Chicago – the Denmark of ChicagoOpinion
If you, like many Americans, are able to count to 50 without using an abacus or taking off your shoes and socks, this column might be of interest to you. If you can’t count to 50, you definitely need to read this, or at least have someone read it to you. And explain it. Because it might save you a lot of trouble.
Stanley Paalksnis (yes, that’s his real name) should have read this column, before he got in trouble with the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources. Unfortunately for Stanley, I hadn’t written it yet, which is understandable, since the only reason I’m writing it now is because of what happened to Stanley.
But before we get to Stanley, we need to back up a little bit and mention one of the main arguments put forth by gun control proponents in Chicago for why they are opposed to freedom. They don’t put it like that, but I do. Because I tell the truth. Well, most of the time.
The Chicago politicians, led by the mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel (yes, that’s his real name), don’t want citizens of Chicago to own guns. Actually, they don’t want anyone to own guns. And Chicago is a dangerous place, as evidenced by the many murders committed there every day. As of January 27, there were 47 murders in Chicago this year. That we know of.
During 2016 there were 762 homicides in Chicago, which was the highest number in 19 years. At the same time, overall homicide rates in the U.S. are still dropping. So Chicago has a problem. But the politicians there, just like the politicians everywhere, don’t want to accept the blame. They say it’s someone else’s fault.
Specifically, the Chicago pols blame their problem on the ‘lax gun laws’ in surrounding areas. Granted, the gun laws around Chicago are at least as strict as they are in most of the country, but I think that’s what the Chicago leaders mean – the rest of the country has a problem, not us.
They say people go outside of Chicago and buy guns, and then come back to Chicago and commit crimes with them. And maybe they’re right, at least about some of the crimes in Chicago. Because it’s difficult to buy a gun in Chicago, even for someone who has never done anything wrong. Of course, most gun crimes are committed with guns that were not bought at gun stores or gun shows, but that doesn’t make any difference to the Chicago folks. As far as they’re concerned, guns are the problem.
Now back to Stanley, of whom I made fun earlier, saying he couldn’t count. That’s not entirely factual, in the sense of being remotely true. Stanley can probably count better than I can, although that’s not saying much.
What got Stanley in trouble was not being unable to count. It was game laws. Specifically, fishing laws. More specifically, the daily limit and possession limit for bluegills, perch, and crappie in Wisconsin. Stanley was observed by state game wardens catching, and keeping, 47 bluegills in one day. The daily limit for bluegills is 25. It’s a numbers thing.
So the authorities decided to check out Stanley’s residence, and found 2,066 bluegills, 418 perch, and 88 crappie. The daily possession limit of each of these fish is 50. So Stanley, who is 74 years old, made history in Wisconsin, if not the entire country, for having so many fish at once they needed a calculator to count them. Consequently, Stanley is in deep bluegill, facing fines of $24,683, loss of his fishing privileges for 12 years, and losing his 15-foot boat.
But this is nothing new for Stanley, who has been crossways with the law before. He’s received quite a few citations for game violations, seven of them for exceeding the state possession limits between 1989 and 2011. The story I read in ‘Whackstar Hunters’ said he’s already lost his fishing privileges twice. Stanley is what we in the business call a ‘repeat offender.’ We also call him some other names.
But the kicker came at the very end of the Whackstar Hunters story. The line that enabled me, as a seasoned outdoor columnist, to tie all this nefarious activity together explained Stanley’s reason for having so many fish. It also explained why I think Stanley can probably count pretty good.
The last line said, “He told the warden that the reason he has so many fish is that he sells them in Chicago for $5 a bag.”
The story didn’t elaborate on who, exactly, Stanley sells the fish to, whether it’s individuals or restaurants or cat gangs. So I have no idea who has been buying these fish from Stanley. I also don’t know how many other people may be fishing like Stanley, and selling their keepers in Chicago. This may be an epidemic.
I intend to stay on top of this story. Because you never know. If this situation is as bad as I’m hoping, it just might be the story that propels me to stardom, like the Watergate thing did for Robert Redford and Dustin Hofmann.
If so, it will be insightful, engaging, thought-provoking lines like this one that do the trick: Something’s fishy in the Windy City, but it ain’t guns.
I’m thinking Brad Pitt should play me in the movie . . .
Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist and public speaker who never, ever has to worry about catching too many fish. Write to him at [email protected].