What do vinegar, chocolate-covered cherries, cough syrup, toothpaste, and mouthwash have in common? According to the CareUnit of Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital, they’re all consumer products that can contain enough alcohol to knock a recovering alcoholic off the wagon.

“We don’t believe the liberal education idea that all opinions are equal,” says Ferd Eggan, director of programs at Pedro Albizu Campos High School, an alternative Puerto Rican school in West Town, “We have definite points of view, and we think that’s what education should be,” he tells Michael Ervin in the Progressive (June 1987). “The students don’t have to have the same opinion. But they have to believe that their opinion means something.”

Praise Mac from whom all blessings flow. “If you hear scriptures/hymns chanted/sung properly by someone with a top-notch nervous system, it clears out blocks in YOUR–the listener’s–body,” writes New Ager Jerry Daniels in the Harmonist (vol. 2, no. 2, 1987). “This is why religion originally came to be. It’s a self-reinforcing chain reaction of events aimed at enhancing the performance of the human thinking machine . . . like using the Desktop Cleaner to rebuild a better Desktop File on your Mac.”

“There are about 15 trade shows that must come to Chicago because we are the only city with facilities large enough to handle them,” John Trutter of the Chicago Convention and Visitors Bureau tells Chicago Enterprise (June 1987). “But Atlanta and Las Vegas could lure a lot of the medium-sized conventions away from us,” especially since they spend (respectively) $4.9 and $30.6 million per year promoting themselves, compared to Chicago’s mere $2.1 million.

“The complexity of baseball taxes even the alert mind,” writes James Krohe Jr. in Illinois Times (June 18-24, 1987) from the upper deck of Wrigley Field. “Played well, it is a matter of small acts carefully performed; watched well, it is a matter of seeing those small acts. . . . I know from my own experience that as the beers pile up, you begin to see a simpler, duller game.” So why were the fans that day busy boozing themselves to insensibility? “As I looked around me at Wrigley, it occurred to me that most of the people there don’t really like baseball. They just like being at the ballpark, like nonswimmers who summer at the beach.”

I have a (deferred) dream. According to a telephone survey of 408 English-speaking Chicagoans conducted by Northwestern University students, three out of four black Chicagoans would prefer to live in a neighborhood half black and half white–but “almost six in 10 white residents would rather live in an all-white or mostly white neighborhood.”

Less than inspiring book blurb, from the publisher’s release on The Changing Definition of Masculinity: “Men are just beginning to realize that women are no longer looking for men who want to dominate them.”

From 63rd Street to Easy Street? The state lottery drains the pockets of those who can least afford it, according to the Illinois Economic and Fiscal Commission (Chicago Reporter, June 1987). “While residents who live in low-income areas comprise 9 percent of the state’s population, they account for 15 percent of lottery ticket sales.”

“Central America: The United States’ Backyard War” is a new $30 simulation game being offered by Victory Games, Inc. “Impartial in its view of conflict in Central America, the game examines U.S. foreign policy in the area as it is applied both with and without [!!] Congressional mandate. Players can attempt to resolve for themselves such questions as whether or not the U.S. could win a quick victory in Nicaragua, or if the U.S. would be inevitably dragged into a long, bloody conflict reminiscent of Vietnam.” If the company were truly “impartial in its view,” players could resolve for themselves what right we have to impose a government of our choosing on one of the Nicaraguans’ choosing.

Is there an extra charge for high-rise windows? A Chicago business–“Mr. Bundles Storks Unlimited, Inc.” will now, for a fee, place a four-foot-tall wooden stork (complete with a pink or blue bow) in the front yard of new parents or grandparents for one week.

Raise the minimum wage? Sure, say 60 percent of the corporate personnel executives surveyed by Personnel Journal (June 1987)–because higher pay would “motivate people to work and stay on the job.” Two-thirds of those surveyed said the proposed increase (from $3.35 to $4.65 per hour) would have no effect on any jobs in their organizations.

“If people were dying like flies of various illnesses, we would charge the medical profession with having failed,” says sociologist Todd Gitlin in the Center Magazine (March/April 1987). “So, we can charge the press with dereliction. . . . The evidence of ignorance in the public is evidence of a failure of the press. . . . Doctors certify that they examined so many million patients. Likewise, journalists certify that they published so many column inches on a story. That is a supply-side rationale that is beside the point.”

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