Friday, November 19, 2010



As loyal and regular readers know, my wife is not enamored of the idea of a Show Me’s (sic) Restaurant, which I described in an earlier post as “a bar/café very much akin to those paragons of good taste and refinement, Hooters and The Tilted Kilt, but with (believe it or not) less class and less clothing on the servers” (See my 10/27/10 post CURIOUS GEORGE INDEED.) opening about a block from our house complete with a 2:00 license and two parking lot exits to residential side streets. In fact, Susan has been one of the leaders of the charge against what Naperville Mayor George Pradel has described as “a nice friendly place to watch a game or have dinner” based on an exploratory visit to Show Me’s (sic…Show Me’s’s?) Springfield, IL location. (One would think the fictional Springfield would be a better location for this chain that apparently caters to a crowd of Aqualung wannabes whose idea of a good time is ogling young women while dreaming of things that they can’t, and won’t, be getting any time soon. Homer Simpson would seem to be the epitome of their target clientele. But I digress.) Susan has repeatedly called the Mayor’s office, asking for updates on the progress of the place’s liquor license. She has appeared on both Naperville and Chicago television news shows, decrying the presence of such an establishment bordering a school bus stop in a neighborhood filled with kids. Despite the efforts of the neighborhood to keep Show Me’s out of our neighborhood, it looks like a done deal; George Pradel, as mayor, is also liquor commissioner and has sole discretion over granting the license, and he’s going to grant it.

In an interview I did with Naperville Community Television, I, trying to be fair to Mr. Pradel, pointed out that he is in a tough spot. The laws are the laws and the regulations are the regulations and, as long as Show Me’s complies with the laws and regulations, it would be difficult for Mr. Pradel to deny the license; legal problems for him and the city would surely ensue.

Now, however, I am sorry that I ever tried to be fair or reasonable to this man. Why?

Today was the Grand Opening of an Aldi food store a few blocks from our house. My wife loves Aldi and I, too, am a great fan of the store: good products, fresh produce and meat, great prices, helpful people, convenient, in-an-out approach to shopping. So Susan, delighted that the store was opening in our neighborhood, could not wait for its arrival and was there when the doors opened. And who else happened to be there? That’s right: Mayor George Pradel. If you know my wife, she is not one to let things go and is not one to shy away from a fight, especially when a cause is important to her. So she introduced herself to the Mayor, who, in his typically unctuous manner, said “Oh, I’ve heard your name.” And Susan, of course, brought up Show Me’s and, while not having been there, I am sure she was not shy or demure about challenging him. And perhaps I can understand his being upset at being challenged by citizens at a forum that he might consider inappropriate. But it is what he said to MY wife about MY kids in the course of their exchange that shows the man’s real character. He said to MY wife that the place really wasn’t bad, that the girls at Naperville North dress in a more provocative manner than the waitresses at Show Me’s, and then, with another bout of his obnoxious, buffoonish, insulting laughter, he said to MY wife

“I’ll bet your daughters will end up working there.”

What does one say about that? How does one react to such an insult to one’s daughters, besides the obvious, which could be construed as both illegal and tortious? My wife was exasperated, replying

“Over my stone cold dead body will my daughters EVER work there, Mr. Pradel!”

That about ended the conversation, which I am sure was Mr. Pradel’s objective. His new objective ought to be an apology to my wife and daughters, but I’m not counting on it.

Why did I post this on the blog? I concluded my 10/27 piece CURIOUS GEORGE INDEED with, inter alia, the following:

--The next time Mr. Pradel goes to one of our elementary schools to read to the kids, perhaps he ought to point out to the little girls in the audience that a worthy career aspiration would be waitressing at the “nice, friendly” Show Me’s (sic).

I didn’t realize that I was literally correct in my ruminations regarding Mr. Pradel’s estimation of the proper place for the young women of his community.

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