One naked lunch, please. “In this culture, it’s literally a social stigma not to use mayonnaise or salad dressing,” complains Lori Cidylo in Today’s Chicago Woman (October 1988). “Just try ordering a salad without dressing, or a sandwich without mayonnaise, and see how far you get. . . . I can assure you that I’ve gotten more attention in restaurants, all of it unwelcome, than if I had walked in nude, announced I was going to dance on top of the bar, and demanded a mariachi band to accompany me.”

At least the label tells you what’s in the bottle. Harper’s (November 1988) reports that 8- to 12-year-old American kids can name an average of 5.2 alcoholic beverages–and 4.8 American presidents.

“I just can’t go in and fire a lot of people,” Cook County Board President George Dunne tells the Chicago Reporter (October 1988), “but every time we get a chance we put a minority in, I assure you, we do it.” Reporter Karen Snelling finds that county records tell a different story. “Whites working for Cook County government are three times more likely than black workers to hold professional and managerial posts and four times more likely to earn top salaries. . . . Of 16 administrators hired in 1987 by offices that answer directly to the County Board, 14 were white and two were Asian. Countywide, only one black was hired to fill a managerial post last year.”

Buy Illinois–the job you save may be your own. And now we have the Made in Illinois catalog (free–call 1-800-252-2923), from which you can purchase such essentials as a handcrafted walnut gavel with two golf balls on the gavel ends (from Niles), a yard-long tube of bubblegum balls (from Oak Park), and rolls of customized toilet paper (from downstate, natch) bearing tasteful inscriptions like, “Here’s to the World’s Crappiest Fisherman.”

Forty-eight days is the average time a Chicago-area home will spend on the market before being sold, according to the fall Electronic Realty Associates’ National Real Estate Poll. This is an improvement over last year (63 days) and better than the current Central Region average (72 days) and U.S. average (85 days). Curiously, homes priced over $100,000 tend to move faster than less expensive domiciles.

“This man is in the game,” writes Thomas Roeser of acting mayor Eugene Sawyer (Chicago Enterprise, October 1988). Sawyer was a “civil-service alderman” with an “almost blank” record, who quailed at the contest for acting mayor, but now he’s a tough and ready adversary in the coming elections, argues Roeser. “And there is no rival in city history to his story. Granted, Edward J. Kelly was selected mayor by City Council in 1933, but he already had been a powerhouse chief engineer of the city’s sanitary district. Sawyer served 16 years in City Council, yet his tenure was so obscure that he isn’t even mentioned in Dempsey J. Travis’s An Autobiography of Black Politics, which was published last year.”

The only boutique in the U.S. operated by students on school premises is the three-year-old Goldpost Boutique at Chicago Vocational High School, 2100 E. 87th St. The boutique, which sells only to students and staff, offers “teen fashions, draperies, choir robes, holiday craft gifts, and uniforms” created by students in CVS’s fashion-design program, according to the Chicago Public Schools. Now that’s education!

What’s better than recycling? Reducing waste in the first place. The IIlinois Hazardous Waste Research and Information Center is offering matching grants up to $50,000 for large and small research projects for “developing new waste reduction techniques or testing new applications of existing methods.”

Are babies better off now than they were 33 years ago? According to Children’s Memorial Hospital, “In 1955, America’s infant mortality rate was the sixth best in the world, while Japan ranked 17th. Today the U.S. lags behind eighteen other countries, while Japan is first.”

“In the small world that is his neighborhood, [Illinois house speaker Michael] Madigan is a celebrity,” writes Lynda Gorov in Chicago Times (November/December 19881). “Once, when Governor Thompson and his staff were campaigning in the ward, they stopped for pizza at Palermo’s. The owner put in a frantic call to Madigan’s office: ‘The governor’s here! Do I treat him good or bad?’ He was told to turn on the charm.”

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