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Most frequently requested kitchen color in the midwest, according to a recent survey by the National Kitchen & Bath Association: almond. Color nobody anywhere, ever, asks for in their kitchen: gray.

I'm sorry, Fishkin, but we've decided that you have a great future in some field other than sales. Evanston "intuitive training consultant" Ruth Berger's instructions on how to sort sales leads: "Place the leads face down on a table. Put one sales lead in the palm of your left hand and place your right hand over the paper. Close your eyes to shut out all visual distractions. Rub the fingers of your right hand lightly back and forth over the paper. Note any physical feelings in your right hand, such as hot, cold, tingling, good, bad. Imagine which pile the lead should be placed in: to your left--the hot leads. In the middle--the medium leads. On your right--the cold leads. Do not check for accuracy until you've completed all the leads." Uh-huh: and if you have some way to check for accuracy, just call the best ones up first and save some time.

"Judges should begin to view themselves more and more as independent and have small accoutrements that shield them from the political process," says Peter Manikas, executive director of the post-Greylord Solovy Commission, in the Trust Quarterly (Winter 1990). "Many judges don't have secretaries. They answer the phone themselves. In federal court, where someone screens the judge's calls, political figures often won't get through. Here, anybody can call to lobby in favor of a litigant." And presumably anybody, even a judge, can hang up.

"Rogers Park has always been very cosmopolitan," longtime resident Dolores Collins tells Chicago Enterprise's Valerie Denney (April 1990), "and I think my children were better for it. Relatives from outside of Chicago gaped when they saw someone of a different race--an Indian wearing a turban, for example. My kids hardly even noticed."

Our part. Names of three Chicago-area companies appear in the Consumer's Guide to Planet Earth, a listing of firms "which offer environmentally oriented products and services": E.L. Foust Co., Inc., of Evanston (high-efficiency air purifiers constructed without plastics); Porcher, Inc., of Chicago (toilets that use only 1.6 gallons of water per flush instead of the usual 5 to 7); and Green Earth Natural Foods of Evanston (organic foods).

"He's like some crazed Dada mercenary travelling the world waging some kind of cultural jihad." That's how Eugene Chadbourne is described in the Club Lower Links schedule. "The reigning king of homemade sonic H-bombs: stuff like the Rake (a truncated guitar with a garden rake bolted to the pickups).... In the trash heap of western culture, Chadbourne constructs imploding Gaudi castles of sound from the rusting hulks and mung of tin pan alley." Yes, but would my grandmother like him?

Not exactly the fondest good-bye present for Governor James Thompson is the Taxpayers' Federation of Illinois tome Illinois State Spending: The Thompson Years, 1978-88. According to TFI's Tax Facts (January 1990), the book "shows emerging patterns of Thompson's vision for the ship of state: steady levels of funding for education and human services; ambitious new initiatives launched without sufficient revenues to fund them and without proper government controls to operate them efficiently."

Let's speed the game up, put on a five-minute shot clock. A report from Dunham Park on the far northwest side (Parks Place, Spring 1990): "The Huff and Puff League, started by the Advisory Council at Dunham, is a group of men over 40 who meet once a week at the park to play a scaled down version of basketball. Instead of running head-long the length of the court to dunk the ball, they leisurely stroll down and shoot."

What accountants think is funny. This from a (true) April 1 release by the Illinois CPA Society on South Riverside Plaza: "A gambler who was granted a generous credit line by the casino lost over $3.4 million at a 'craps' table in Atlantic City. Since he was unable to pay the full amount, the casino settled for $500,000 and released him from the remaining debt. But then the IRS handed the hapless gambler some more bad news. The forgiveness of debt results in taxable income, so the gambler owed tax on the $2.9 million of 'income.'"

Hey, some sacrifices are just too painful to even consider. From Harper's "Index" (May 1990), "Average ratio of a CEO's salary to that of a blue-collar worker at major Japanese automobile manufacturers: 20:1. Average ratio at major U.S. automobile manufacturers: 192:1."

The new permanent Illinois tourism booth at McCormick Place, according to one responsible state official, "will promote [to visitors] what Illinois is best known for"--hold your breath--"variety." Whew.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Carl Kock.

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