Instead of hanging at the nearest sports bar and rooting for the Cubbies last night, I instead decided to cheer on cats in glittery puffy collars jump through hoops.
That pretty much sums me up.
I’m talking, of course, about the Acro-Cats (aka Circus-Cats and Rock-Cats), a Chicago institution for the last dozen years. In fact, I must have seen one of the first performances of these trained felines with a pee-wee Leo and Kieran when the whiskered entertainers were part of a gallery show opening way back in 2004ish. Since then I’ve always kept my eye out for additional shows, no matter how many years stretched out between performances.
Now with 3 year old Aiden, he’s going to have to experience everything I find enjoyable all over again, no matter how he feels about it. On the way there Aiden kept requesting instead we drive home so he could take a bath with his Hot Wheels. Over and over. And over.
I explained, "What Daddy says is how it’s going to be. We’re going to see the Acro-Cats and you are not going to say ’no’. I am the King and you do whatever I say.”
That speech was as effective now as it was with my other two.
Aiden responded “I want to take a bath with my Hot Wheels!”
To sum it up, of course he had a great time. How can you not have fun with kittens in the lobby, a hedgehog making stage announcements, a chicken bowling and cats playing the chimes, cowbell, trumpet, guitar, piano and drums?!
And right now he’s taking a bath with his Hot Wheels.
Make sure to catch their remaining two show @
I love all remnants of ‘ol time America. Give me a Drive-In over a Multi-Plex, a Sideshow over Great America and a Mom ’n Pop Diner over TGIF. We’re lucky to have a trifecta of family fun just down the street, The Bunny Hutch for snacks, right next to the Batting Cages, which butt up to Novelty Golf and Arcade, even though I only take advantage of them every couple years depending on the ages of all the children I’ve produced. After a long break, I went back in ‘16 with a two year old Aiden for a round of golf. When I found out he’d also be charged the $10 fee to putt putt, I passed and we settled for sharing a cup of ice cream (with sprinkles). Upon reflection, I don’t think the novelty golf folks are all driving Rolls Royces off their sawbuck admissions, so I got over my irritation and decided to count my blessings instead.
There are two course routes intertwined together, and we picked the one that ended at Frankenstein (yes, I know, ‘Frankenstein’s Monster). Since Aiden had a good time throwing the ball (we’ll still working on his golf club form)
we’ll be back asap for the other path.
And you know you’re at a cool place when the skeleton drawing by the cashier
is M.O’C clip art!
Folks that missed it wondered what I said at the memorial, so if you're interested...
Thank you all for being here.
I’m going to go first just so if some else makes similar observations it’ll sound like they’re copying me.
Thanks’s to Louie of The Cobra Lounge for giving us this space, Cheyenne at the sound board and all of the staff.
When you freeloaders are done with my Costco snacks, break out your credit card and enjoy their delicious food and adult beverages.
Thanks to performers Brad French, The Famous Brothers, Amazing Heebie Jeebies, Pearls Mahone and DJ Joe Black for contributing their talents tonight.
Thanks to pal Brian for the fantastic photo montage.
Thank you to Rus for filming tonight.
Thanks to Casey and Amy for being my right and Left hand gals.
Please visit the Gift of Hope table and get information about organ donation.
Alyson’s death gave life to 3 people and greatly improved and extended the lives of others through their assistance.
We also have a table for a ‘memory book’ young Aiden can treasure. If you have any thoughts or stories you’d care to write down about Alyson, we have pens and paper and a hat box to put them in.
Right next to that is a 10 year calendar planner. Put your name down on days you’re available for babysitting.
Alyson and I were friends before we dated.
The first time I met her was at a big music/gallery show event I was part of. She had purchased prints from me in the past and wanted picture together. During the evening she kept on buying me shots which gave my friends the impression that Mitch might not be the big dope we thought he was. She was one of the contestants in a fun pin-up contest spending most of her time helping the other gals with their hair and make-up and woo hooing and clapping the loudest when each lady came on stage. She could not have been more effusively happy for the gal that won. She was also a good gift-giver, after I mentioned I was reading an autobiography of Mickey Rooney she had surprised with an album called “Merry Merry Micklemas” with a 50 year old Mickey in red long underwear on the cover. And actually autographed by Mickey.
So after about 6 months of hanging out, because I’m slow witted, it dawned on me that I’m paling around with a 6’ tall raven haired 44-28-40 pin-up beauty. By then it had been over a month since I had been seeing anyone, and because I’m a classy old-fashioned traditional gentleman, I sent her a Facebook message one morning with the offer of a ‘date’. I ignored the internet for the rest of the day as if I had dropped a bomb and didn’t want to witness the mayhem. About 5pm in the afternoon I got a text message reading “Have you checked your messages yet?!! :-) :-) :-) ♥♥♥♥♥ :-) :-) :-) :-)♥♥♥♥♥????”
I took that as good news.
Our first date lasted 3 days (which included supper here at The Cobra Lounge), and on the third day, after some love-making, I apparently said something like, “I could be with you forever.”
This is the kind of statement that your mouth makes on it’s own and then your blindsided brain goes “What did he just say?!”
Alyson looked up at me and asked, “Did you just propose to me? The answer is yes!”
I didn’t think I had actually proposed, just being around a lovely nude woman can make you a little too effusive. But I started reasoning, she adores me, she’s horny, she’s gorgeous, she’s kind, she’s horny, and she’s horny.
I’m not sure how I could lose out on this deal.
My suggestion was have a one year engagement reasoning in case I discovered there was something wrong with her I could get out of it.
12 months later I hadn’t found anything wrong with her.
Alyson liked to repeatedly say that she wasn’t a ‘visual’ person and that she was never attracted to men other girls thought were handsome.
So it was a good deal for her too!
Of course whatever Alyson said usually was guided by her feelings first and reality second, because she WAS quite the visual person having a career as a make-up artist (also esthetician, which is much harder to pronounce) making celebrities and regular folk more beautiful every day.
She had a smile that was so big and wide that you were surprised it fit on her face. Her heart was also just as big. It wasn’t uncommon that she’d empty out her wallet for a homeless person, or if you came to our garage sale and purchased a hair flower, she wouldn’t let you leave until she had thrown in 2 dresses, 4 lipsticks and a hat, all of which ‘would be perfect for you’.
Many remarked that it looked like I had been drawing her all my life.
She became my actual muse and also was helpful with her wise and insightful illustration insights, which were usually “Make the tits and ass bigger!”
She also had plenty of other opinions, none of which she kept to herself.
I was sorting out dozens of her journals and randomly read one sentence.
“Mitch, like all men, think I should learn how to cook and clean. Well fuck that!”
I’m sure she would be proud to tell you that she stayed true to her convictions.
Being together, I had to get used to stepping over 500 purses.
She had to get used to living with, just for beginners, around 200 clown statues, 20 prints of dogs playing poker and 40 black velvet nudes from the 70s.
I had to get used to her binge watching true crime tv shows titled ‘Woman at the Breaking Point’ where the stories usually involved knives and their husbands penis.
She had to get used to me running off for 24 hour horror film marathons.
She had to get used to listening to me complain while waiting three hours for her to get ready for any get-togethers.
I had to get used to escorting a high heeled, tight black dressed, flowers in hair, red lipsticked, curvaceous bombshell to those get-togethers.
A fellow could get used to this.
Luckily, we also have Aiden to carry on her legacy. During this ordeal he was the bright shining light for all the relatives. He has her huge smile, sense of humor and is equally adorable.
He also reminds me of Alyson because every day he tells me that it would be a great idea to go out and get him a present. Also in that 10 minute period before nap-time when he pitches a fit.
Her Mother often tells me one of her favorite stories.
At the Morton Il local public swimming pool, a 4 year old Alyson was having fun until a mother there exclaimed within her earshot, “Oh what a cute little girl!”
Unfortunately, the remark wasn’t directed at Alyson. She was complimenting 3 year old Zowie Zimmerman.
Alyson stopped dead in her tracks, turned around, and swatted Miss Zimmerman as hard as she could in the rear which sent the 3-year old flying into the pool.
Monica, her mom, was shocked and exclaimed, “What are you doing?!”
Alyson calmly and reasonably explained, “I slapped her because I’M the cutest girl here.”
As long as I knew her there was never a more lovely woman in the same place. If they existed, they were smart enough to hide in fear of getting the same Zowie Zimmerman treatment.
She was vibrant, empathetic, loving, exuberant, brash and beautiful.
The world will be a less colorful place without her.
For more about Alyson-
The Facebook Event page-