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Natarus: Uh, I'm Standing Right Here, Guys

By Alicia Dorr in Miscellaneous on Jun 7, 2007 6:01PM

Seriously, guys, Burton Natarus is not on Chicago's City Council anymore, but it's not like he's dead. Eugene Schulter and Walter Burnett must have banked on his promise to spend the summer kayaking, however, because it didn't take them a hot minute to go after one of the cornerstones of his legacy: dogs, their shit and people who eat around it.

frankieontable.jpgSchulter re-introduced a stalled ordinance ("Seriously, guys, I haven't even walked out of the DOOR yet") that would allow dog owners to bring their pets along with they eat outside. The new version stipulates that dogs not go inside the restaurant, and that it is kept on a leash and under control at all times. Fran Spielman quoted Schulter as saying, "There's no evidence that there is any problem [with dogs eating outside] at all."

Actually, since we're not in the Middle Ages, there is a problem with it, director of food protection for the Chicago Department of Health Frances Guichard testified yesterday. And lightning must have struck in the nether regions of hell just before it froze over, too, because she said, a whole lot more articulately and with facts and figures backing her, some of what Natarus said. Here are a couple of examples:

Natarus: "It's unsanitary"
Guichard: "They may have feces on their face."

Natarus: "What is to stop the dogs from defecating and urinating on the floor of the outdoor cafe?"
Guichard: "Dogs also create a hazard when they defecate out on the sidewalk and it has to be cleaned up, either by the patron or the staff."

That's pretty nuts, huh? When they finally heard the argument from a rational, high-ranking member of a respected governmental body, however, the aldermen seemed to reconsider the proposal. Burnett went so far as to say he didn't want his dog in the kitchen anymore.

To tell you the truth, it was Natarus's arguments that the dogs would be rowdy and irritating that we bought the most. A dog looking up at you with that adorable face wanting food is way more uncomfortable than any sickness caught from dog feces on your servers' hands, right?

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