Contrary to popular belief, simply living in the 606 doesn’t make you a true Chicagoan. To be a citizen in good standing, you must abide by a certain code of ethics and denounce various unsavory behaviors. Ketchup on a hot dog? Meh, who honestly cares? These are 21 far more fatal errors.
Admit to ordering pizza from a chain restaurant
We all have our moments when we just want really crappy pizza. Is this a self-loathing thing? We’re not sure. What we do know is this: no self-respecting Chicagoan actually admits to eating pizza from a national chain. “That Papa John’s box sitting on the counter? Oh, yeah... um, that’s my roommate’s. So gross!”
Drag out the Chicago vs New York debate
It’s already been proven that Chicago is superior to New York. At this point, it’s just cruel to keep reminding them that we have better pizza and hot dogs. And architecture. And cleanliness. And we can actually afford to live alone. And... OK, we’ll stop.
Refer to Chicago as anything but its proper name
This includes, but is not limited to: Chi-Town, the Windy City, or the worst offender, Chi-Raq. All of those nicknames are horrible, and so are you.
Go to Navy Pier after the age of 10
Unless you have a child or are one, Navy Pier is hell and there’s almost no reason to visit, unless you’re going for the view. If that’s the case, here’s a tip: visit at sunrise. No tourists, lovely view, and better pictures. You’re welcome.
Say "I’m really excited for the redevelopment of Wrigley!"
Dear Mr. Ricketts: we asked for better bathrooms, not the Streets of Woodfield. Oh, and PS: your Omaha is showing.
Show an ounce of remorse for Lincoln Towing (hopefully) shutting down
May those unscrupulous carjackers have the tow yard hauled far, far away without notice or regard for the law/human decency.
Refer to the intersection at Milwaukee/Damen/North Ave as "Six Corners"
Any Chicagoan worth their celery salt knows the real Six Corners is located in Portage Park. Yes, the Wicker Park intersection does have six corners... and so do many other intersections throughout Chicago. But you knew that already, riiiight?
Warn an unsuspecting victim about Malört
The best thing about Malört is tricking unsuspecting people (typically non-Chicagoans) into drinking it for the sole purpose of laughing at the look of disgust on their face. No self-respecting Chicagoan would ruin that moment for the rest of us.
Spend any drinking holiday in Wrigleyville
Everyone is allowed one free pass -- just one. If you value your sanity and have any ounce of self-respect, you’ll stop after that. Once you find yourself crying on the curb at Clark and Roscoe at 1pm on St. Patrick’s Day, you’re officially beyond hope.
Complain about minor amounts of snow on Facebook
Just stop. Please. If 2in of snow is the worst we’ve had all month, then we’re lucky. You’re going to jinx us, you weakling.
Remove someone's dibs
If you value your car, you’ll do what’s good for you and slowwwly pull away from the nicely shoveled spot with the tricycle and broken lawn chair in it. And if you’re one of those people that removes someone’s dibs to prove a point and then leaves the spot open for an unsuspecting victim to park in, well... you’re 100 times worse than the person who claimed dibs. (You’re probably also not from Chicago.)
Admit to considering how much easier life would be in the suburbs
It happens to the best of us. After circling the block 50 times, you begin to hallucinate and daydream about driveways. And garages! Oh, what you would give for a two-car garage right now. Just as you begin to fantasize about unlimited breadsticks, you regain your senses. Not today, Satan. Not. Today.
Willingly visit Taste of Chicago
Serious question: does anyone benefit from the Taste of Chicago? The food is overpriced and never as good as it is in the restaurant. Both the city and vendors barely turn a profit. Basically, the only ones that benefit from this event are tourists who don’t have these restaurants at their disposal. And pigeons. It’s great for the pigeons.
Root for the Packers
That’s it. We’re dropping you off at Mars Cheese Castle and leaving you there. PS: if you find your way back, could you bring some sharp cheddar with you? Thanks!
Use any of the following words: Willis, Macy's, soda, or vegetarian
You’re a piss-poor excuse for a Chicagoan and shall now be deported to South Bend. Be gone!
Say "Jonathan TOES is my favorite!"
Admit it: you haven’t watched a single Blackhawks game, have you?
Get excited by Victory Auto Wreckers’ new commercial
Your shaggy hair, broken car door, and sweet watchband live on in our hearts, Bob Zajdel.
Avoid taking Lower Wacker Drive
The mark of a good cabbie is if he or she takes Lower Wacker Drive. If you’re one of those people that complains when your cab driver takes Lower Wacker, well, you deserve every single, painful minute you’re stuck sitting in Loop traffic.
Show preference for any major city aside from Chicago
Did you really just say you love LA? OFF WITH YOUR HEAD!
Get a Chicago flag tattoo without knowing the significance
Trust us: you’re going to be mighty embarrassed when someone quizzes you on its meaning and you can’t even muster up the significance of a single star.
Say "I’m really excited about the sudden influx of hipsters in our neighborhood!"
Unless, of course, you’re following that up with, "Boy, I really wish my landlord would charge more for rent. This $800-a-month one-bedroom apartment is way too affordable!"
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Lisa Chatroop is editor of Chicago-based lifestyle blog DailyUrbanista.com. She is eternally grateful to her parents for teaching her about the evils of ketchup and bad pizza at an early age. Say hi to her on Twitter: @Chicagoista.