Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Heroes and Misspellings

Tim Placher was back in action in yesterday's Herald News with a response to reader comments about his previous column regarding Joliet's fine dining establishments. In his response, Mr. Placher touched on an issue that has mystified me for years, regarding Heroes and Legends: "Then, I don't suppose you're going to mention her establishment has the word 'Heros' spelled wrong on one of its Jefferson Street business signs." I've always wondered about this issue; are the owners of H & L hip to an alternate spelling that I'm just not aware of? Could they not afford the extra "e", similar to Samy's budget constraints on purchasing of "M's"? Do they fear continuity? I checked the Heroes website, and Heroes is spelled correctly throughout its content, so what's the deal? Feel free to send me your most creative answers, and I will post them on the website; the winner will win. . .something. However, this is not the only spelling problem H&L has; eagle eyed reader Melanie of Joliet spotted an announcement on their marquee about the upcoming performance of "Bra Pack."

In other news, I taped the model show with the Joliet girl while I was out to dinner with Joe and Angie at Red Lobster, and she didn't get kicked off yet. Go J-town! Speaking of Red Lobster, we had a rather wacky waitress: first she asked us if we wanted any virgin daiquiris (I know we look young, but come on! I was tempted to ask her for a "Whore Daiquiri"), later gave me moist towelettes for my "little fingers," and, my personal favorite, informed us that "Chef" had prepared a special salmon dish that evening. I'm sorry, but "Chef"? We're at Red Lobster, not exactly a place for creative culinary masterpieces. I half expected Chef from South Park to emerge from the kitchen singing, "I'm gonna make love to you Cheddar Bay biscuits. . ."

I've received a lot of positive responses to my first guest entry, and the next author could be you! If you have a particularly entertaining encounter with Whiskey Tango, drop me an email or comment on the website and we'll make some arrangements.

Monday, June 02, 2003

'Nado Season - a "Hot Topic" guest entry by Kelly

While some of us may have had more mundane times during Friday's "Gustnadoes," reader Kelly of Plainfield had an adventure in the most dreaded of places: the Louis Joliet Mall. Already a "Tornado Alley" due to the rare breeds of Whiskey Tango frequenting such hot spots as Shamrock Furniture, The Tinder Box, and the scary vitamin store, one can only imagine the horror of being trapped in our Gapless mall during a real twister. Here's Kelly's firsthand account.

Friday night was supposed to be an innocent night involving a quick dinner at TGI Fridays followed by a bit of shopping. Little did I know, the first store I entered would be the last. Eric suggested checking out Hot Topic since he was dressed in a Billabong shirt and not prepped out like usual. I agreed it was a good idea, and prepared myself to browse through skulls, piercings, and yes- the creepy dolls. After a quick glance at the clearance section did nothing to amuse either of us, we were about to exit the premises, when......

Mall Security came running down the main corridor armed with megaphones yelling, "GET TO THE BACK OF THE STORES- GET TO THE BACK OF THE STORES- DO NOT LEAVE THE STORES."

Eric and I glanced at each other, warily eyed the punk-ass kids who were also in the store, and slowly trudged to the back. E rolled his eyes and said under his breath to me, "Is it too late to switch to the book store?" I snicked and pondered it for a minute, then suggested maybe we could just perish and forget it all. I stretched out my arms, looked up at the sky and called out to Yahweh - "Take me, I'm yours."

Meanwhile, I eyed the others whose fate would soon be known. A bunch of punk-ass kids who wish they were as cool as me.... they were full of comments and full of annoyance and we began to wish the 'nado would just hit so it would all be over.

One guy who seemed to be the leader of the group had longish blond hair and braces with a dopey grin on his face. I asked Eric if he also wish his lips would get caught on his braces. Braces Boy was full of comments including:

"Dude, these dolls will look sweet flying around when the 'nado hits."
"Hey, I've got a great idea, let's all get free shit!"

After I made several nasty comments, including a recommendation they they all walk outside and check the weather for me, I sighed and decided I better make the most of the situation. I picked up a vampire book, got comfortable on the floor and said, "Well, I might as well catch up on some reading."

There was also an LIC (large and in charge) girl who took advantage of the situation and was continuing to shop. She was quite annoyed with Eric for standing in front of the doll she was trying to look at.

While I read about the different types of blood and what is tasty about each, some of the younger punks realized that it really was a serious situation and started whining, "I don't waannnnaaa diiiieeeee."

I said to Eric, "It's gonna be a long night if this 'nado takes its time."

The employees decided to bond with me and E, even though we didn't have facial piercings. I pondered showing the navel, but didn't want to turn on the youngins, who were in the dressing room and had already said in reference to the dressing room, "Dude, let's all go in the make-out room."

All of the sudden I had to piss incredibly badly, so an employee let me into the back and put Eric in charge while she was gone. While I was gone, one kid asked, "How old are you man?" Eric answered and the kid said, "Dude, so you won't mind dying."

One kid also asked if I had a nice car. "Very nice," I said through gritted teeth. "Well, it's gonna get trashed in the 'nado," he said. I just rolled my eyes.

I cannot think of the rest right now, but must say I was quite relieved to get the "All Clear" message from the ever-powerful mall security. Needless to say, we didn't get much shopping in that night.

Sunday, June 01, 2003

Jammer Takes a "Wrong Turn"

Well, it's been an exciting week for the Joliet Jackhammers. At Tuesday's game, there was an unfortunate incident involving the third baseman of the Kansas City T-Bones and the Jammermobile, the "orange Volkswagen Beetle carrying the ever-popular mascot Jammer": the Jammermobile ran into baseman Jeff Brooks. My favorite quote from the article: "Brooks reportedly ran out of the dugout with his head down and did not see the slow-moving Beetle bearing down on him." Rest assured, Mr. Brooks was treated and released. No word on when the Jammermobile will return to the Silver Cross Field.

In other Jackhammer news, Melanie and Justin saw some exotic sights at Wednesday's game. First a hot dog loving elderly man fresh from a trip to the men's room was having trouble with the onion dispenser and decided to (literally) take matters into his own hands, opening the dispenser from the top and digging in. Luckily, Justin lectured "Handy Andy" before he could use any other condiments as finger food. The Smurfs have arrived in Joliet: the "Blue Jammer" slurpee appears to be quite the taste temptation for Jammers fans, as many gamegoers were spotted with blue faces, including a particularly winded preteen who appeared to have enjoyed several of the slushy sensations and was recovering by reclining on the stairs near the gift shop.

Thursday night Melanie, Courtney and I enjoyed a meal at Louie's Chop House, a restaurant that merited one of the highest compliments possible: "This doesn't even seem like Joliet." Actually, it's in Shorewood, but you get the point. We stopped in at the martini bar post-dinner for a performance by Frank Sinatra impersonator Peter Oprisko. Peter was quite the star, and as we sat front and center, he serenaded us (I was laughing so hard, he said to the crowd, "She thinks I'm hilarious!") However, the saxophonist and pianist who played with them didn't seem so entertained with Peter: they kept exchanging glances with each other and looked like they might have been trying to control some anger management issues. Unfortunately, we left before we could figure out what the deal was.

After a night at Louie's, we'd had enough class for one night and headed over to Heroes. Nothing too crazy happened, except for a beanbag player who seemed to be posing for a photo shoot while tossing, and an encounter with a group of guys who invited us over to hang out in their jacuzzi, Andrew Firestone style. The jacuzzi owner sported an ever so promising Girls Gone Wild Crew tee. When I asked the ringleader his name, he said, "I'm Dallas." I responded, "Hi, I'm Austin," which seemed to entertain him. Melanie's response of "I'm El Paso" was also highly amusing. In other Heroes news: our favorite flashlight shining, booty loving bouncer was apparently given the axe; the reason is a mystery, but we missed his antics on the dancefloor.

Friday night, following the "gustnado," Courtney, Megan and I went to see "Wrong Turn" at Movies Diez. If you enjoy movies involving inbred, backwoods, deformed , cannibal hillbillies (no, it's not set in Yellow Hammerville) chasing teens through the woods, this is the movie for you. If you do check out this film, be sure to note that one of the creatures ominously mutters "Jiggle it!" just a little bit while pursuing his prey. The rest of my weekend was spent in Chi-town for a wedding shower and a somewhat entertaining evening at Vision, a nightclub that I don't recommend visiting but if you do, check out the VIP rooms at adjoining club Excalibur (which unfortunately featured Cowgirl Go Go Dancers with more rolls than Panera Bread), as VIP apparently means anyone who can pull open a curtain.

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