Hobbes takes your questions
Back by popular demand
08/04/2012 1:58 PM
The Chicago Reader has the Straight Dope and Time Out Chicago has Crabigail Van Buren, but we have Hobbes, who will take your questions now.
I heard there are rats as big as opossums in the basement of the Willis Tower. Is this true?
(Signed) Ralphie Rodent
First off, if you think I’m headed down there to check, you’ve got kibble for brains. I sent my human over to the Willis Tower to ask one of the guards who monitors lower deck parking. She said there might be giant rats, but she hadn't personally seen any. Moving on to the construction zone behind the tower at Lower Wacker Drive, my human asked a hardhat from Raiza Construction about giant rat sightings. He hadn't seen any, either. Now, keep in mind that the Chicago Tribune noted a couple of years ago that the Loop was the “rattiest” neighborhood in the city. A rat as big as an opossum is unlikely, though. The Norway rat generally tops out at 12” long. I’d say someone’s pulling your paw.
Did Mary Todd Lincoln really live in the West Loop?
(Signed) Doris Kearns Goodwin
Interesting thing about honest Abe. He was the first president to bring a cat into the White House. One time, when she was asked if her husband had any hobbies, Mary Todd Lincoln answered, “cats.” OK, I guess that didn't really answer your question. As it happens, Mary did spend a year in the West Loop at a house on W. Washington, just past Racine. It was only a year after Abe Lincoln was assassinated and MTL left the White House, relocating to Chicago with her son, Tad. There's a plaque commemorating the location. I wasn’t able to turn up much information about her favorite haunts in the West Loop, but she strikes me as a deep dish pizza person.
What’s the deal with Pabst Blue Ribbon?
You pose a good question. It’s really cheap, and as the kids say, it gets the job done. But, it tastes wretched, and we have a wide variety of excellent craft beer available in the West Loop at Beer Bistro, Jak’s Tap, and Haymarket Brewery, just to name a few. And seriously, have you seen the selection at Binny’s? In fact, Pabst was on its last legs in the late 1990s. By 2001, Pabst sold only one million barrels, compared to 10 million barrels a few decades earlier. Then, things started going their way. Kid Rock wore a PBR belt buckle, and in Portland, OR, hipsters adopted the swill. Whether they did so as an ironic statement is hard to say, but Pabst began to re-emerge as a strong brand. The rest is hipster history.
Have you ever broken bad?
(signed) Jesse Pinkman
Don't kid yourself--I break bad all the time. I've been known to get crazy after sniffing catnip. Sometimes I just run back and forth in the apartment listening to “Old Time Rock And Roll,” by Bob Seger.
What other kind of music do you like?
(Signed) Just A Hobbes Fan