Category Archives: Michael Sneed

Hot Air


Picking up the pieces after a couple of days off.

So, Ferguson, Missouri, police arrested a suspect in the shooting of those two cops at a protest rally there last week. Huzzah, justice has been served, no?

St. Louis County

Jeffrey Williams

Maybe. But the truth took a pounding. In fact, both parties stained their eternal souls by violating what the Christianists call their Ninth Commandment. To wit:

The suspect, a 20-year-old named Jeffrey Williams, admits shooting into the crowd from his car. Police say they found at his home a .40 caliber handgun that, they insist, matches the shell casings found near where the shots were fired.

  • Commandment Violation No. 1: Williams told police interrogators, sure, he shot toward the crowd but, golly gee, he wasn’t trying to hit any cops. The fact that two officers — and no one else — took slugs, apparently, was just the worst and most ironic luck.

The cops hauled Williams in where his portrait was taken and, lo and behold, sharp-eyed observers noted that he had bruises and marks on his face. His lawyer says he also has bruise marks on his back and a had suffered a healthy clunk on his head.

  • Commandment Violation No. 2: A Ferguson spokescop looked aghast when asked about the bruising and marks on Williams. He told reporters that, heavens no, officers hadn’t laid a hand in anger on the suspect and that accusations he was beaten are “completely false.” This is true, one must surmise, despite a long, long — lo-o-o-o-ng — history of cops roughing up suspects in cop shooting incidents to the point of sadism and torture. It just didn’t happen this time, see?

In other news, the check is in the mail.

A Nice Place to Visit

Well, how ’bout that?

Political gossip columnist Michael Sneed reports that the Obama family is moving to New York City. That is, as soon as Jan. 20th, 2017, or the Whacked Out Wing of the Republican Party figures out a way to impeach, convict, and remove him from office, Barack, Michelle, and the kids’ll fly home to NYC as opposed to their pad in the Kenwood n-hood of Chi.

It was nice while it lasted but Chicago’s really not the home of anybody anymore. Oprah’s gone. Michael Jordan’s gone. John Hughes was gone long before he died. Bill Murray doesn’t live there. Nor do Tina Fey, Jon Favreau, Mike Myers, and a slew of other comedic talents who really only passed through the Windy City on their way to bigger and better things.

Nelson Algren copped a sneak out of town long before he turned in his lunch pail. Same with Saul Bellow.

It’s been decades since Phil Donohue lived there.

Diablo Cody left town years ago. Dave Eggers left in the ’90s. Dan Savage barely made it to the ’90s in Chicago. Scott Turow left for college and never came back. The first chance Ernest Hemingway got, he skedaddled out of town.

David and Amy Sedaris lived there and moved away.

Hell, Al Capone blew out of Chi. for South Florida before the gov’t graciously put him up in one of its max-security B&Bs.

The following Chicago actors couldn’t get out fast enough:

  • Gillian Anderson
  • Bob Balaban
  • The Belushi boys
  • Steve Carell
  • Stephen Colbert


  • The Cusack family
  • Dennis Farina
  • Chris Farley
  • Harrison Ford
  • William H. Macy
  • John Mahoney
  • John Malkovich
  • Jenny McCarthy (thankfully)


  • Mandy Patinkin
  • Jeremy Piven
  • John C. Reilly
  • Vince Vaughn
  • Orson Welles
  • Robin Williams

The non-pariel thespian Adrian Zmed (he gave our nation the memorable line, “Hooker’s a good cop!”) also fled the city.

We may even have another ex-pat president from Chicago if the Democratic Party doesn’t get its act together and find someone other than Hillary Clinton to carry its banner in 2016.

Oh, and me.

MG 2008

Photo: Holly Detra

Crime’s Glass Ceiling?

Here’s the reaction of a female acquaintance of mine to the indictment of Judith Seigle, the former office manager in the city’s Parks & Recreation Dept. for embezzling nearly half a million dollars from the department and its supporting foundation. Let’s call this acquaintance Martha.

Martha: There’s a lot of women doing this these days. Embezzling, I mean.

Me: Really?

Martha: Yes.

Me: Well, uh, why do you think this?

Martha: I don’t know. Maybe it’s because women are in positions where they oversee money.

Me: Hmm.

Martha: They have this power over the money but they don’t have any real power.

Me: But, um….

Martha: And, you know, maybe they’re feeling angry about how their opportunities are limited. Maybe they get to the point where they just say to themselves, ‘You know what? I deserve this.’

I don’t know how much of Martha’s thesis can be verified. Nor do I know how many more Bloomington city employees will be indicted for pocketing municipal funds.

They Love My Cooking

I’ve been a cooking monster the last week or so. In that time I’ve made pizzas from scratch (crusts and all), my monthly supply of spaghetti sauce (w/ meatballs, of course), a roasted corned beef brisket, ham and red potatoes au gratin, a big plank of salmon, an assortment of crudités, my daily fruit smoothies, heaping bowlsful of oatmeal, raisins and honey, and other gustatory delights.

Saturday night, while preparing the toppings for my pizzas, I combined in a bowl three scrumptious cheeses (mozzarella, asiago vecchio, and Parmigiano-Reggiano) for my wall-to-wall formaggio blanket. I put a lid on the bowl and began to shake it vigorously.

I dunno why but the lid came off the bowl and, suddenly, the air was fill with a precipitation of shredded and grated cheeses. I howled as a thick dusting of the stuff covered my head, chest, and shoulders. Enough fell to the newly swept and mopped kitchen floor that, had The Loved One known (she’d just cleaned the floor), she would have rewarded me with one of her nastiest looks.

Fortunately, Steve and Sally the Dogs appeared seemingly from nowhere and began to diligently lick up the fallen cheese. Within seconds the kitchen tile looked clean enough to eat off of which, in fact, it had been.

I’m happy to report I had enough backup cheese to cover my pizzas. The Dogs were delirious. The Loved One gobbled up her mushroom-topped slices with glee. Me? I knocked off much of the roasted red pepper, black olive, and mushroom pie in moments flat.

Of course, I had to take a shower first — the water not too hot lest I melt whatever cheese remained on my person.

Practicing the kitchen arts in Chez Big Mike can be fun


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