[Editor's Note: Up-and-comer comedian/actor Alex Falcone—who you've seen perform with Action/Adventure theater, as well in the live talk show Late Night Action w/ Alex Falcone—will be furnishing semi-regular updates from the road to give us an inside peek at the real life of a struggling comic. Want more Alex? Check out his website and follow him on that Twitter contraption (@alex_falcone).]

Episode 15: The Elements of Chicago, IL

Chicago in the summer feels like you're nestled in the country's underwear. It's hot as balls in Chicago. You know how it rains in Portland? A witch doctor put a curse on Chicago such that it doesn't rain from the sky, but rather from the small of your back. Invisible rain falls from every direction onto your body the entire time you're here and you want to die.

Actually, it did rain from the sky once right after a show I was watching. And the people did the cutest thing. They stayed inside and WAITED THE RAIN OUT. "You fools!" I thought. "Don't you know the rain lasts until next June?" But they were right, the rain here only lasts a few minutes before it feels redundant.

The men of Chicago come in two varieties.
[1] Plaid shorts, polo shirt with a popped collar, Cubs hat on backwards.
[2] Vintage cowboy shirt, black plastic glasses, single visible arm tattoo.

The women of Chicago come in two varieties also.
[1] Blond and tan.
[2] I did not see another variety of women.

The city of Chicago is very proud of their pizza, and they shouldn't be. It is rubbish.

Chicago pizza is like if you took a piece of pizza and put a piece of pizza on top of it and another one underneath. On a piece of vegetarian, they might put meat in layer 6 just to confuse you. There might be a pickup truck in layer 6 and you wouldn't notice until you finished eating. A herd of cattle works for a year to create the cheese for a single slice.

An abomination.
  • An abomination.

There is too much pizza in Chicago too. It's no longer special. Here's a map:


It's almost impossible to eat out in Chicago and not accidentally eat pizza. I saw a gyro restaurant that also sold deep dish by the slice. And the pizza shops aren't honest about how good their pizza isn't.

"The best pizza in Chicago."
"Voted the best pizza in the country."
"Still the best pizza in the world."

It's a battle of exaggeration and the only winners are the banner printers.

And finally, drivers
One thing I miss about Portland is cars stopping for people in crosswalks. Even downtown, people will stop and wave you across. On a green light. I've had two cabs speed up through a stop sign to try to hit me. The only thing I can figure is I'm clearly not from here (no vintage cowboy shirt and no Cubs hat) and they want to kill me before I get some of the pizza they overvalue.