Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Don't Diss The Chairs!!!

There is something I love about Chicago in the winter. Besides for the love I have for the incessant snow falls, plunges in temperature and black ice that one needs to learn to spot, before they can know to avoid it....... (yes I lie - I love none of that). But I do love the Chicago people.

Because Chicagoans -


If you are from Chicago, you may already have some semblance of what it is I refer to. But for those non-Chicagoans, let me explain.

When there is significant snow fall in Chicago, causing one to utilize all snow removing tools, such as:

shovel A) - cheaper plastic version with the ergonomic handle,



shovel B) - the metal shovel, that for some reason can not be made with an ergonomic handle, because shovel A cracked in half after seven minutes of use,


dust pan - because of it's resemblance to shovel B which has now lost it's long handle,

your three unsuspecting kids...

all to get your car out of a heap of snow, so you can actually live your mundane life, there will be chairs involved.

After the car has successfully made it out of the heap of snow, one will place the chairs across the now empty parking spot. Some choose to place a chair at either end of the parking spot and lay a broom across the chairs, or better yet, lay the broken handle from shovel B across the chairs.

Some use folding chairs, some use lawn chairs, and I kid you not, I saw a sofa once. Although that might have been out there for disposal.

I have seen official orange construction cones used, as well as huge buckets placed upside down. I once saw a child's slide in the street at the curb, also bright orange. These people are making a statement - don't take the spot and make excuses that you could not see the illuminating orange against the mountain of white snow.

I have seen many different constructions at curbside, and they all send the same message,

"I worked my damn ass off to get my car out of this spot, and don't think for a second you can park your car here. If you take this spot, I will show you where you can shove park your car."

But in all my years in Chicago, I have never seen or heard of someone who disrespected the chairs. It is just one of those things that seem to go without saying. Well....the chairs....and orange cones.... speak for themselves, I guess.

And I don't know what goes on in other snowy states, but I did live in NJ for a while, and believe you, me - you can build a fortress after you shovel out your car. But, if someone knows there is an empty, snowless parking spot under that fortress, they WILL burn it down so they can park their own car there.

And then they will flip you the bird and walk away.

Chicagoans, true Chicagoans who grew up here, know the winter routine. It comes, some years worse then others, we deal with it, we kvetch a little, we go about our lives, and we always, ALWAYS - respect the chairs.

If I have to be anywhere snowy this time of year, there is no other, snowy place I would rather be.

I love Chicago!!!

4 have shown Orah a little love:

Brie said...

I knew what this post would be about before I read it. Does that make a true chicagoan? I hope so. Even though I have not even seen snow in over 4 years,I do not shovel anything ever and I do not own a pair of gloves, I remember the chairs. I always respect the chairs!

Orah said...

Brie - you can take the girl out of Chicago, but you can't take Chicago out of the girl. You are still a true Chicagoan.

Shosh said...

So funny! i just posted about chairs too!~! I guess theres nothing else on our minds these days....

Yaffa/Yitz said...

One year (I think it was 2000), the mayor made an official announcement about respecting the chairs. Us five kids spent one Saturday night digging my parents' three cars out of the snow. The next day, or maybe a couple of days later, my Mom had me place the chairs in the spot vacated by her Suburban, and my neighbor had an absolute fit and threw the chairs at me. My Mom has since been wary of him, and we now call him "Psycho." In fact, just this week she told me that she saw "Psycho" cursing like a madman. Moral of the story: you have to be insane *not* to respect chairs in Chicago. And, I wear gloves all the time in Israel, to keep my hands soft.