Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Intellectually Honest Loathe Chicago's Weather

Well, here we are, the day before Mother's Day -- 55 degrees at midday -- cloudy, grey, overcast, intermittent drizzle -- cold wind blowing in from the North.

My neighbor Gail took in her newly purchased New Guinea impatiens last night as they only thrive in temps above 45 deg.

Why do people live here?

While I can understand that Todd Stroger's friends and family could find no other city on the planet where they could pull down 6 figure salaries for lolling around, swilling coffee in the Cook County Building, what excuse do the rest of us have for staying?

I once dated a girl on the Southeast Coast whose father desparately wanted her to return to suburban Chicago.

When I commented on Chicago's crappy weather he rationalized, " well, there's really only December, January and February to get thru -- then it's just like anywhere else."

Yea, like anywhere else in Greater Metropolitan Juneau.

In a post last month, I noted how the brilliant Monty Python comic, John Cleese, who had lived in Chicago during his year with the 2nd City troupe, told a Chicago interviewer point blank: "I suppose Chicago's a nice enough place, but your weather is just so filthy."

Cleese, the Cambridge educated intellectual of the ensemble, always blunt, always honest.

Well I have found another leading intellectual light of the 20th century who thought that Chicago' weather stinks.

George S. Kaufman was arguably the greatest American comedic playwright of the 20th century. He crafted 27 Broadway plays, 18 of which became full bored hits. He collaborated with such luminaries as Edna Ferber, George and Ira Gershwin Moss Hart and many others. He hated Hollywood (the culture, not the weather), but might be best remembered for his work there with the Marx brothers, having written the scripts and film adaptations for Coconuts, Animal Crackers and A Night at the Opera.

In the mid 1940s, His daughter, Anne, was shopping for a college and, being somewhat academically adept, considered the University of Chicago.

This is what he had to say about that idea:

Anne Darling,

More and more as we inquire about the University of Chicago, it doesn't seem to be at all the place that you would be happy in. your mother has already pointed out, there would be no campus life. Nothing of the atmosphere that is supposed to go with college life and which, I know you would find so congenial.
It seems to have nothing at all to offer you and I forgot, the Chicago weather. Simply frightful all the time.

Kaufman's daughter was accepted to the University of Chicago, but took her dad's advice and declined the offer and thereby declined the opportunity to subject herself to our frightful weather.

I see droplets on the window. Time to grab the fleece lined jacket and brave the Chicago May.

Happy Mother's Day.

1 comment:

  1. I so love those pictures in front of the tree. Most colorful bokeh, ever. Looks like you had a wonderful time.
    "Chicago IT"


Comments invited, however anonymous commentors had better deal directly with the issues raised and avoid ad hominem drivel. As for Teachers' Union seminar writers -- forget about it.