There’s no way around it, Chicago gets gross. Just like any other huge city. Most of us are relegated to using obscenely disgusting public utilities and a transit system sodden with the germs and residue of thousands of our fellow Chicagoans. We try not to think about it, but inevitably, the time comes when we do. Now is that time.
1. Eat Italian beef. Though amazing, there’s a whole stance you need to eat it, and meat juice drips down your arms and face. And just look at that hill of napkins accumulated for one of these things. Portillo's probably has enough used Italian beef napkins to fill a dumpster every day.
2. Utterly disregard public bathrooms when they fail. Remember that whole Wrigley Field debacle in April when cups of human pee littered the stadium? Yeah, that was gross.
3. Eat immediately after holding onto a pole on the CTA for 30 minutes.
4. Sit in fabric-covered seats on the train that have almost certainly been peed on before.
5. Not washing winter jackets and boots. Winter lasts months. A cycle through the laundry lasts an hour. Why do we persist in this behavior when it's so, so easy just to stay inside one weekend (which we're probably doing anyway) and throw a load in the washing machine?
6. We are more infested with bed bugs than New York. Yes, it's true. Chicago topped Orkin's list of most bed bug-ridden cities in America. Gross.
7. Love the shit out of Tamale Guy’s tamales. This, despite the fact we don’t know how they were cooked, who made them or what unregulated environment they were created in. Oh yeah, and they’re in a cooler that’s at least a decade old that he’s been walking around with literally all night long.
8. Not pick up dog poop all winter long. So when spring hits, the grass is basically poop soup.
9. Lie on the sand at the dog beach, where said dogs do their business, which said business is probably all over us by the time we leave.
10. Use absolutely terrifying bathrooms at summer music festivals.
11. Wear sandals and walk around the city all day then come home with black feet.
12. Genuinely enjoy Malört.
13. Kayak down the Chicago River and inevitably get splashed by the really, really disgusting water.