True, embellished and fictional stories for your amusertainment

Posts tagged ‘Illinois’

Across State Lines

I grew up in North Dakota and every year I return to visit family. After being gone for so long, I appreciate the differences between ND and Illinois, my current home. For example, Illinois has the most beautiful trees,

A scenic Illinois road

whereas ND is sparsely forested.

Buford National Forest

It’s cold in ND with winter wind-chill temperatures often reaching more than 40 below zero.

In the summer, ND temps can reach 120 above. Illinois temperatures aren’t as extreme but the humidity is high, making hot summer days uncomfortable.

In my area, the suburbs run together so it’s nearly impossible to identify the boundaries from one town to the next. In North Dakota, each town has a unique identity because everything is miles apart. But the advantage? The traffic is usually light.

A common ND traffic pattern

People are unbelievably friendly in ND and many still leave their doors unlocked – something that would never happen in my neighborhood, even though it’s safe.

Illinoisians have local phrases like “Da Bulls” and “Yous Guys” and people from the south side of Chicago have a recognizable accent. North Dakotans also have a distinctive accent sprinkled with colorful colloquialisms.

After spending many years of my life in ND, I still say Uff da (a Norwegian term of exasperation) and it remains one of my favorite words. Our dogs, who are Italian, are now being exposed to Scandinavian culture with their new water dish.

I haven’t heard them say Wuff da yet, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.

May the farce be with you!

Your IFF,



I think my mom is trying to get me arrested. Last week we had an argument over the phone regarding my refusal to buy pot illegally.

It all started with a segment on the TV show The Doctors that focused on the benefits of pot for migraine sufferers. Mom told me about the episode and made me promise to talk to my doctor about it. When I spoke to him, he explained that since pot is illegal at the federal level, researchers are unable to conduct clinical trials, therefore, the evidence that pot helps migraines is anecdotal. However, does he think it could help? Yes, he does. The problem? Although medical marijuana is legal in Illinois, migraine headaches are not on the approved list so he’s unable to prescribe it.

When Mom heard this, she was outraged.

Mom: You mean there’s something your doctor could give you that might help your headaches and he won’t do it?!?

Pam: It’s not that he won’t do it, he can’t. Migraines don’t qualify as a pot-eligible medical condition. It would be illegal for him to prescribe it to me.

Mom: Well then go get it yourself. Forget about a prescription.

Pam: I can’t get it from a dispensary without a prescription and recreational marijuana is illegal in Illinois. If I bought it, I could get arrested.

Mom: Then go to Colorado and buy it. It’s legal there.

Pam: I could certainly buy pot in Colorado but I could get arrested as soon as I brought it into Illinois.

The conversation continued like this until Mom finally gave up. I think she ran out of ways to trick me into getting arrested.

Touché, Mom!

May the farce be with you!

Your IFF,



The Scorpion

I have a strained relationship with bugs – they like me but I don’t like them. If there’s a bug within 100 miles, it will find me. At times I feel there’s a conspiracy within the bug world to torture me. Let me give you an example.

Stephen and I were in Cancun, lying on the beach when a bee stung me. Stephen ran to the bar to get a shot of booze and while he was there he got one for me to use to extract the poison out of the wound. When the bartender heard what happened, he said “we don’t have bees in Cancun”. Yeah, right.

My latest debacle involves a scorpion. In fact, I’m sitting crossed legged (lotus position) in my desk chair to keep my feet off the floor because I’m afraid I’ll be stung. The other day, while working at my computer, I saw a creature with a long body whose rear end was curled up over its back. We (meaning Stephen) searched everywhere but was unable to find it. Wondering whether its inevitable, powerful sting would kill me, I Googled scorpions in Illinois. The species that live in Illinois are not deadly but are so rare they are hardly ever seen. Exactly like bees in Cancun.

To make matters worse, soon after the scorpion sighting, I found a wasp laying nearby on a rug trying its best to crawl over and sting me before it took its last dying breath. Although the wasp looked similar to the scorpion, I’m sure it’s simply a coincidence.

It’s been several days since my scorpion appeared, and frankly I’m tired of losing all feeling in my legs from keeping my feet off the floor. I don’t know how long scorpions live, but I’ll sit this way a few more days to be safe.

May the farce be with you!

Your IFF,


The thing in the corner looks like my scorpion


Animal Mafia

Chicago’s criminal ties are fascinating. Illinois has more than their fair share of imprisoned politicians, many of whom originate from Chicago.

Additionally, area history is rich with stories about organized crime.  Al Capone and John Dillinger both hail from Chicago – two well known names from a long list.

Regardless of which side of the law they’re on, Chicagoans have a certain way of taking care of business. If someone needs something done, locals inevitably “gotta guy”.

This flavor, this way of life, even extends to the animal kingdom.

One of my most memorable stories has become known as “The War Between The Crowvanos and Squirrelionis”.

Stephen and I were in our front yard watching a squirrel run across the cul-de-sac. Out of nowhere, a crow swooped down and grabbed him by the tail. As the crow tried to fly off, the furry little guy kicked and squirmed himself free.

Back on the ground, the squirrel cursed the black winged devil, begging for another altercation. The crow responded with two more attacks.

Between the bird’s own fatigue and the squirrel’s resistance, the crow dropped the bushy tailed beast sooner each time. Victorious, the squirrel finally watched the crow fly away empty clawed.

As witnesses to this violent exchange, we knew we were in for life. Seeing the actions the animals took against each other made us wary of what they might do to us.

We’ve treated our four legged and feathered friends like family every since, offering only the best quality food to fill our 60 lb. feeder.

No sweat though, we buy the seed at a good price ’cause we gotta guy.

May the farce be with you!

Your IFF,


Ninja Squirrel

Squirrelioni Ninja Warrior

Criminal Justice

I don’t condone a life of crime, but if you’re going to break the law, I suggest you follow a few simple rules.

Tip #1: Don’t leave your name and address at the scene of the crime

An Ohio woman dubbed the Cleaning Fairy was arrested for breaking into and cleaning a stranger’s home. Even though she didn’t take anything, she was charged with one count of felony burglary. You know how she got caught? She left a bill for services rendered with her name and address. If crime pays, it doesn’t matter because you’re going to be arrested.

Tip #2: Don’t leave your Facebook account open after committing robbery

A Columbian man robbed an Internet cafe after using a computer to log into Facebook. He left his account open making it easy for the police to find him. He probably talked about the robbery in his updates, too.

Tip #3: Don’t leave a trail back to your house

An Ohio man was charged with vandalism after Taco Bell forgot to give him a 99-cent taco. After going through the drive-thru a second time to complete his order, he drove into the restaurant. The police found him at home by following a trail of fluids leaking from his truck resulting from the crash. That taco must have been really tasty.

Tip #4: Don’t fall asleep on the job

An Idaho man was arrested when he was caught sleeping inside a vehicle he was planning to steal. He was attempting to remove the car’s stereo when he fell asleep. He must have been listening to Lite FM.

Tip #5: Don’t get stuck at the scene of the crime

An Illinois man was arrested for bank robbery after trying to escape through an air duct in an office next to the bank. He got stuck for several hours and had to be cut out. I’ve heard that belly fat is the worst, I guess he found that out first hand.

Tip #6: Don’t use a car with a vanity plate to commit your crime

A Pennsylvania woman was arrested after she struck a man and his son with her car and then fled the scene. A witness reported the car had a vanity license plate that read “Zombie” so the police were easily able to track her down. Shockingly, she was not undead supporting the CDC’s position that zombies don’t exist.

My last bit of advice – if you’re going to do something illegal (1) Don’t leave a trail that leads back to you and (2) Don’t stay at the scene. In other words, don’t be stupid.

If you’re a smart criminal your story won’t be in the news so help your challenged cohorts. Post a comment with your contact information, crime and what you did that was smart.

May the farce be with you!

Your IFF,


Stealing isn’t always illegal

Living With The Undead Is A No-Brainer

Special Halloween Post – Provided As A Public Service

Last week I sat down with world renowned ethologist, zoologist, anthropologist, psychologist, political activist and lobbyist, Dr. Cymone Koh. She claims to have lived with zombies for most of her adult life and is a self-proclaimed zombie-whisperer.

Following are excerpts from my interview with Dr. Koh.

Pam: Dr. Koh, thank you for joining me today.

Cy: Please call me Cy, Dr. Koh is so formal.

Pam: All right, thank you Cy. [To the audience] Today I’m joined by Dr. Cy Koh who is best described as the Jane Goodall of zombies. Cy, tell us about yourself.

Cy: I’ve lived with zombies for nearly 35 years – the best years of my life, I might add. I’m very passionate about their rights and have spent considerable time and resources lobbying on their behalf.

Pam: How did you become interested in them?

Cy: My mother was raised by zombies and that’s really the basis of my interest in them. They are kind of like family to me.

Pam: Wow, that’s quite a legacy. Tell me, what are some of the most interesting things you’ve learned?

Cy: Zombies are much more complex than they first appear. Most people don’t know that zombies can use tools – a skill that has been thought to be unique to the living. I’ve seen them gather brains and guts using a spatula and shovel. They also use language. Throughout the years I’ve discovered patterns associated with their grunts and moans, once thought to be random. As you would expect, they are not very emotional creatures but they do establish relationships with one another.

Pam: It’s amazing that you lived safely among them for so many years. Aren’t they dangerous?

Cy: If provoked, they certainly can be. However, I was never afraid because they thought that I was a zombie, too. Although they are pack animals, their hunting behavior is not coordinated. They don’t plan or strategize attacks. Remember, their brains are quite dead so their intelligence is limited.

Pam: For some reason zombies are more prevalent around Halloween and people are often more fearful than at other times of the year. What tips can you provide in the event of a zombie attack?

Cy: Surprisingly, information garnered by the media is fairly accurate when it comes to zombie aggression. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I’ve chosen to use this video to answer your question.

Video from Nightmare on Chicago Street, Elgin, Illinois

Pam: Dr. Cy Koh, thanks for a most informative interview. Our readers can rest easy knowing they are well prepared for an unlikely zombie attack.

Happy Halloween and may the farce be with you.

Your IFF and Psy-Ficologist,


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