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Got a call the other day from a faithful reader who pointed out that I made a mistake in last week's column when I wrote that Sycamore is downstate....
In fact, it is not downstate! It's upstate or whatever you call that part of the state out by DeKalb.
First thing I did when I got that call is go back and read the column to see if I made the mistake the caller said I made.
That's the first thing I generally do when a reader says I made a mistake. Not that I don't make mistakes — make them all the time. It's just that you'd be surprised how many readers make mistakes while accusing me of making a mistake.
Alas, there it was in black and white — downstate Sycamore....
The second thing I did was look around for someone else to blame. For awhile, I thought of blaming Mick Dumke. After all, he's on vacation. He'd never know.
But, nah, that would be wrong, as President Nixon once said. The mistake's all mine.
Fact is — I'm almost as bad at geography as I am at spelling. And I'm really bad at spelling. As Mick can tell you — since he's the guy who usually fixes my spelling mistakes.
When it comes to Illinois geography my perspective runs a little like this....
There's Chicago. There's the suburbs. Everything else is downstate, even if it's not.
I know — I gotta get out more.
For the record, I really don't have anything against the rest of the state.
Unlike, say, Indiana — dumb-ass Hoosiers.
Or Wisconsin — God, I'm sick of the Packers.
At least at the Reader I have people like Mick to correct my mistakes. At The Third City, my homegrown blog, I'm pretty much on my own since my partner's usually too drunk to bother with the spelling.
That's how I misquoted Mayor Rahm on that whole Tampon/Kotex thing. One more time — sorry about that, Mr. Mayor.
By the way, the reason I mentioned Sycamore is that it's where United Airlines set up an office so they could avoid paying Chicago-area taxes on gas they bought for their planes at O'Hare, as Kathy Bergen reported in the Tribune.
That would be the same United Airlines that took about $40 million in TIF money to set up operations here in Chicago.
So they claim a headquarters in Chicago, when it comes to taking our TIF money, and set up an office in Sycamore when it comes to avoiding our taxes.
Still waiting for Mayor E. to get tough on them like he is on the teachers.
Looks like it's going to be a long wait.
If there's a silver lining in making the Sycamore mistake it's that it gives me another excuse to write about Chicago's ongoing TIF scam. Not that I need a whole lot of excuses....