Wednesday, September 21, 2005
How to Get People's Attention 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
Yesterday morning I was walking to the bus along Randolph Street, across from Gallery 37 near the Chicago Cultural Center, when I noticed a huge (about 30 feet high) object draped in a black tarp sitting had suddenly appeared on the sidewalk.

No, the object didn't appear suddenly out of thin air - I meant to say it arrived that morning: as far as I know, we haven't perfected teleportation yet. Several local TV crew vans had descended on the scene, and a passel of nattily dressed people hovered about, waiting for their closeups. Whatever it was, it was news.

On my return trip, I discovered the mysterious object had been de-tarped. It was a huge brushed aluminum sculpture that resembled either a stylized cedar tree, a huge deer antler, or an upside-down lightning bolt - drawn by kindergarteners. It probably cost the taxpayers a million bucks.

"The Bean" it certainly isn't, and now I'm worried about the daily possibility of snagging my coat on the monstrosity as I walk by. So far, I've had no luck finding out the name or artist on Google™. Anyhow, you'd think something this enormous and shiny sticking up out of a busy sidewalk would turn heads and get people's attention.

Strangely, I noticed people were completely ignoring the giant metal antler, but were staring intently at something on the sidewalk below it. I watched with curiosity as each person stopped, looked down at the sidewalk for a moment, made a quizzical expression and walked away. What was all the excitement about?

Someone had dropped their (thankfully, still-wrapped) Tampax™, which had rolled into the crack between the sidewalk sections.

Who cares about a gleaming 30-foot high antler when there's a tampon on the sidewalk?