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Thursday, September 22, 2005

How to Become Chapter 1

I am not quite sure what this is about, but I got called in to make an emergency post on behalf of Ms. Lane. There is illness in the family; and there are a zillion projects in which she is involved -- rescuing animals, arranging fund-raisers for Katrina evacuees, getting a book written, trying to keep the upper hand with Lane 1 and Lane 2 (this is the hardest part).

Whatever it is about, as far as I am concerned Lois can do anything she wants. She walks on water. Once when I was emotionally distressed I turned to her for advice and she gave it freely, and I owe her. My name is Gene Maudlin, a.k.a. Old Horsetail Snake, and I am happy to have a chance to write Chapter 1 in Lois's new book. See, Lois's book is probably about Illinois, where she lives, and I know a lot about the state that is a.k.a. "Land of Lincoln."

For instance, did you know that in 1828 Abraham Lincoln took a boat trip to New Orleans, where he tried to get a job in a jug band? Did you know that on his second trip to New Orleans he heard people singing this?

"Waiting on the levee,
"Waiting for the Robert E. Lee."

Lincoln then began penning his Gettysburg Address, which was all about building on flood plains. (Oh, lighten up.)

You probably didn't know that the Blue Violet is the Official State Flower of Illinois. But you can pick all you want, for this is your defense: "There are 8 varieties of Blue Violet. This one is not official." Then you give the finger to the Flower Cops.

The Official State Industry of Illinois is Corruption. Cicero, Illinois, was named for Marcus Tillius Cicero, who complained mightily of: corruption. But in Illinois, things were so bad in Cicero that in the 1950's some do-gooders thought about changing the name of the city. The name of a famous former resident, Al Capone, came to mind, but nothing ever came of it.

Currently on trial is former Governor George Ryan, who is charged with racketeering, mail fraud and tax fraud. His defense, as I understand it, is that this is the American Illinois Way.

You probably know that the Lois Lane who runs this site is an ace reporter. If she wanted to she could have drawn this cartoon sometime back to illustrate one of her first scoops. So, she is pretty famous. In fact, in you do a Google Image Search you will find over 5,000 references to Lois Lane. One of them is a picture of Whoopi Goldberg. Whoopee.

For my dough, Lois Lane is the best thing Illinois has got going for it. And I know a lot about Illinois.