Monday, August 12, 2019

Guest Post by Ken: Chance the Snapper. Not a Croc.

So, Chicago has a herpetological reputation, i.e. snakepit of corruption.

But this summer, for a week, Chicago's reptilian reputation was redeemed by an errant alligator.

Someone secretly released a five foot alligator into a city park lagoon.

Public reaction was at first, shock and disbelief. After a few days it morphed into amusement, then finally enthusiastic support as the critter evaded capture.

As the farce continued, quintessential Chicago behavior was put on display.

First authorities obtained a volunteer alligator catcher nicknamed Alligator Bob. (The guy didn't want his last name used for reasons which will soon become apparent.)

News pictures of Alligator Bob showed him endlessly paddling the lagoon in circles while peering into the watery depths with laser-like concentration. After six days this made Alligator Bob look like a befuddled buffoon.

The alligator was now gaining renown and became an underdog (or, I guess, undergator?) for his valiant efforts to remain free.

Remember, this is Chicago, the place that rooted for a guy named John Dillinger for eluding the cops, too.

An online metropolitan contest was conducted and the wily reptile was named "Chance the Snapper".

Even the governor submitted an entry.

Note the name resemblance to the homegrown rapper. He even got into the act via Twitter, lending his support to the little guy's escape attempts.

Then a week long circus commenced.

People, families with children, joggers, fishermen and even tourists came to the lagoon for a chance to see Chance. Food vendors did particularly well. Tee shirt and balloon vendors sold out while stuffed alligator toys were snapped up.

True to form, Chicago always is the "City on the make..."

The lagoon may even have outdrawn the local zoo, especially when Chance became a national news figure. Not as big as Trump but definitely more than Pelosi. (Meanwhile, Alligator Bob was still paddling in circles looking for... something.)

The Saturday night salsa party at the park's boathouse was particularly well attended but Chance didn't feel like busting a move.

I'm not sure if Alligator Bob attended. There were rumors that he went across the border to obtain fireworks in Indiana so he could come back and fish with dynamite.

After a week city officials realized that Alligator Bob had bitten off more than he could chew and did what Chicago pols always do: they brought in a ringer.

An alligator specialist from Florida, Crocodile Frank, was flown in.

Taking a chance at night he snagged Chance with a fishing rod.

Crocodile Frank became an instant hero and even threw out the first pitch at the next day's Cubs game.

And Chance? He won an all expenses paid trip to a 5-star alligator resort, I mean preserve, in Florida.

Crocodile Frank says Chance has it made in the shade for the rest of his life.

Chance happily acknowledged his good fortune by jauntily showing up to his press conference looking dapper in his red bow tie.

The above are just the facts. But those of us who been around Chicago awhile know the real inside story.

Chance might be an alligator but he's no dummy.

After getting stuck with hundreds of dollars in parking tickets and getting shafted by yet another horrendous property tax increase, Chance got fed up. He got into the lagoon, ran everybody around in circles, put on a helluva show... and got the hell out of Dodge by convincing the taxpayers to pay for an all-expenses-paid trip to Florida followed up with a lifetime pension.

Chance learned from the many Chicago politicians who preceded him.

Can't beat 'em... Join 'em.

That's not a crock.

See ya later.

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