners of start-up companies “mask themselves and make calls on their competitors to see how a sale is made.”

Hot property. According to the graphs in the Civic Federation’s booklet Chicagoland–A Fiscal Perspective 1978-1987, the total value of property in the city of Chicago rose from $35 billion in 1979 to about $37 billion in 1987, after corrections for inflation. The value of suburban Cook County property, on the other hand, remained stagnant at about $53 billion in constant dollars over the same period of time.

The good old days. Michael Jenkins, writing in the Ounce of Prevention Fund Magazine (Summer 1989): “I was nine in 1962 when my mother, my sister, and my five brothers moved into 4101 S. Federal in the Robert Taylor Homes. The building was just finished. I remember washing the ‘X’ off the brand new window. We moved because we felt we were going to a better place. Our old apartment at 67th and Harvard had a kerosene stove, roaches, and winos on the streets.”

“Rich Daley is taking advantage of the tone that was set by Harold Washington,” says Luis Gutierrez, one of the few aldermen who enthusiastically supported both. “It might have been more difficult for Rich Daley politically [to make diverse cabinet appointments]–although I think he would have made the same appointments–had the stage not been set for the inclusion of women and other minority groups within city government” (Chicago Reporter, July/ August 1989).

On second thought, let’s stay home and microwave dinner. Richard M. Krieg, acting city commissioner of health, quoted in On the Move (May/June 1989): “We now have about 30 or so inspectors to handle over 25,000 food establishments in the City of Chicago.”

“Workers from Madras come over each summer to work” on the $2 million Hindu temple being built near the East-West Tollway outside Aurora, writes Sidney K. Robinson in Inland Architect (July/August 1989). “The temple is an unmistakable symbol of change, of things and people not staying ‘where they belong.’ The controversy that greeted the temple proposal in 1985 brought out the fears that always accompany the intrusion of aspects of another world. At a City Council hearing, one Christian minister wondered whether Aurora was ‘large enough for this kind of diversity.'” No, it’s not, bub–so why don’t you leave town?

Monkey business. Sentences we’re glad we didn’t write (from a city planning textbook): “The urban structure of most developing countries has historically been very limited, consisting in most cases of one primate city…”

Yes, but aside from that, what do you think of his work? The Surrealist Group on the Art Institute’s Andy Warhol retrospective: “Some day–and sooner than you think!–we shall have the pleasure of trampling and pissing on Warhol’s loathsome representations of commodities, on the ruins of this and other museums of commodities, and on the ruins of the whole stupid social structure founded on the fetishism of commodities.”

Dept. of addictions. According to Harper’s “Index” (July 1989), “Portion of all oil produced worldwide that is used for transportation in the United States: 1/5. Portion of all illegal drugs produced worldwide that are consumed in the United States: 3/5.”

Probably a good deal mellower. New York state senator James Donovan on behalf of capital punishment (Progressive, July 1989): “Where would Christianity be if Jesus got eight-to-fifteen years with time off for good behavior?”

Maybe after dark? From Sherry McGuinn’s review of north-side beaches (Real Estate Profile, July 14-27): Foster Avenue Beach “is GREAT for kids, but watch out for broken glass. If you haven’t procreated as yet, go to Oak Street Beach, where your chances for this are a lot better.”