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Chicago, that toddling town

Posted by Lotg on September 30, 2003

In Reply to: Chicago, that toddling town posted by Bob on September 14, 2003

: : : : : Does anyone know why Chicago is that toddling town? I know it's in the song lyrics but where did it come from? Thanks...

: : : : I thought maybe it was from the imagination of Fred Fisher, who wrote the song, but I took a walk at lunch, and by gosh, we all toddle.

: : : Maybe from too many glasses of Johnnie Walker at lunch?

: : I always imagined it referred to Chicago being a new-ish city (i.e. toddling - toddler - young child)?

: A little of all of those. Chicago (for those not familiar with it) is the largest city in America. New York is the largest New York, L.A. is the largest whatever-it-is, but Chicago is the largest city IN America. And it is a place where (at least when the song was written, and in popular imagingation still, where people (hey, many of them conventioneers passing through) who drink a bit too much, where one still walks/toddles around at all hours, where the rough-and-tumble life is celebrated and encouraged. Chicago exists for commerce; nobody comes here for the climate. Sidelight: some years ago, when the Chicago and San Diego baseball teams met in the playoffs, the San Diegans dismissed Chicagoans as "sausage-eaters," something we noted with puzzled pride. Bet your bottom dollar you'll lose the blues in the city described by Nelson Algen in these immortal words: it's 'Like loving a woman with a broken nose, you may well find lovelier lovelies. But never a lovely so real."

::: OK, you've sold me. The one and only time I was in the U.S. I only had a brief stopover in Chicago - at the airport - big, friendly people, but hey, it was an airport and as such, tres boring. But the way you describe Chicago, methinks next time I should get out of the airport and check out the town and see if you really do toddle, and if so, why. And if it's for the reasons you imply - what an incentive!