“You am reading the words of a five-foot-tall woman who never learned to pack a pistol,” writes Amy Feldman in Chicago Enterprise (May 1988). “If I were the CEO of a high-tech company looking for rental space in which to prosper, I’d probably set my sights on the genteel tree-lined streets of Evanston, where Northwestern University and a local team of economic development impresarios eagerly woo small firms to join Northwestern University/Evanston Research Park. As a cost-conscious entrepreneur sans sharpshooting skills, I certainly wouldn’t set up shop at Chicago Technology Park, a Near West Side project located in one of the most blighted and meanest-looking neighborhoods the city has to offer. My apprehensions would not be unusual, but they’d be dead wrong. . . . The city’s 12th Police District, which includes the tech park, four neighboring medical centers and a stretch of urban jungle south of Roosevelt Road, last year claimed the fourth lowest crime rate of Chicago’s 25 police districts.”

No problem is insoluble, given a large enough plastic bag. Fortune (May 23) reports that Gundle Environmental Systems has tripled its profits in the last year: “Gundle’s business is manufacturing and installing polyethylene sheets to line and cover landfills.”

Enough already. From the Chicago-based Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (April 1988): “Soviet warheads capable of being fired at the United States: 12,000. Population of the 12,000th largest city in the United States: 640 (Roxie, Mississippi).”

Illinois Department of Perpetual Aggravation. Is the state’s low-pay, slow-pay medicaid policy driving inner-city hospitals into bankruptcy? Not to worry, says Martha Thompson of the Illinois Department of Public Aid. She tells the Chicago Reporter’s Arsenio Oloroso Jr. (May 1988) that poor patients can still get health care: “We estimate that 15 miles is a reasonable distance for patients to travel to receive care.” By that standard, the entire city of Chicago needs only one hospital.

And you thought they’d have to legalize it first. “Illinois drug traffickers now face heavy penalties if they fall to buy tax stamps from the Illinois Department of Revenue for the illegal substances they sell,” reports the Compiler (Spring 1988). The stamp–$5 per gram of marijuana–thoughtfully includes the slogan “Just Say ‘No'” in an apparent attempt to thwart the transaction and deprive the state of valuable tax revenues.

“There are 88 keys on a piano and it’s 1988,” says Chicago Blues Festival organizer Barry Dollins in Chicago Jazz & Blues News (May 1988), explaining why the June 10-12 fest will highlight piano players. “An opportunity like that only comes around every 100 years.” Can you wait until 2088 for the next?

Yuppie salvation. From a tract found in the Loop: “Dear God, I’m sorry for all I’ve done wrong. I believe you that Christ took the blame for it all and died for me. Please credit my account with His righteousness.” And a new BMW while you’re at it.

Chicago civic and community leaders care more about red tape than about corruption, according to interviews With 58 of them conducted by Lawrence B. Joseph of the University of Chicago. But they don’t agree on what kinds of corruption really mattered. Reports a university press release: “The leaders agreed that a police officer taking money from a drug pusher should be considered a serious offense and should carry an appropriate penalty. . . . However, they disagreed about the seriousness of a mayor accepting a large campaign contribution from a city contractor or an alderman using his or her influence to obtain a city job for a party precinct captain.”

It’s not an all-electric machine. From Greenpeace (April 1988): “Percent growth in the U.S. economy, 1973-1986: 33+ percent. Percent growth in U.S. energy consumption, 1973-1986: 0.”

“The master numbers are created by coupling the mundane vibrations to form spiritual vibrations,” writes Chicago numerologist R. Gunn Hollingsworth in Inner Sight Network (March/April 1988). “One and one become eleven, two and two become twenty-two, three and three become thirty-three, etc. A simple enough concept, yet ‘master-numberness’ has been fraught with disagreement among numerologists for centuries.” Perhaps because some thought that one and one “become” two?

Or defendants in Greylord trials. In child-abuse cases where the victim testifies, Craig DeArmond suggests in the Missing Children Bulletin (February/March 1988), “The prosecutor should consider asking the judge to remove the black robe when the child testifies. In the child’s mind, very often, only evil people wear black robes, i.e., witches, demons, Darth Vader-like characters.”

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Carl Kock.