The northern end of Glenwood Avenue in Rogers Park can be a bit confusing. A railroad runs down the middle of it. That’s not unheard of, except that the railroad (the Chicago Transit Authority) is elevated above street level so as not to obstruct or collide with street traffic; it’s not obvious to a new visitor that the street number you may be looking for is on the other side of the tracks. The tracks were not always elevated, but growing traffic congestion and accidents moved the Chicago City Council to demand that railroads elevate their tracks. While the ordinance was passed in 1907, the project elevating what is now the Red Line was not completed until 1922.
Glenwood Avenue is also mildly unusual in that some of the original brick paving remains, albeit asphalt patched. Several other blocks of original brick paving exist elsewhere in Rogers Park. It hadn’t occurred to me until now that all of them that come to mind are North — South.
I once met a five year old boy who was absolutely smitten by garbage trucks. It’s a fascination that I find just barely comprehensible. It’s big. It’s noisy. It’s powerful. It has all manner of moving parts. Check all those boxes, fine, but still…
On the other hand, my cat Rainbow was always terrified of garbage trucks, even though (or maybe especially because) they were never visible from the apartment, just a terrifying roar with a ghastly stink. This makes far more sense: a monstrous predator with fetid breath. Even a cat’s imagination might be more alarming than reality… by a little bit.
The “Fish Heads” video is a comedic surreal short by the group Barnes & Barnes, made famous by the Dr. Demento Show. Surreal is not for everyone and the original video was comedic mostly to those who laugh at absurdity… any and all absurdity.
The video is essentially a music video. Honestly, I don’t much like it, even allowing for the fact I don’t like music videos to begin with. The song, though, seems to have an irresistible hold on me, an unshakable ear worm that lurks like a sub-clinical infestation all my days. But when it echoes between my ears, I don’t see Barnes & Barnes fooling around with seafood but a chorus of cats circling my feet. Or my head. Singing “Fish heads, fish heads, roly poly fish heads…”
I prefer cats.
Even so, I regret the existence of this video. And if you dare, so will you.