Sunday, May 25, 2008

Pole Position

Dude...who stole my car?

I was tooling along, nice and leisurely-like, headed home from my last afternoon appointment in Humboldt Park today when Flash, Zoom, Swoosh...a late 90's model, red, heavy Chevy full of baseball capped smirking passengers passed me on the right almost clipping the right front quarter panel of my Mini Cooper as they suddenly cut left and overtook my second row position heading west on North Avenue toward the finish line...I mean sunset. I always wondered where they got baseball hats with the bill off to the side like that and not in the front like regular baseball caps but with all due respect, that's their own business. Same with their collective Driver's Education certificates but I'm not going there either. (The driver did not have his hands in the proper 10 o'clock/2 o'clock postition nor was anyone buckled up for safety and the music pounding the tinted window glass was a little deafening but that's all I'm going to say about that. No further judgement.)

"Relax Geno," I tell myself. "Don't make eye contact. Don't beep the horn. And don't make a scene (who me?) Mind your own business ..." (Which happens to be real estate and not stock car racing, by the way. Chicago real estate to be precise. North Side Chicago real estate in case you didn't already know.) Anyway, I was featured at once this month already and you know what they say about over-exposure (LOL)... so enough about me. More about the carful of nice gentlemen that almost put my Cooper into the wall on North Avenue.

I had just cancelled my Open House due to...I don't know...Memorial Day Weekend, lack of Buyer interest, hunger... and was only a couple dozen Chicago city blocks away from my own backyard hammock and a grilled steak the size of a first baseman's mitt. Ironically, I suffered a mild form of food poisoning earlier in the week by ingesting a similar slab of steer in Phoenix, Arizona, but you know me--my memory's about as long as my...(at least that's what one Little League coach use to say to me all the time when I forgot the secret base stealing signs. "Petro, your memory is about as..." In defense of myself on all levels in that regard, he had very poor eyesight and I was only 10.) Anyway, I was on my way home.

Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma Chameleon...

With my guardian angel as my witness, four blocks later I'm parked on the side of North Avenue snapping shots (pictured above) with my iPhone. I walk up to the steaming vehicle and look inside expecting side billed baseball caps scattered everywhere. But nothing. Nada. The driver's airbag had detonated and someone's head cracked the windshield on the passenger side (ahh...too bad), but there was not a soul in sight. Bodies either. The red Chevy was empty; crunched, face first into a light pole at the corner of Mozart and North Avenues, with nary a smirk to be found. There were no people gathering around, either. No spectators. No Chicago City Police. No one cared. It was Sunday afternoon as usual in Humboldt and there were cookouts to attend and family and friends to connect with. Nobody cares about no stinkin' Chevy on no stinkin' sidewalk...

I looked at the car a little more closely. I estimated the vehicle (pre-crash) to be worth a couple grand, three tops. The wheels by themselves probably cost then again that much. I couldn't help but wonder why they didn't just spend the money on the actual brakes instead...or a Safe Driving course, or hats that didn't impair their vision. But like I already said, I wasn't even going there. I was going home to Forest Glen to grill myself a steak about the size of Derrek Lee's baseball glove and connect with my own family and friends who wear their hats like civilized people...with the bills in the back.

Geno Petro

photo by me...with a smirk.

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