You would think that because my "ancestry," if you could call it that, includes four generations of Chicago cops I would have managed to hit up the South Side Irish Parade before this year, just because. It's a Chicago tradition. Technically it's a relatively new tradition based off of an old tradition that got snatched away from the Chicago Irish, who are the collective batshit murderers of plenty of frustrating things that make people angry, like Irish American pride, Catholicism, bad beer, and the White Sox.
I'm allowed to say these things, because half of my family is like that.
But no, that's a half lie... The cop part of my family is the Italian side. They speak with that Chicago Italian accent and everything they do focuses on the stereotypical masculine: food, sports, beer. Simple, really. They're all proud to be a "cop" family, even though Poppy was the last one, and he left the force in like, the early sixties, and now they're all businessmen and accountants. But before then, it was four generations of police officers and butchers, and chances are they were crooked.
The Irish part of my family is a group of over-educated liberals from Sauganash. The kind of people who collect secondary degrees like Bluebeard collects the heads of wives, who would rather play Master Mind than baseball. They just sit around acting smart all the time and talking about books and history and markets and I never understand, ever, but my sisters do, and I just sit there and get drunk and yell things at them that I know, just to prove that I'm not completely retarded.
"Blah blah consumption and distribution blahgitty blah blah," someone will say while drinking like, a high-end beer no one has heard of, or a glass of red wine. They probably know exactly how the grapes were culled, and whether or not "culled" is the correct word to describe whatever you do to grapes. Or, for the sake of uniformity and grammatical tense, whatever you did to grapes. No, that's not right...
I interrupt whatever they're saying. "The 1973 Academy Awards were crap. Tatum O'Neil should have been up for best actress. None of this supporting nonsense. How is it that the ugly woman that bangs Robert Redford in The Sting wasn't up for shit? She was awesome."
"What are you talking about?" one would say.
"You weren't even alive then," another would contribute.
It occurs to me that they're probably arguing about the Civil War or Ancient Greece or something, but I just keep going. "And isn't it weird that both Robert Redford and Paul Newman totally get with chicks that really aren't that hot? Eileen Brennan? Who the fuck is she? Miss Bannister, that's who."
"Who is Miss Bannister?"
"Pippi Longstocking's like...teacher...whatever. The old whore who runs the school they make her go to to learn math and then Pippi gets everyone ice cream. And then in The Sting she's an old whore...ohhhhh."
"You watch too many movies," whoever I'm talking to would shake his or her head, and turn back to the important conversation at hand about like, saving the economy or whatever.
"And she was totally on Blossom."
Originally, this was going to be a post about getting drunk at the parade yesterday. But, much like every single paper I wrote in college, I decided to make it about something else halfway through, and conclude nothing.