Jobs Homes Autos For Sale

Rod's on hold, but there's plenty of distractions out there
By Chuck Goudie | Daily Herald Columnist
print story
email story
Published: 8/9/2010 12:00 AM

Send To:





Any kid awaiting Christmas morning knows. Every love-struck teenager can tell you. And all soldiers heading home feel it in their gut.

Waiting is the worst part.

Ex-Illinois Gov. Milorad Rod R. Blagojevich is in a more select fraternity: those who have experienced waiting for a jury verdict.

Even those of us who are just gawkers get sweaty palms, racing heartbeats and upset stomachs as we wait.

During these periods of excessive waiting, I've found it useful to let one's mind just meander to other distractions:

• "Nonstop to PARIS!!" flashes the big, bright digital billboard outside O'Hare.

"DETROIT: Flights by the hour!!" reads another.

Enough already.

The state has banned text messaging and regulates cell phone use by drivers, so why aren't electronic boards along the highway being outlawed?

They are distracting at best and downright dangerous in some cases - especially at night when the boards are so bright they temporarily blind you.

Finally, some authorities seem to be coming to their senses about electronic billboards that change display images every four to ten seconds and have been dubbed "television on a stick" by some critics.

Cities across the country are stepping in to ban the boards, including Los Angeles and St. Louis.

Hello, Gov. Quinn? Mayor Daley?

• It was much faster getting around when road construction crews were on strike, but the ruts, ridges and potholes have only been good for two groups of people: those who sell windshields and those who sell tires.

I've lost one front tire and had two cracked windshields.

• At the end of the day, while we're at it, going forward can we ban two of the most overused, annoying phrases going? They are "At the end of the day" and "going forward."

Right up there with "OH MY GOD!"

• Hopefully in the new census, Glenview will either come up with one more person or seven more.

The signs show Glenview's population at 44,443.

One more would be 44,444.

Seven more would be 44,450.

Either number would be better than the unsightly, uneven number that currently graces Glenview's border signs.

• I first noticed it in Las Vegas during a trip in early June: ultrashort skirts on very young teenage girls, the kind of clothing that makes you wonder whether anyone bothered saying goodbye to them when they left home.

Maybe the mini-miniskirts were moving east from California through Vegas and hadn't arrived yet in Chicago earlier this summer, because I hadn't noticed them and they are impossible to miss.

The Lollapalooza crowd that came downtown over the weekend made it clear that the questionable fashion trend has arrived here ... and is not just popular with teenagers.

Stopping 15-year-olds from going out in public dressed in napkins with zippers is one thing. Who is going to tell the Cougar crowd that such a look is drawing attention, but mostly accompanied by laughs?

• In the moldy summer breeze, between allergy attacks and back-to-school ads, your mind naturally wanders back to Blago.

What IS that jury doing down there at the federal building?

Will the headlines read: "CORRUPTOVITCH!" after 12 angry men and women finish dismembering his defense argument?

Or will the outcome be "NOT BLAGUILTY!" as jurors shred the prosecution's case?

Regardless, the jury is obviously not using MapQuest by following a straight-line route to determine the fate of our allegedly destitute ex-governor.

• Milorad, as he is still called by many of his elderly relatives (they don't care that his birth certificate was changed to read "Rod") is still the main topic of conversation in Illinois political circles.

In a column last week about Blago-watchers running office pools on when the jury would come back, I wrote:

"By this time next week, I'll bet that Blago's fate has been determined and announced."

So, I was wrong. After further consideration it seems that the Milorad jury isn't following the "one-day-of-deliberation-for-every-week-of-testimony" wisdom.

Now I suspect they are following the "one-day-of-deliberation-for-every-criminal-count" theory.

That means deliberations will last another two weeks. Or more.

But what do I know?

I actually believe Blago's lawyer Sam Adam Jr. when he describes his client this way:

"Nobody will say he's the sharpest knife in the drawer."

Chuck Goudie, whose column appears each Monday, is the chief investigative reporter at ABC 7 News in Chicago. The views in this column are his own and not those of WLS-TV. He can be reached by email at and followed at