BY ESTHER J. CEPEDA, Chicago Sun-Times
Do you remember that 1991 episode of “Saturday Night Live” when the perpetually silver-haired Steve Martin shared his holiday wish list?He started off, “If I had one wish that I could wish this holiday season, it would be that all the children of the world would join hands and sing together in the spirit of harmony and peace. If I had two wishes I could make this holiday season, the first would be for all the children of the world to join hands and sing in the spirit of harmony and peace. And the second would be for 30 million dollars a month to be given to me, tax-free in a Swiss bank account.”
He continued on in much the same way for five wishes which included supermodels, all-encompassing power over every living being in universe and revenge against all his enemies.
I have a few wishes of my own.
Let’s start with the obvious: my first holiday wish is to never again have to listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving Day. It’s bad enough that the local craft stores had Christmas decorations out during the dog days of summer, and Halloween candy was put out on shelves the day after school started. Give me some peace! (Once the Valentines appear on Jan. 2, I’ll make my way around to this complaint again.)
On that same holiday note, my second wish is that no more people melt the flesh off their own bones while trying to deep-fry turkeys. Last week, a Mount Prospect man was severely burned when he tripped over his turkey fryer and landed in the boiling oil. You know that hurt.Do us all a favor, Christmas culinarians and Super Bowl Sunday chefs, and watch William Shatner’s hilarious State Farm Insurance turkey-frying safety tips video on YouTube.
“I once loved this piece of metal, but our relationship ended suddenly,” Shatner laments about his discarded turkey fryer. “Blinded by my hunger, I ignored safety, spat in the name of science. I loved you — but you only brought me pain.” Follow Shatner’s advice.
My third holiday wish is for Cook County Commissioner William “The Hog with the Big Nuts” Beavers to have a “Trading Places” of out-of-body experience where he learns what it means to have a job that demands actual work clothes and a salary that prohibits pricey sartorial choices.
A few weeks ago Beavers ripped into Earl Dunlap, the head of Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, for looking like a slob all the time, calling him a “trailer tramp.” What a jerk. Sure, Dunlap could use a makeover, but Beavers needs to spend more time worrying about Cook County juveniles’ well being than about Dunlap’s clothes.
My fourth wish is for a shoehorn with which to dislodge Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis’ foot from her mouth. Between acting like a first-grader who hasn’t gotten her way in negotiations to extend the school day and getting caught on tape giving an impromptu stand-up routine where she admitted to toking marijuana in college and being annoyed by Arne Duncan’s speech impediment, Lewis needs to hit the reset button.
Others have called for her to step down, but given the wild range of acceptable craziness Chicagoans deem acceptable from their town leaders, she can probably recuperate from this mess. If Lewis can dedicate herself to negotiating for Chicago’s teachers while keeping the best interest of CPS students in mind, this shall soon be forgotten.
My fifth wish is that prosperity, happiness and joy be showered generously on all the good people of the Chicago metropolitan area this holiday season ... and, of course, for all the children of the world to join hands and sing in the spirit of harmony and peace.