19 Things Only Chicagoans Understand About Winter
There are two things your buddies from not-Chicago will never understand: 1) how to properly consume an Italian beef, and 2) winter in Chicago. While we can't help the former, we CAN help the latter with these: the 19 things only Chicagoans understand about winter.
1. Dibs is a way of life
Just remember, if you section off the parking spot in front of your house with lawn chairs and police tape, you can’t get pissed when you’re looking for a spot and someone else is doing the same. There are rules.
2. We wake up with a lot of mysterious bruises in the morning
Thanks, Clark St black ice slip 'n falls.
3. There is a reason our shoes/jeans are perpetually covered in salt stains
And that reason is Chicago.
4. Having a shovel in your house is not enough
You need one for the car, too.
5. Winter starts on Halloween and ends on St. Patrick's Day
6. A good parking place is more important than any social obligation
This spot > your nephew’s birthday party in Arlington Heights. Trust us.
7. We cover our drafty windows in plastic wrap so our heating bill isn't $700
You'll laugh... until your heating bill is $700, too.
8. We have to come up with a whole new tipping system for takeout during a snowstorm
And that system involves tipping the Chicago pizza guy at LEAST $5 extra in a blizzard.
9. We have to weigh the tradeoff between texting and having warm hands
And while emoji-ing waits for no man, it does wait for an L stop with a heater.
10. Snowplows can actually bury your car deeper in snow
There are tradeoffs for having a plowed street. Unless, of course, you're Ald. Ed Burke.
11. Our beers can freeze at outdoor events
Yes, it’s happened to us at Bears games.
12. Parking in a snowstorm is like the Wild West, if people in the Wild West had cars
... and were in a snowstorm. We're talking a complete breakdown of social order.
13. We have to dress like burglars for much of the season
Burglars who have perpetual hat-head, thanks to winter snowcaps. Really though, even our dogs are like, "WTF?"
14. We forget what bodies of the opposite sex look like
THANKS A LOT, PUFFY JACKETS.
15. Winter potholes are so bad, our city government has its own pothole tracker
Our city government. Has. It's own pothole tracker. Let that sink in for a minute.
16. We have to strip down from our Christmas Story-caliber snowsuit every time we go indoors
It’s to the point where we have to plan our trips to take out the trash in advance.
17. We have to worry about ice falling off skyscrapers and killing us
So maybe that’s why we’re in such a pissy mood all the time, okay?
18. We know it's completely pointless to wash our cars
Because they'll be disgusting again in, like, three minutes.
19. And yet still, some of us make the best of it
Like these crazy bastards.
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Jay Gentile is Thrillist’s Chicago Editor and he never leaves home without a backup shovel. Follow him @ThrillistChi.