Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
My wife and I like to go to yard sales. On a Saturday with nice weather in Chicago, there are lots of them. We find out about them from various sources, primarily Craigslist. We try to organize our travels so that we don’t backtrack and waste time and gas. We develop a list of the addresses and plot them on Google Maps.
Sometimes there is a mix up between the Craigslist ad and our list of addresses. One such mix up occurred recently. Somebody had placed an ad listing all kinds of Christmas decorations. It looked like our kind of sale. The only problem was that the address provided was in the middle of the Chicago River! That couldn’t be it, we thought, it must be a typo. We entered the same last three numbers of the address with a different first number. The Google Street View of that address was in the middle of an intersection. That couldn’t be it.
The only address combination of the original ad was on a leafy street in a nice but by no means fancy part of town. It was mid afternoon, a lot of the yard sale people were starting to fold up shop. We still had several we hoped to go to so we were in a little bit of a hurry, not too much, just a little.
I drove down the street just a little faster than I would normally. I saw an open parking spot just past the address in question. Just before I whipped into that spot, I happened to notice the license on the unmarked car behind us was for police cars.
We looked around for a yard sale. There was nothing going on. A lot of times, people intend to stage a sale and then decide not to, mainly because it’s a lot of work. We quickly realized it wasn’t happening. I put the car in gear and checked the rear view mirror. Both doors of the unmarked police car had opened and two burly women officers were adjusting their gun belts as they approached us.
By that point the car was already moving. So I just kept going. I was freaked out. I thought I had stumbled into a crime scene or something. I half expected them to jump back into their car and chase us down. Instead, they just got back into the police car and closed the doors.
As I breathed a sigh of relief, I wondered what the heck that was all about. Then I remembered that the mayor lived in that neighborhood. These cops were his bodyguards. My guess is they were going to tell us to get out of there and we were glad to spare them the trouble.
They sit there in front of the mayor’s house all day in the police car. They were probably happy for the chance to get out of the car and stretch their legs.
The ironic thing is that even if the mayor was having a yard sale, he probably wouldn’t be selling Christmas decorations, he’s Jewish.
UPDATE: It turns out we were a week early! The ad ran again the next week with directions to go to a garage in the alley. As you might expect, there was a police car behind the mayor’s house as well as the one in front.
This officer was as friendly as he could be. He waved to the garage sale shoppers as they made their way back to their cars with their new found Christmas decorations. We didn’t see the mayor but we did get a couple of cool ornaments.