Liposuction, rhinoplasty (nose jobs), and breast augmentation are the three most popular surgical procedures asked of cosmetic surgeons and liposuction surgeons, according to their trade associations–and November and December are their busiest months.

Daley, Sawyer, Evans, Burke, Taylor, Bloom, Davis, Byrne . . . “The present vacuum of leadership in the city has . . . led to the emergence of a variety of willing leaders with their own versions of the perfect solution,” writes Janet Malone Morrow in One City (November/December 1988). “Like crabs in a barrel, once one of these appears to be making it to the top, others pull it down. Chicago-style leadership has long led to this environment of dynamic mediocrity.”

Honest, Ebenezer, it’s cheaper not to let them freeze to death. This holiday thought from Joe Bute and Thom Clark in ONE Reports (Fall 1988): “It costs the City of Chicago and the County of Cook about $1,500 for the burial of each homeless person who dies from exposure. It costs an emergency shelter about $290 for one person to spend the entire winter inside and warm–free from the fear of freezing to death. So why is it that Pat ‘Stop ’em at the Border’ McGinnis, president of the Four Corners Block Club, wants our tax dollars spent sending in building and fire inspectors to close down the Epworth [Methodist Church’s] Warming Center? Why won’t [48th Ward Alderman] Kathy Osterman support the Center’s request for public support, from a city desperately seeking additional shelter beds? Why would they rather spend $1,500 of our money to bury the dead than $290 to shelter the living?”

Let’s see–if this is Buddhism, it must be March. Our favorite 1989 calendar comes from the local office of the National Conference of Christians and Jews. It describes and illustrates Bahaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, and five brands of Christianity, with one month left over for the NCCJ itself and its message promoting the acceptance of diversity.

A great street for the right people. Except for Marshall Field’s and Carson Pirie Scott, on State Street “the signs of decay are pronounced,” writes Cheryl Kent in Inland Architect (November/December 1988). “There are discount stores on the ground floors–upstairs the offices are mostly vacant–with racks out on the sidewalk, and signs, ‘Everything on this rack $5.’ The homeless are there, as are the panhandlers.” The city and the Greater State Street Council are collaborating on a renewal plan. They “mean to overhaul more than bad sidewalks: they want the clothes racks off the street, and the tacky discount signs out of the windows. They want people to dress up to go downtown again.” Remember that, all you homeless, when you’re suiting up for the day in your cardboard box.

Most of us weren’t born when the five top U.S. movies were released, according to University of IIlinois finance department chairman. William R. Bryan. Bryan adjusted gross box-office receipts for inflation, population growth, and real per-capita income, and found that–instead of E.T. and Star Wars–the all-time winners are Gone With the Wind (1939), Snow White (1937), Pinocchio (1940), Fantasia (1940), and Bambi (1942).

The Illinois Department of “For.” From a press release: “Officials for the Illinois Department of Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) expressed their disappointment for not winning the Superconducting Super Collider (SSC).”

Pass the remote control, honey. According to Executive Fitness newsletter (December 1988), citing the American Sociological Review, “Dual-income couples spend 44 minutes a day watching television together, 33 minutes eating together and 13 minutes talking with each other.”

Congress shall make no law respecting the freedom of the chain saw. “I had the experience one evening in a motel,” says U.S. Senator Paul Simon (Congressional Record, October 19), “of going in, turning on the television, and all of a sudden in front of me in living color someone is being sawed in half by a chainsaw. Mr. President, it bothered me. I thought, what happens when a 10- or 12-year-old sees that?” We know what happens when a senator sees that. Simon’s bill allowing TV networks to discuss voluntary restrictions on violence has so far been held up in the House of Representatives–according to his press secretary because of “direct opposition from the ACLU and tacit opposition from television networks.”

“I was overwhelmed by the enormity of it. I felt like a tiny ant.” No, that’s not a downstater gawking at the Sears Tower; it’s a Chicagoan, who was on a fall tour sponsored by the Herrin-based Illinois South Project, viewing a strip-mining shovel up close in southern Illinois (Notes From Illinois South, Fall 1988).

Transfers will be accepted. From the Field Museum: “NEW CTA, BUS SERVICE TO AN CIENT EGYPT, THE OCEAN FLOOR, AND OUTER SPACE.”

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