It’s not for pigging out, it’s for porking supreme. The president of Wilmette’s Ultimate Foods, Inc., describes it as “a superior upscale product designed for people who, when they indulge in a treat, want to indulge completely in something truly extraordinary.” “It” is a soft-frozen chocolate-covered cheesecake on a stick.

Why won’t nursing homes take Medicaid patients? According to David Seckman, executive director of the Illinois Health Care Association, it’s because Illinois is too cheap. “The state reimburses its own employees more for one night’s lodging than it reimburses the average Illinois nursing home for the care provided to a resident for one day’s lodging, meals, and nursing care.”

Not recommended for feminists. For just $499.50, Hammacher Schlemmer’s fall 1987 supplement offers “The Telephone Voice Gender Changer,” which “attaches to any standard telephone and disguises the user’s voice so that female voices sound like male voices, and it also has a special function to activate a preprogrammed dog’s bark to deter possible intruders. . . . A variable frequency control allows the adjustment of the pitch of the voice and also adjusts the speed and deepness of the dog’s bark.” Go from Chihuahua to Doberman in under ten seconds!

White male business owners received 70 percent of the loans and 93 percent of the money loaned by Mayor Washington’s Department of Economic Development in 1984, 1985, and 1986, according to a survey by Chicago Enterprise (September 1987).

“Dogs behave like dogs,” writes Steve Grunow in Animal Crackers (Summer 1987), the newsletter of the city’s Anti-Cruelty Society. “A nationally known dog trainer reportedly was approached by a wealthy businessman who owned a typically active, outgoing male Irish setter. The owner wanted the trainer to teach the setter to lie decoratively for hours in front of the fireplace during parties, rather than to come sniffing around greeting guests. The trainer is a person who respects and loves dogs as dogs: ‘You don’t need ME!’ he supposedly snorted. ‘You need a TAXIDERMIST!'”

“People come in screaming, ‘I didn’t do anything, I didn’t do anything!'” in toxic pollution cases, Chicago environmental attorney Carey Rosemarin tells Illinois Legal Times (September 1987). “That is all a waste of time, because it is just not relevant.” As ILT explains, “Under federal Superfund and similar Illinois statutes, current property owners can be liable for cleanup costs even if they weren’t the owners when the hazardous substance was dumped or buried or left on the land. Buyers have learned, some of them the hard way, that by acquiring the wrong business or piece of real estate, or in some cases just by acquiring stock, they may also acquire pollution clean-up liabilities which can be substantial–in some cases worth more than the acquired property or business itself. Courts have held that lenders who foreclose may also be liable.” What price condos on Goose Island?

Working women are cleaning up (and doing most of the cooking, dishwashing, laundry, and food shopping)–even if they are married–according to a Conference Board survey reported in the Washington Post weekly edition (June 29, 1987). “Fewer than three in 10 men in two-earner households said they ‘often’ did any of those household duties.” According to Fabian Linden of the Conference Board, “Survey results suggest that today’s full-time working woman, whose full-time housekeeping mom used to put in a 25-hour workweek, has been liberated to a 50-hour workweek.”

“We have a lot of fun at tutoring,” writes Saint Joseph School fifth-grader Keith Augustine, near the end of his time in the Montgomery Ward/Cabrini-Green Tutoring Program, in the program’s annual report. “A few times, we have left the class area to work in my tutor’s office, or get a Big Mac, but most times work comes first. . . . Leaving my tutor will be like losing one of the best friends I have ever had, but we are planning to keep in touch. Maybe we will play basketball, take a ride, have a Big Mac, or go swimming. Someday, I might even invite him to my office.”

Swamp white oak, swamp milkweed, and marsh marigold are three of the plants recommended by the Chicago Botanic Garden to flood victims who want to revamp their landscaping.

Keep it secret and get off easy. Earlier this year, Madison, Wisconsin, draft resister Gillam Kerley was given an unusually severe three-year jail sentence for not registering for the (currently non-existent) draft. According to CCCO News Notes (Summer 1987), “Judge Shabaz mentioned the many letters of support he received on Kerley’s behalf as one reason for the long sentence. The judge stated that Kerley should be kept in prison so that he cannot influence others to refuse to register.”

“Many commentators dismiss the problem of poverty as the problem of ‘inadequate families’ on welfare,” writes Jerome Stermer in Voices (Summer 1987), the newsletter of Voices for Illinois Children. “But the fastest growing group of poor families in our nation are ones where at least one adult works at least five days a week for fifty or more weeks a year. That fact tells me not so much about inadequate families as about inadequate family income.”

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