Richard Roeper Blog

Time for Ald. Ed Burke to give in on bodyguards

At this point, Ald. Ed Burke’s just being stubborn and arrogant.

He knows he doesn’t need those bodyguards.

He knows the mayor knows he doesn’t need those bodyguards.

He knows probably 99 out of 100 Chicagoans don’t believe he needs those bodyguards. (I’m being generous to Burke here.)

He knows that even though four police officers aren’t going to make a huge difference in the overall scheme — but almost any reassignment of those four officers would be a better use of their service and a more prudent expenditure.

He knows that if he wants to pretend he’s an international diplomat of some renown or a high-level government official in a dangerous job, he can dip into his own $8 million war chest and surround himself with some impressive-looking men wearing suits and earpieces and firearms.

He knows there’s something almost obscene about taking advantage of a decades-old court order that gives him those four police officers at a cost of nearly half a million dollars a year including salary and benefits.

There was a time when Burke’s need for police protection might have been legitimate. But Ed Burke saying he needs four bodyguards in 2011 because of the Council Wars of the 1980s makes about as much sense as Corey Feldman saying he needs some muscle looking out for him when he goes to the mall, lest he be overrun by overzealous fans.

Marquee value?

Around 11 p.m. on Independence Day at the Cosmopolitan hotel in Las Vegas, hundreds of young women in super-tight skirts and super-high heels and and equal number of guys were queued up outside the Marquee nightclub.

For those of us who are long past the days of wanting to get in to a place with ear-splitting, conversation-killing music and colorful drinks (and those of us who never really cared for places with ear-splitting, conversation-killing music and colorful drinks), it’s a spectacle that raises questions, such as:

How long do those people wait in line before they give it up and go somewhere else?

What do they all do for a living?

Who’s paying for the drinks once they’re inside?

Of course, there are young people making good money, even in these economic times. And I wouldn’t even think to suggest that some of those attractive young women waiting in line are going to depend on the kindness of strangers to keep those drinks coming.

I’m just curious. If you’re a regular club-goer, whether it’s in Chicago or in Las Vegas or someplace else, what’s the deal these days? Do you save up to go out once every couple of weeks? Go easy on the drinks once you’re inside? Hope to have drinks bought for you once you’re in there?

It’s the shoes

Earlier this year, I was at the Encore in Las Vegas when a young couple approached me and offered me $100 for my shoes.

That was a new one.

“You want my shoes?” I said, wondering if this was the start of a new scam or a bit on a hidden-camera reality show.

“A hundred dollars for your shoes, and you can have my boyfriend’s shoes,” said the young woman, who was clad in a turquoise miniskirt not much larger than the size of a Barbie doll outfit.

The boyfriend was wearing gym shoes. The club to which they were trying to gain access did not allow such shoes.

Hence, the proposed shoe trade.

I took a pass.

“Why is everyone saying no to us?” said the young woman.

Maybe it’s because most of us prefer to return home in the shoes that got us out the door in the first place?

No helmet, no chance

He died in a protest most non-motorcyclists just don’t understand. Philip A. Contos, 55, of Parish, N.Y., was participating in a protest against mandatory helmet laws when he was thrown over the handlebars of his bike, hit his head on the pavement and later died.

“State police say . . . Contos would have survived had he been wearing a helmet as required by state law,” CNN reported.

I truly don’t care if you wear a helmet or not. I just don’t quite get the risk-vs.-reward value of not wearing the helmet.

One Response to “Time for Ald. Ed Burke to give in on bodyguards”

  1. Ian Montgomery Says:

    I’m a semi-regular bar/club-goer mainly because most of my friends love to do it. They usually go out every week and won’t hesitate to buy drinks for a lady if there’s a remote chance of it leading to phone numbers being exchanged. The drinking part is always fun and so are the conversations if we manage to have one. But the noise level is certainly not to my taste. I’m with you on that.

    P.S. If you have more Caliendo videos, keep em’ coming.

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