My Dad: “We found a new place to park that’s much closer to the front of McCormick Place.”

Me: (groans)

My Dad: “It’s all street parking. No meters!”

Me: (groans)

My Dad: “Paying for parking is bullshit!”

Me: (groans)

My Dad: “It’s also much, much closer to the entrance! NO WALKING!”

Me: (groans)

My Dad: “The best part?”

Me: “…”

My Dad: “It’s in front of Cabrini Green.”

Me: “…”

Me: “The housing project? From Candyman? I almost got killed there once.”

My Dad: “I hope you’re ready to do some jogging!”

Me: “Uh.”

My Dad: “You know how I hate paying for parking, Rebecca!”

Me: “I didn’t bring a semi-automatic weapon, Dad.”

My Dad: “Well, you probably won’t get mugged. It’s day time!”

Me: “…”

Me: “I’ll buy parking today, huh? MY TREAT.”

My Dad: “It’s the PRINCIPLE, Rebecca.”

Me: “Well, how about this? I’ll drop you off in front of Cabrini Green and you can walk! That way, you feel like you got free parking!”

My Dad: “Well, if you’re paying…”

39 thoughts on “The Pink Fluffy Kitten Sweater Was, In Hindsight, A Bad, Bad Idea

    1. Well, I had an iPhone charger. That was pretty rad. Oh, and a Sharpee. I love Sharpees. It was blue. I think the color is important.

      But the automatic weapons, well, they were in my other pair of pants.

      1. The iPhone charger a must. The Sharpee I agree they are full of the awesome. And the color is very important, I think red would have worked in this situation red for blood and MURDER!

        Damn well next time be prepared always have those automatic weapons. They are a girls best friend. Aside from Sharpee’s of course.

  1. This totally sounds like something my dad would do. Not because he doesn’t want to pay for parking, but because he wants me to experience the kind of neighborhood he grew up in. Apparently it will make me appreciate my childhood more.

    Except, I can’t think about anything but how much it scares the shit out of me.

    Awesome work not getting killed, by the way.

  2. LOVE IT! Also, I’m pretty sure our dads were separated at birth.

    We took a family trip to NY once and my dad thought it would be lots of fun to take a little drive through scenic Harlem.

    Cue flashing neon sign:


    Once he realized we really WERE lost, he suggested I get out and ask someone for directions.

    “Um, Dad…have you SEEN the size of my ass? I’m not safe here. K, thanks.”


      My dad, I should add, looks like Chevy Chase. The scene in National Lampoon’s Vacation when he’s all, “LET’S GO THROUGH EAST SAINT LOUIS” is totally my dad.

      And that’s why this cracked me up.

      Maybe we’re related!

  3. wait a minute Aunt Becky, I thought they knocked most of Cabrini down and built up some yuppie row houses and over priced condos or something..

  4. Must be the generation. My dad won’t go into the city (Philly) for the same reason. Tho I suspect it’s more because Philly is “nothing but trash”. Clearly, he’s never been to the Italian market. So worth the $7 to park. And also? Not trash. More like best ingredients ever. Hello? Sarcone’s Bakery & Deli? DiBruno’s cheese and sauces? The chocolate place? Wait, what were we talking about? I’m hungry…

  5. Must be the generation. My dad won’t go into the city (Philly) for the same reason. Tho I suspect it’s more because Philly is “nothing but trash”. Clearly, he’s never been to the Italian market. So worth the $7 to park. And also? Not trash. More like best ingredients ever. Hello? Sarcone’s Bakery & Deli? DiBruno’s cheese and sauces? The chocolate place? Wait, what were we talking about? I’m hungry…

  6. My Dad…
    Hates to look up locations on the map…we were trying to find a tire shop on the east side of Portland OR,(we lived on the west side) so for TWO nights we drove around tring to find the damm place. I took a snack and a magazine the second night….crap.
    Also always starts looking for a parking place in the back of the parking lot..lots more choices!
    Hates to drive on the freeway, so we’ve gotten to “explore” lots of scarey neiborhoods.
    Doesn’t like to gas up the car till it’s truely empty, adding another level of anxiety to the mindless wandering.
    On a positive note, Dad’s excellent driving when it’s slick and snowy…yea Dad!

  7. Oh, I didn’t know we were sisters, Aunt Becky. My dad is the same way and I recall a hysterical story when I was around middle school age. The professional baseball park in our area used to be in a horribly sketchy area. My dad parked where it was free and told us to “walk quickly and don’t tell your mother where we parked.” Translation: Run like hell and be sure to tell mom when we got home.

    1. Yeah, this happens to me everytime I go to a game with my Dad. Fortunately he IS kidding. Yankee Stadium is NOT in a good neighborhood.

  8. that reminds me of when my best friend from chicago and i brought another friend of ours for her first trip to chicago, she wanted to stop at carbini green to see where candyman was filmed and also asked what all the people were waiting for in the middle of the highway (the L…)

  9. Scary story that will only make sense because you’re in St. Charles. (I’m from Wheaton).

    So in college we are going to go into the city for something or other and boyfriend has this friend along with us. This guy grew up in a cornfield, literally, so Naperville/Wheaton= big city.

    We are driving down Roosevelt and decide to stop at a taco bell, cuz we are in college and have neither money or taste. But the friend isn’t hungry, we tell him to wait in the car only he doesn’t want to. He comes inside with us and is all, “I can’t believe you were gonna leave me out there by myself, I probably would have been mugged or shot!”

    We started laughing, “Dude, this is Lombard.”

    He couldn’t tell the difference between a middle class suburb and Cabrini Green.

  10. You suburbanite! Cabrini Green is nowhere near McCormick Place! Not that there aren’t projects there, but I can’t remember which ones they are – Robert Taylor Homes are/were near Sox Park, but I’ve lost track of all the other housing projects. But there used to be street parking near McCormick Place, and it wasn’t that far of a walk. Only a mile or so, through the parking lots, hotel, annexes, and such…

    My dad was more prone to avoid the toll roads. Now, with the ignorant Ipass double toll penalty for people who don’t live in the area, I take the REALLY long way to my sister’s/mom’s. Let me tell you, Route 83 from I-55 to Des Plaines/Mt. Prospect is a long ass way.

    1. AB probably meant the Taylor Homes or Stateway Gardens. I think ‘Cabrini Green’ is often used interchangeably for ‘projects’ – Cabrini was the most notorious.

  11. When I was in college, I lived at home. I lived on the southside (in the city, my dad was a cop so we had to live in the city limits) and I drove, EVERY DAY, to DePaul (that’s how old I am, the Orange Line didn’t open until the end of my junior year of college). ANYwho, when I was like 20, I was driving home one afternoon and blew a tire on Lake Shore Drive – RIGHT before the entrance to I-55S. So, instead I got off on King Drive and pulled into the first parking lot I saw, a gas station on 24th & King. The guy working there gave me a “You’re a far way from Kansas, aren’t ya, Dorothy?”-kind of look. I showed him my car/tire, and I asked if I could page my Dad (he was a Sergeant at the time and carried a beeper, haha remember that shit?!) and this nice guy working there let me (this was before cell phones were commonplace).

    My dad called back, I told him what happened, he asked where I was, I told him. He asked “Do you see the McDonald’s across the street?” – I said yes – he said “Lock the car, go to McDonald’s, buy a coffee and sit there. You got me? You SIT THERE and you don’t leave, I’m sending someone to meet you.” I got my bag, locked my car, went to McDonald’s, ordered my coffee, sat there reading ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ (required reading for a Philosophy/Humanities credit I’d been avoiding).

    Next thing I knew, four uniformed officers were standing over me. “Karia, where’s your car?”, one of them asked. I was all “Spah! How did you know it was me?!!” – I mean it certainly couldn’t have been the blonde-haired sore thumb sticking out of the bulls-eye on my head.

    I was perfectly fine though, I mean, the guy at the gas station, the people in McDonald’s, they were all just people. If anything, I was FAR more uncomfortable actually READING ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ – I would have rather dug my McDonald’s coffee stir straw through my eyeball than have to read that book.

  12. Love it! My dad doesn’t venture too far from the ranch often, so I was never in any real danger of him getting us lost in ‘the big cities.’ Although he did get my sis and mom lost in Denver once. Dad used to live in Denver, just for a year right out of High School. He hasn’t been back since, but he wanted to show mom and sis where he used to live and work. Needless to say, Denver has changed a lot in the nearly 30 years it had been since he lived there in the early 70’s.

  13. Dear Lord, if this isn’t the same conversation I had with my husband a while back. Only he compared the price of parking to “getting raped by the system”. To which I replied “I will PAY to get raped!”

    He still quotes that back to me all the time and laughs.

  14. hahahahahaha…I remember when I was a early teenager (early 80’s gasp!) and my dad made us lock the doors of the station wagon cause we ere driving on Lower Wacker Drive…. silly dad

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *