#8 of the 17 “Most Frequently Asked Questions About Electrolysis,” according to Skokie practitioner Renee Salm: “Are expenditures for hair removal through electrolysis tax deductible?” The answer is yes: “The IRS reasons that since electrolysis penetrates the entire length of the follicle and destroys living tissue, it affects a structure of the body and is thus an amount expended for medical care.” Wait till I ask the IRS about my tattoo . . .

Is there such a thing as too much education? Maybe so, if you believe Chancellor Salvatore G. Rotella’s defense of City Colleges’ two-year nursing programs: “There is no evidence that nurses with baccalaureate degrees have better professional competencies, or take care of patients better, than those with Associate nursing degrees.”

A million pounds a month of food goes from the Greater Chicago Food Depository to 500 pantries and emergency meal programs. According to M.L. Gallagher in The Neighborhood Works (June 1987), a small portion of that–a little over 40,000 pounds–is donated perishables: 500 pounds of fresh beef used in a photo shoot; 20 cases of broccoli stems a week from Flying Food Fare, which uses only broccoli tops to prepare airline meals; and, from a seafood distributor, half a shark.

Where can I park thee? Let me count the ways . . . Economic Development News (May 1987) reports that the 1986 Downtown Chicago Parking Survey has found 64,300 public parking spaces downtown.

“States lust after the superconducting super collider because of a widespread hope that the project will spawn a new region of high technology, low-polluting industry,” writes Robert Bazell in the New Republic (June 22, 1987). But beware: “The research carried out on a giant accelerator can be done only on the accelerator. There will be no high-tech venture capital companies set up to search for quarks.”

“The desire to be hip . . . is an especially odious adolescent trait that now appears to be dominant among American adults,” fusses Charles Peters in the Washington Monthly (June 1987). It may even explain why political reporters seldom do their job well. “Most political reporters are Jack Germonds–wryly witty, world-weary, not know-it-alls in an offensive manner, but finally wanting it to appear that they do know it all. Beneath this appearance there is often a truly colossal intellectual insecurity, which helps explain why, instead of covering the issues, they always turn elections into horse races. . . . If they write about issues they just might reveal what they don’t know.”

Go figure. According to Transportation Facts (May 1987), 14.1 percent of the CTA riders in the O’Hare corridor say they own “three or more” cars.

“Is philanthropy a white man’s game?” asks Neil Tesser in Forum (Spring 1987); he finds the answer is yes: the boards of 30 of Chicago’s top donors are 89 percent white and 81 percent male. Over on the receiving end, the picture is even more uniform. The boards of eight major city recipients of philanthropy–Adler Planetarium, Art Institute, Museum of Science and Industry, Shedd Aquarium, Chicago Symphony, Chicago Historical Society, Lyric Opera, and Field Museum–are 96 percent white and 80 percent male.

To the pure, all things are impure. Before the Jim-and-Tammy scandal, Jerry Falwell wrote in Fundamentalist Journal (April 1987): “The ladies of Thomas Road Baptist Church know that if their car breaks down, they are needing a ride and I happen to be the first car behind them, I will not pick them up unless Macel or one of our children is with me–even if rain is pouring and winds are howling. I will go to the nearest station and send help, but I will not transport them. As a pastor I cannot risk someone thinking ill of me.” Too late, Jer.

Now it’s a penny a bottle, or about 2 cents per pound for glass for recycling, says Chicago Recycling Report (May 1987). Increased prices offered by Owens-Illinois have stimulated alley entrepreneurs and enabled Chicago’s Resource Center to ship more than twice as much recycled glass during the first quarter of 1987 as in the same period last year.

Remember Diamond-Star, the Chrysler-Mitsubishi joint venture attracted to downstate Illinois by over $88 million in “incentives”? The state justified its enormous cash lure by claiming that (in addition to 2,900 factory jobs in Bloomington) the plant would generate 8,000 support jobs. That figure wasn’t even close, reports Chicago Enterprise (May 1987). “Diamond-Star now says it will sign only 50 subcontracts, or only half as many as originally reported. In addition, of the 39 subcontracts already awarded, only six have gone to suppliers with plants in Illinois.” The Thompson administration policy of economic development through giveaways is now under fire from the business community itself.

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