Briefs (and Boxers)

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Fore and aft: house-sitting for Frank

Retiring River Forest Village President Frank Paris has given his home to Dan Fore, the homeless candidate who was barred from running for the board of trustees in Oak Park. Mr. Paris hopes Mr. Fore's charisma will help focus opposition to his nemeses on the River Forest Board of Trustees, Steve Hoke and Steve Dudek, the "weenie Stevies," as Mr. Paris refers to them.

Mr. Fore is making the construction of large, multistory homeless shelters in the vicinity of the residences of Messers Dudek and Hoke the centerpiece of his campaign. When Mr. Fore was asked to define "vicinity," he said, "Oh I guess three feet or less from their property lines would suffice."

Half-baked plan adds wind turbines to OPRF lights application

Oak Park and River Forest High School Superintendent Attila Weninger offered a green alternative to proposed lights on the school's athletic fields. In a meeting with the high school's neighbors at the 19th Century Club, he presented a plan that would double the size of the light standards and add wind turbines at the top.

The turbines would power the lights and provide electricity to the high school as well as the surrounding neighborhood. Weninger offered free electricity to the neighbors as an incentive to stop their hunger strike with the added enticement that staff members would collect all the birds killed by the wind turbines, bake them into pies, pastries and turnovers in the school cafeteria, and distribute them to the neighbors as a gesture of goodwill. The Huskie Boosters volunteered to distribute the pies.

"How does that sound? Mr. Weninger asked the neighbors. "We'll give you free electricity and four or 20 blackbirds baked in a pie!" Pausing, he added, "Uh oh, did I just plagiarize?"

'Toll Toilet' seen as boon to commuters

Oak Park resident Esker Drumlin is asking the Village of Oak Park to declare his broken-down bathroom a TIF district. Drumlin says he can't afford to remodel the bathroom and needs village help. The village would benefit from the remodeling because it would allow him to charge a fee and turn it into a business called "Toll Toilet."

Mr. Drumlin lives near the Green Line and by placing a yard sign advertising his pay-for-use bathroom, he expects to make money from bladder-distressed commuters who can't make it home before doing numbers one and/or two. He plans to charge a $2 admission fee ($10 if the customer is jumping up and down). Drumlin says he also throws a lot of great parties and could make a killing on weekends.

The village board seems interested, Village President David Pope offering a vision of hundreds of bathroom TIFs throughout Oak Park, which could fund trolleys and multilevel parking garages at strategic locations.

He also backed Mr. Drumlin's innovative, sound-activated flushing system, which responds to applause. Drumlin, tentatively, is calling it "The Clapper Crapper."

Too friendly?

Environmental activist Les Golden has been arrested for attempting to rescue squirrels in Mills Park. Mr. Golden's attorney, Pinkerton Schlepper, denied the charge and said Mr. Golden only wanted to make friends with the squirrel in question. He said the winks, lip pursing, tongue flicks, and offers of money all fall in the "normal" range of natural squirrel interaction.

The Park District of Oak Park is requesting an order of protection and a restraining order. They have petitioned the court to be allowed to do the restraining themselves.

Golden responded by gluing himself to a Field Center tree in protest. The park district is afraid of removing him because it might damage the tree.

"The bite would be worse for the bark," said field supervisor Mike Grandy.

This vacuum really sucks

iRobot Technologies has submitted a bid to the District 200 Board of Education to take over custodial duties at the high school. According to the proposal, iRobot will provide OPRF with a gaggle of Roomba (robotic vacuum cleaners).

The largest of the vacuum cleaners in the bid is the Roomba 2000, a Zamboni-sized machine that will vacuum the halls, cafeterias and gymnasiums. Besides vacuuming the floors, Roomba 2000 has a coffee bar dispensing espressos and latte drinks, a wireless access point, and an mp3 player that plays the Huskie fight song on a continuous loop. The neighbors have threatened to picket the school if they hear it.

Future upgrades for the Roomba 2000 include an SAT tutoring module, a security module that gives the robot the capability of immobilizing disruptive students with an obtuse ray, and a counseling module that enables the robot to give career advice to students in a peppy voice that sounds just like Stephen Hawking.

Overheated sidewalks

Heated coils under the renovated sidewalks of Marion Street overcompensated last week, melting the Crocs of several pedestrians and the wheels off of some children's Heelys shoes, leaving them screaming and stuck to the stone pavement.

Within minutes, the Oak Park Fire Department responded. Rescue firefighters shut down the heating system then freed most of the pedestrians using a Hurst Jaws of Life. Several Crocs melted so severely, the shoes have become a permanent fixture of the pavement. Downtown Oak Park, hoping to turn the incident to their benefit, is calling it "a symbol of our commitment to pedestrians." They had no comment about the single fried egg that could not be scraped off.

Several of the freed victims said they would never walk on that part of Marion Street again unless Moon Boots are provided by local merchants with heat-shield silica tiles, the same material NASA uses to protect the Space Shuttle during atmospheric re-entry.

Arousing the ire of the Leprechaun Defamation League

The Anderson family of Oak Park and their "Ebony Experiment" - making purchases only from black-owned businesses and professionals for a year - has inspired an Irish Oak Parker Mick Harpmulligan to buy only from Irish-owned businesses and professionals. Mr. Harpmulligan calls his endeavor "Hiberony." He intends to exceed the Andersons' experiment, however, by purchasing everything he needs from the Irish Shop on Oak Park Avenue. Anything he can't find there, he'll try to buy online, direct from Ireland.

Mr. Harpmulligan's experiment hasn't always gone smoothly. For example, he buys Wednesday Journal because an Irishman owns it. Unfortunately, he hates the paper. He finds it leprechaun-leaning, referring to WJ's blatant recent St. Patrick's Day window display.

"You never see that paper criticize a leprechaun," Harpmulligan said. "After reading the Journal, you'd think leprechauns were born beneath the Blarney stone. I've know known plenty of leprechauns. Believe me, most of them are devious punks. Even if I had eyes in the back of my head, I wouldn't turn around on one of them."

Hole-bama

A group of angry Democrats stopped an Oak Park Department of Public Works street repair crew from fixing a gaping pothole that has swallowed three cars on Madison Street in Oak Park because the shape so closely resembles President Barack Obama. Dozens of Obama-ites sat holding hands in a circle around the pothole, preventing the crew from filling it, and stopping traffic for blocks.

Spokesman for the group, Myron Tryst, said, "This pothole is a message reminding us of the divine nature of the Barack presidency. We must not allow it to be obliterated!"

When Tryst was asked about the three cars that fell in the pothole, he replied, "They must have been non-believers."

-Byron Lanning

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