Okay, the title of this piece is a terrible pun but I couldn’t help myself. There’s just so much electricity in the air in Chicago regarding the upcoming NATO summit to be held this weekend. A lot of folks are on edge about the clear impending doom of the entire downtown area at the hands of hippie protestors. You know, mostly practicing non-violence. Those hippies.
The company I work for is making poor, panic stricken decisions regarding how my downtown office is to function on Monday. They’re so worried that they are activating the emergency contingency plan. You know the kind of plan in place for natural disasters, like tornadoes or earthquakes or war, and they are sending those of us that were foolish enough to volunteer, in case of emergency, out to different offices. Regardless of what happens on Monday, rain or blood rain, I am being forced to miss what could be my generations Democratic National Convention riots or Tiananmen Square. (Which I know it won’t be).
I’m fairly confident. At least 99% confident (heheheh) nothing will happen. There will certainly be a few minor arrests of certain rowdy elements, but I hardly think the City of Big Shoulders will be brought to its knees by the acts of a few hippies. I’m not expecting looting and pillaging on a Viking scale with churches being burned and gangs of axe wielding long hairs screaming through the streets and raping the cappuccino machines at Starbucks. I just don’t see that level of anarchy.
It makes me mad though. What if something happens and it gets into the history books and my grand kids ask me, “Hey Grandpa, where were you when the Chicago riots of 2012 took place?”
“Well, kids, I was in Deerfield for work and I missed everything. I wanted to be there and see it with my own eyes but, you know, I was still just a desk jockey and had no control over my own destiny”.
“Oh. Grandpa, that sucks. I’m going to ask Grandma. She was there right?”
“Yes, she was. She was leading a charge of PETA members through Grant Park. They captured the band shell and held that position for three months until all fur products were banned in the United States. Now, will one of you kids help grandpa with his wheelchair? Kids… kids…?”
So I’m annoyed with my company and I’ve never felt more like my freedom to choose where I want to be has been so severely limited. I was explicitly told that I did not have a choice and since I volunteered (in case of emergency) I must report to Deerfield for work on Monday, even if there is no emergency. Even if absolutely nothing happens and everybody just has an awesome picnic in the park, I will still miss it due to the panicky nature of my corporate higher-ups.
So I’ll miss this period in Chicago history due to work and nothing pisses a history lover like me off more than to have missed this moment. For work, stupid, stupid work.