Randolph Street: Out Takes 61

November 15th, 2019

1Bluff Tap-East DubuqueSEast Dubuque, Illinois




3ShoeshineSNew Orleans, Louisiana


4Two LadiesSIowa




All photos © Jon Randolph






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Letter From Milo: Troubling Mistress

November 13th, 2019

It must be contagious. Mistresses all over the world are coming out of the woodwork and revealing their affairs with famous married men. You can’t open a magazine or newspaper, get on the internet, or watch a TV talk show without reading or hearing about yet another woman claiming to have frolicked with a well-known, wealthy and very wedded man.

The reason that all of these mistresses are coming forward is, of course, the almighty greasy dollar. Magazines and TV shows routinely write huge checks to any woman willing to dish the dirt on a married celebrity. For many mistresses of the rich and famous, this has become something of a retirement plan, sort of a mistress IRA.

Tiger Woods and Sandra Bullock’s husband, Jesse James, are two of the most recent victims to be pilloried in the pages of People, US Weekly, Star and other check-out line publications. It breaks my heart to see fine young men like Tiger and Jesse having their good names and stellar reputations being dragged through the mud. And for what? All they were doing was what any other red-blooded American male would do, given the opportunity. After all, cheating on your wife is as American as apple pie (apologies to H. Rap Brown).

Poor Tiger even had to undergo the time-honored charade of calling a press conference and blatantly lying to the world about how sorry he was for nailing all that fine pussy.

Any real man will tell you that the only regret Tiger has is that he didn’t nail more women before he got busted.

Sadly, mistress trouble isn’t restricted to movie stars and athletes. Even famous and wealthy bloggers, like those of us at The Third City, can be led astray.

In our case, the feces has, indeed, gotten into the duct work. According to Leopold & Loeb, our attorneys here at The Third City, several of my mistresses have decided to rat me out. Apparently they can’t resist the fat checks that the Chicago Reader, the Ravenswood Homeowners’ Association Newsletter, the Wicker Park Shopper & Coupon Book and WXRT are offering.

This news couldn’t have come at a worse time. My wife and I are at a delicate stage in our marriage. The other day I caught her Googling Family Therapists. I have a hunch she’s going to drag my ass off to marriage counseling again. Feeling just a touch of a panic, I called Big Mike, the Barn Boss of this scabby, flatulent and barely literate blogging crew and asked his advice.

“Hey, Big Mike, it’s me, Milo.”

“Make it quick, asshole, I’ve got a blog to run.”

When I explained the problem to the Barn Boss, he sighed deeply and said, “Shit, Milo. I’ve got the same problem, my girlfriend, Coco LeFarge, is threatening to go to the media unless I buy her a new Mercedes.”

“That sucks. What are you going to do?”

“I don’t know. Maybe she’ll settle for a new Chevrolet.”

“That should do it.”

Benny Jay’s girlfriend is giving him a bad time, too.”

“That’s a shame.”

“She claims Benny’s spending way too much time and money on his other girlfriend. If Benny’s wife finds out she’ll kill him.”

“Yeah, Benny’s wife has got a mean streak. But what am I supposed to do about my three mistresses?”

“Well, we’ve got to have a plan to deal with all these ungrateful women. You and Benny come down to The Third City corporate office on Michigan Avenue tomorrow morning and we’ll…”

HOLD IT! This is Mrs. Milo. I just noticed what Milo was writing and threatened to mace him if he didn’t get away from the computer immediately. He is SOOOO full of crap. Here he is, looking and smelling like a sick dog, sitting around in a ratty bathrobe, hasn’t shaved or showered in a few days, plus, he’s still half drunk from all the wine he drank last night, and he’s bragging about what a ladies’ man he is. Three mistresses! I’d laugh if it wasn’t so pathetic. Listen, any women that wants his worthless old ass can have him. I should have dumped him a long time ago. I’d trade him in for a new washer and dryer right now.

Those two idiots that Milo associates with, Big Mike and Benny Jay, are almost as bad as he is. I doubt if there are three uglier or less appealing men in the City of Chicago. They’re just three over-the-hill burnouts with nothing better to do than write those stupid blogs. They’re lucky if they get six or seven people to read their nonsense. The corporate office they talk about is actually the Sanka House, the low-rent coffee shop on the corner. Swear to God, if either of them so much as approached a woman, the poor thing would probably call 911. Jeez, what a bunch of losers.


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Randolph Street: Stand By

November 8th, 2019

1img20191108_14024503Grand Avenue–Chicago


2img20191108_13571880Bus Stop–Chicago


3img20191108_13370976State Fair–Springfield


All photos © Jon Randolph


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Letter From Milo: Auto Theft

November 6th, 2019

I haven’t stolen any cars in the last few years, but I’m planning to steal one this weekend. This is going to be a tricky theft, one that’s going to take cunning, nerve and brass balls. The car in question is a rare vehicle, prized for its symbolism as much as its transportation value.

To do this job right I’m going to need a partner, someone ruthless, meaner than a snake and without a shred of conscience. I need someone who is heavily armed and willing to resort to violence, someone who won’t faint at the sight of blood. I want some serious muscle on my side in case things get ugly. My partner has to be cruel, nasty, devious and cunning. Fortunately, I found the perfect accomplice, a savage cutthroat with a long and brutal criminal history.

It’s my sister.

And the car we’re going to steal belongs to my 85-year-old mother.

Now, technically, we’re not actually going to steal my mother’s car. What we are doing is taking the car away for her own good. At least that’s what my sister tells me.

“She’s a menace. Her mind is slipping. Her doctor told me she shouldn’t be driving. And that was a year ago.”

“I don’t know. She loves that car.”

“I’m telling you, she’s dangerous. What if she gets in an accident and kills herself?”

“At least she’ll die in the saddle.”

“Even worse, what if she runs over some kid playing in the street?”

“Teach the little fucker a lesson about playing in streets. He’d be better off hanging out in a pool room like a regular kid.”

“Sometimes you sound like an idiot. Are you drunk?”

“Ah, not yet.”

I’m well aware that my mother’s mind is slipping – and it’s breaking my heart.

She used to be as sharp as Joseph Stiglitz, but time has eroded her keen faculties. Now she’s inching toward the Shemp Howard end of the gray matter scale (no offense, Mom). As much as I hate to say it, sometimes having a telephone conversation with the dear old lady can be a chore.

“Is your furnace okay?


“Your furnace. You know it’s very cold outside.”

“The furnace is fine, Mom.”

A few minutes later…

“Is your furnace okay? Maybe you should have it checked.”

“Mom, you already asked me about the furnace.”

“I did? Is it working okay?”

“Works real good, Mom.”

“That’s a relief.”

Another few minutes later…

“Have you had your furnace checked recently? It’s very cold outside.”

Ever since the Old Man packed his bags and checked into Graceland, more than 20 years ago, my mother has relished her independence. She lives in a small apartment about a quarter mile from my sister in Munster, Indiana. Although my sister regularly asks my mother to move in with her, Mom always refuses. She loves her little apartment. She likes the freedom to do whatever she wants and not have to answer to anyone. She says she enjoys the peace and quiet (the Old Man had an aggravating fondness for the Old Rip ‘n Roar). Mostly, though, she likes to get in her car and drive. “As long as I can drive,” she says, “I can take care of myself.”

The car is more than a means of transportation to her. It is a symbol that allows her to believe she is still a strong and vital woman, someone who lives her life according to her own rules. The sad truth is that she can no longer maintain that fiction. She is now a little old lady who needs help.

The next thing to consider, of course, is her housing situation. Soon she’ll have to give up her apartment and move into some sort of housing for the elderly. My sister has already been researching Assisted Living facilities. She found one not too far from her home and has begun negotiations.

My mother will, no doubt, put up a fight about giving up her apartment. She may not be as sharp as she once was, but she’s as feisty as ever. My sister and I will have to plan this next step in Mom’s life very carefully. This could very well be trickier than stealing her car. I just hope I don’t have to blackjack her, toss her in the trunk of my car and drive her to her new home in the middle of the night.

Ah, fuck it, might as well add kidnapping to my long list of felonies.

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Randolph Street: Weather

November 1st, 2019

1DSCF6554Lincoln Park–Chicago


2DSCF6546Lincoln Park–Chicago


3DSCF1530El Stop–Chicago


All photos © Jon Randolph




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Benny Jay: Not To Be Quoted

October 30th, 2019

I’m talking to a friend of a friend, who works for the state, about public education, when she says….

“Don’t quote me.”

I’m like — are you for real?

I point out to her that we’re in a noisy bar and it’s after midnight. We’re drinking a beer. I have no pencil, pen or paper anywhere near me. I’m not secretly taping our conversation. I can barely remember her name, much less what she’s saying.

“I couldn’t quote you, even if I wanted to — and I don’t want to!”

Then she says something like — well, you are a reporter.

You know, like reporters feel an irresistible urge to quote every Tom, Dick or Harry they meet.

Like if you’re having a beer with a surgeon. At some point he or she’ll just have an irresistible urge to take out your appendix.

She explains that years ago she had a bad experience when some reporter misquoted her.

Now it’s getting worse. Not only does she suspect I’ll quote her without her permission. But I’ll misquote her in the process.

Actually, in my dozens of years of quoting people, I’ve discovered that the biggest problem is not when you misquote them as when you accurately quote them. In short, when they say something incredibly stupid or powerfully truthful that it comes back to bite them in the ass.

Then they claim — “You misquoted me!”

Or, like Mayor Richard J. Daley’s press secretary once said: “Write what the mayor means, not what he says.”

Or something like that. I’m probably misquoting him.

Some people are so worried about being quoted that they refuse to say anything unless it’s off the record. My dear friend, Thor, even has off-the-record conversations with his wife.

Sample exchange….

Mrs. Thor: How was your day, dear?

Thor: Ah, it was okay. But that’s on background only.

In some cases, I can understand why people don’t want to be quoted. Especially teachers in Chicago, who are afraid that they’ll get summarily fired if they say something that offends the boss.

Not only that, but they worry that in the age of the cyberspace, their quotes will live forever. Thus hampering their chances to get future jobs.

In which case, I’m totally screwed just from all the stupid shit I’ve written on this blog.

It’s even worse for Milo, who will forever have the title “pussy magnet” linked to his name thanks to a post he wrote on that topic. Though it might come in handy, if he wants a second career as a gigolo.

But don’t tell Milo I said that. It’s strictly off the record.

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Randolph Street: Once Upon A Time In Chicago

October 25th, 2019


Progressive Caucus–Chicago

These seven Chicago alderman held a Community Town Hall City Budget hearing Wednesday night. Mayor Emanuel eliminated formal public budget hearings two years ago. The aldermen(from right): Rick Munoz, John Arena, Roderick Sawyer, Bob Fioretti, Scott Waguespack, Toni Foulkes and Nicholas Sposato.



Public Testimony



United Electrical Workers Hall



Alderman Rick Munoz



Aldermen (L) Toni Foulkes, Scott Waguespack and Bob Fioretti



Public Hearing


All photos © Jon Randolph 2013






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