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Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

By Peter Mavrik in News on Sep 26, 2007 3:01PM

2007_09_schmichblue.jpgChicago has a lot of newspaper columnists. We've been watching them ebb and flow for years. But the good ones, or at least the ones we like, have stuck around. Mary Schmich at the Trib is one of them. Her columns inform, provoke thought, remind us to wear sunscreen, and usually cause us at one point or another to laugh out loud. On the Brown line. During rush hour. And then everyone stares.

Today we innocently began reading her column, which starts as a joke: "So three guys walk into a car." Simple enough and par for her usual course. But we were baffled by the inanity that followed.

She recounts a trip from O'Hare to downtown on the Blue line as seen through the eyes of three men, who apparently haven't been on the CTA trains before. They're defined as the L.A. guy, the Florida guy, and a Chinese man. She notes that one makes a gently racist reference. They don't know the difference between Montrose and Monroe, Rosemont and Roosevelt, and yet Mary can't believe her new pals are confused by her explanation that "There are trains to the Loop ... and trains that loop the Loop."

The story ends with two of them exiting downtown, in the hopes of catching a cab. And one still riding the train to Roosevelt. We hope.

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
Your usual shtick informs.
This time, what gives? For your columns we live!
So why bust out of your norm?

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