Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ah, I see. No wait, I don't.

Posted something earlier about Chris Kennedy running for Roland Burris' about-to-be vacant US Senate seat. He'd launched an exploratory committee, and told the papers he was launching an exploratory committee. The old trial balloon.

Last week, Kennedy announced he won't be running for the Senate, nor the Governor's office. I found that odd, and oddly timed.

Today, Gov. Pat Quinn announced that he is appointing Chris Kennedy to the University of Illinois board of trustees. A few weeks ago, Quinn said the entire board should resign after it was discovered that Illinois politicians and power-brokers were using their connections on the U of I board to gain admittance for less than stellar but powerfully connected high school seniors.

Of the 9 trustees currently on the board, 7 have offered to resign. The two holdouts will be leaving, I assure you.

And the University of Illinois has Chris Kennedy on the Board of Trustees. Nice guy and all, but Chris comes from a background where connections carry clout, and name recognition opens doors. Wonder what the hell Quinn is up to. Guarantee you he's up to something.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Patrick "Two Dimes" Kane

There's stupid, and then there's stupid.

Imagine for a second that you're Patrick Kane, 20 year old right winger for the Chicago Blackhawks. You were named the NHL Rookie of The Year in June of 2008 (for the 2007-08 season.) You helped lead the Hawks to the conference finals this past season before losing out to the Detroit Red Wings.

Things are looking up, right? Got the world by the ass, with a cheek in both hands.

So, after the season you decide to head back to Buffalo,NY your hometown. On a nice August night, you decide to go out for a few cocktails with your 21 year old cousin James Kane.

(I'm assuming that 's what you were doing, even though you're not 21.)

At around 4 AM you grab a cab (first mistake, always take a limo) and tell your driver to take you over to Chippewa Street, an area of Buffalo known for its nightlife. Upon arrival, the cabbie informs you that the fare is $13.80 . You and your cousin chip in and give the guy $15.

Do you tell him to keep the change? I mean, you're a hotshot NHL star, and a local celebrity to boot (in both Chicago and Buffalo I'm sure.)

No.You tell the driver you want $1.20 change.

Despite the fact that you're an American, you did spend some time in '07 playing for the London Knights in the Ontario Hockey League before being brought up by the Hawks, and it was there no doubt that you learned the Canadian custom about tipping. It can be the only explanation.

Scottie Pippen learned the hard way here that gratuities are a staple for people in the service businesses. After screeching about the automatic 15% tip added to dinner parties of 15 or more, Pippen made headlines and became forever known as Scottie "No Tippin'" Pippen. He'll never live that down in Chicago, and word has it he's afraid to come back here after being booed during a Bulls game halftime show celebrating the life of Johnny "Red" Kerr.

So there's no way you, Patrick Kane learned the art of squeezing a nickel to try to get two dimes in this town, it must have been during your brief stay in Ontario. Limo drivers have a saying: What's the difference between a Canuck and a canoe? A canoe occasionally will tip.

Anyway, so you're Patrick Kane, and you want your $1.20 change.

The cabbie tells you he doesn't have two dimes.Oh well, no biggie right?


That's when you flip out and start beating the hell out of the cabbie. You grab him by the throat, you rough him up, and together with your cousin James you take back the money the you gave the cabbie.

Even though you signed an entry level NHL rookie contract for a mere $875,000 per for three years, you had incentives in there (including big bucks for winning the Calder Trophy) that could earn you something closer to $3.5 million a season.

But you want your $1.20 back so badly, that you beat up a cabbie and take his money.

Now it's 5AM in Buffalo, and the cops pick up you and your cousin James. You are booked and charged with second-degree robbery, a Class C felony, as well as fourth-degree criminal mischief and theft of services, both Class A misdemeanors, and you are taken to the Erie County Holding Center.

You begin to worry about returning to Chicago ever again, because you know what awaits you there. You consider a change of careers. You consider retiring at age 20.

As you look at your cousin James across the holding pen, it suddenly occurs to you that you, Patrick Kane, are a very very stupid young man.

Just goes to show you, you should always tip the help.