If I were Ms. Claus, I'd lavish gifts on everyone for Christmas, not just kids. I'd include all the guys who panhandle on Lake Street and the el, all the people who make minimum wage, all the soldiers who came home from war to find no jobs, and every homeowner who's up for foreclosure.
Imagine if Amazon already had its delivery drones up and running. Then I, Ms. Claus, could make sure that everyone who needed it would have a drone land at their feet with 5 pounds (the limit, according to Amazon's Jeff Bezos) of twenties. Or fifties.
I would also have some goodies for Oak Park.
The building at Lake and Forest would get built, but when you looked up at it, you would say, "Oh, that's beautiful. I could live there." It would have a generous setback so my pretty French restaurant and gourmet grocery store on the first floor would have outdoor seating several feet from traffic. Half of the building would be a badly needed hotel. And the top floor would have a beautiful windowed bar with panoramic views.
Speaking of buildings, I would send a year-round cadre of "good taste" elves to sit on the shoulders of village officials when they OK new stuff. I'd also send one of the biggest, baddest reindeer to give a good swift kick in the snowpants to whoever approved the blue thing on North Boulevard near Marion.
Julian and Brooks middle schools could keep their up-to-date technology and modern interiors, but the exteriors would be zoomed back many decades to include large windows, pretty brick, gracious entrances with — dare I say — pillars, and grounds with statues, benches and landscaping.
The 19th Century Charitable Association would receive enough money to update its historic building and people would line up for all their events, but especially the Free Readers Theatre on third Sundays.
Every kid who thinks about swiping a bike would get one for Christmas and every kid who had one stolen would get one, too.
For myself, I'm a firm believer in BOGO, buy one-get one free. I've always preferred "buy one-get one for me," but I really don't need much except an all-expenses-paid month in Hawaii.
And it would be jolly to meet a nice man about my age who doesn't talk too much … or too little.
Mary K. O'grady writes the "Aging Disgracfully" blog on oakpark.com.
Answer Book 2016
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