DeWayne's World - Youse and me, we're such hicks

DeWayne Bartels

Some people in Chicago think those of us living south of I-80 are barely literate rubes who ought to be thrilled we live in the shadow of the “City of Big Shoulders,” not to mention massive narcissistic attitudes.  

That attitude was on display Nov. 5 over the AM airwaves when Roe Conn of the “Roe and Roeper” show on WLS unloaded on downstate Illinois. He was talking about the governor’s race in which Pat Quinn narrowly defeated Bill Brady. Quinn won on the strength of Chicago Democrats.

Conn said downstaters have to accept Chicago dominates the state in every way. He added that we downstaters should be happy with that situation.    

“Chicago causes its share of problems, but without Chicago, Illinois is Mississippi,” Conn said. “Chicago gives Illinois all of its importance.”

Boy, he told us downstaters.  

I pulled my horseless carriage off to the side of the road, carefully avoiding the cows in the road.

My initial reaction was defensive.

I was dialing my cell phone to call the show. I was going to say, “Hey, city slicker, I’ve been on down to Mississippi. I know that there Mississippi. Downstate Illinois ain’t Mississippi. Got it partner?”

But, I hung up. I knew all them there big syllable words would get jumbled up ‘tween my brain and my rube tongue.  

Here I am living in Central Illinois, which I will heretofore refer to as “Shadow Land” as in shadow of Chicago. (I used heretofore in case anyone from Chicago reads this. It’s a big word. Truth is I had to look that word up.)

You know I can’t remember the last time while praying that I thanked God for allowing me to live in the shadow of Chicago. I’m so ashamed.

Conn got me thinking about what we in “Shadow Land” lack.

• Traffic jams that boggle the imagination

• Gang membership numbers that probably equal the entire population of Central Illinois

• Richard Daley I and II

• Rahm Emanual

• Da Bears

• Barack Obama

• Leadership that spent $42.1 gazillion on a failed Olympic bid

• A city populated by poor libs who feel they are owed and rich libs who perpetuate that belief

• Cops who torture suspects for confessions

• A prosecutorial record rife with putting innocent people on death row   

I can’t believe living here in “Shadow Land” I have had this attitude that I was better off in “Shadow Land” than Chicago.  

An inventory of downstate offers only

• Commutes that do not cause a stroke

• Streets you can walk after dark

• Appreciation for the Second Amendment — i.e. support for concealed carry

• Affordable higher education

• Ronald Reagan

• Everett Dirksen

• Adlai Stevenson

• Springpatch AKA Springfield (well it can’t all be positive)

• Unspoiled natural beauty found on Grandview Drive, Forest Park and Black Partridge Park

• Acres of corn and soybeans instead of acres of asphalt and concrete

• Simple pleasures like the ability to look up and see “The Milky Way” without driving 150 miles

• Charitable people

• People who serve without looking for a payoff at the end

Yeah, downstate sure ain’t Chicago. But, somehow, even with Conn’s comments, I don’t expect to see I-39 clogged with moving vans headed toward I-55 north.

Must be we rubes can’t handle those GPS contraptions.

That could be the only explanation, after all downstate has nothing to offer.