Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Snapshot Of Life In "The City That Works"

Sometimes the letters we get make us laugh out loud:

Just wanted to let you in on a funny little thing that happened this morning at the Buttercup Playlot (Sheridan & Margate Terrace). I was walking the dog there this morning, and happened to glance over and saw a guy pooping in the bushes. Delightful thing to see when the playground is used by kids daily and the grass by all the rest of us.

So being a good citizen, I called 311 to get someone in to clean it up. They immediately transfered me to the emergency dispatchers, who took the report and promised to send police over to find the guy (an impossible task, given the fact that I only saw his, ahem, business end).

The conversation continued more or less like this:

Me: Thanks, and you'll be able to get someone to clean it up, yes?
911: Let me transfer you to 311 and they'll be able to help.
Me: Great! [on hold for a few minutes]

311: How can I help you?
Me: I saw a guy pooping in the bushes at N. Sheridan and Margate Terrace...
311: I'll transfer you to emergency dispatch.
Me: I just talked with them...[silence]

911: May I help you?
Me: I saw a guy pooping in the bushes...
911: Do you have a description?
Me: I just went over this with another dispatcher; I would only be able to identify him by his rear end. All I really want is for it to get cleaned up.
911: Okay, I'll transfer you over to 311, or you could call your alderman.

Round 3 looked more or less the same.

I gave up.


  1. Good citizen----I applaud your intentions but have a suggestion. If the incident is occurring while you are there, call 911. The guy was exposing himself in a children's playlot.

    I had a similar experience yesterday afternoon in an alley next to a liquor store. i called 911 with a description and the police responded and made the offender clean it up.

  2. My take: If the complainer is so grieviously offended he or she should--rather than become frustrated with the bureaucracy of the 311 system, or diffuse their frustration to make fun of said system--just pick the feces up in the manner they do for their pet, or remove it using some type of makeshift device, like a piece of cardboard.

    The real offender is the creep crapping in public, not the 311 system.

  3. Their both offensive to me, billyjoe. Although the fact that we PAY for the 311 system and get that kind of service makes them a bit higher on the offensive chain ... to me.

  4. I have to stop reading these boards while I'm drinking coffee. I'm getting tired of wiping the hot liquid from the screen after reading some peoples comments.

    just pick the feces up in the manner they do for their pet, or remove it using some type of makeshift device, like a piece of cardboard.

    lol, again I clean off my monitor. What, are we supposed to start wiping these peoples asses for them too? WOW just WOW!

  5. Seriously billyjoe, You mean to tell me that I should walk around the neighborhood cleaning up feces(both human and dog)? I'll pick up litter(or at least, clean litter), but I draw the line at feces.

  6. WindyCityEagle: I don't recall personally asking you to pick up anything, but it is interesting to see how completely strung out people get about feces other than the type produced by cats and dogs.

    Many young parents, children of the elderly, healthcare workers, doctors, nursing assistants, plumbers, and porta-pottie contractors have to deal with feces on a daily basis without getting too "wacked" over its presence. Remember the most famous scene in Caddyshack? That perfectly sums up the paranoia and loathing that a turd's presence means to many people.

  7. billyjoe,

    I've got two kids, and for quite a while, neither was potty trained, so I've been up to my arse in feces. That said, I don't think it should be asked to pick up people's feces. You didn't ask me specifically, but you generally asked that anyone seeing people crap in public should procure a plastic bag and cleanup the mess.

  8. That perfectly sums up the paranoia and loathing that a turd's presence means to many people.

    Hahahaah!! Sorry, but this comment made me laugh considering the source. So, BJ, how much poop are you scooping up in good ol' Evanston these days?

  9. As a health care worker that gets to repeatedly clean up after my patients (then at home after my dog) there is a huge difference in assisting someone who is unable versus someone that should know better. I'm sure people walked by that pile and blamed a dog owner...

  10. Driving home on Montrose, just east of Broadway....a woman (part of a homeless 'camp' in the parking lot near the wholesale grocer) had just pooped, and was having great trouble, pulling her pants up....

    On that note.....that parking lot seems to be a gathering place, or squatters (no pun) area.

    Yet another jewel in the Alderman's crown........

  11. Have no fear, Hope. BJ and his piece of cardboard are on the way to clean up that mess :)

  12. A city that fails...
    I too see many things going on in the area I live here in the uptown area. I have tried for a long time for the owner of dearborn foods by sheridan and montrose to do something about the group of people that hand around the corners of their lot day and night. They drink and do drugs and when you walk past almost hit you over the head asking for money. I called the police but they said they cannot do nothing as it is private property and call the owners of the property up and have them deal with it. I think if the police, alderwomen would do more of the job we pay their check for and throw these undesired people out of our area instead of trying to help them when they refuse the help and just make our area outside our homes so bad. I go to many areas of the city and see none as bad as it is here in uptown in reference to the homeless and gangs as good old uptown is.........