‘Reality hacking’ firm opens research center in Bolingbrook (Fiction)

Are we living inside a computer simulation?  Bolingbrook’s newest business, The Neo Center for the Study of Reality Coding, intends to find out.

At a private grand opening ceremony, attended by Mayor Roger Claar and all the village trustees, CEO Daniel C. Lovecraft explained the company purpose:

“Many billionaires, like Elon Musk, believe that the reality we live in is a computer simulation. Some have privately told us they want to escape the simulation or tweak it.  We want to help these folks, and with their funding, we might find the answer, eventually.”

Lovecraft cited a Bank of America study that says the odds that we live in a simulation are between twenty and fifty percent.   He added that since the odds are in favor of our reality being a computer simulation, it is a worthy investment to crack reality’s source code.

“Imagine making little changes, like giving every human unlimited access to food and water— Or even eliminating the need to eat or drink.  Everything is possible, including changes to our past.”

“Like changing the results of unjust elections?” asked Trustee Maria Zarate.

“Or eliminating the need for elections, entirely,” replied Lovecraft.

“I like that idea,” said Trustee Deresa Hoogland.

Claar praised the company’s decision to relocate to Bolingbrook.  “This is a top company with good-paying jobs that’s come here.  Just the other day, I praised McDonald’s for rebuilding a store in Bolingbrook. Now you guys are here.  That proves to me that Bolingbrook is not only good for business, it’s also good for business research.”

Trustee Robert Jaskiewicz was not impressed: “Didn’t someone do a study that disproved your theory?”

“That’s fake news,” replied Lovecraft.  “Besides, we’re just asking questions.  There’s no harm in that.”

“Yes, but did Roger give you a tax credit for locating your office here?”

“Bob,” Claar interrupted, “If you had attended the 3 AM meeting of the Bolingbrook Quantum Computing Commission, you would know the answer to that question.”

“I’ve never heard of that commission.”

“If you had asked the Village Attorney, he would have told you about it.”

“How would I know to ask the Village Attorney?  It’s not listed on the village website.”

“If you were a member of the Bolingbrook First party, you would have gotten the full orientation.”

“Yeah Bob,” added Trustee Rick Morales.  “Get with the program.”

“Exactly,” said Deputy Mayor Michael Lawler.  “You don’t want us to ask our new friend to edit your code, do you?”

Trustee Sheldon Watts later offered the company his blessing:

“I believe God exists in all realities and our programmers are doing God’s work.  Just because our parents created us does not mean that there is no God.  This is why I support STEM.  All things are possible through God.”

Later, a receptionist answered a call from this reporter to Claar’s office:

“Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays.  Roger is in a meeting and cannot be disturbed.”

In the background, a man who sounded like US Representative Peter Roskam said, “I just wanted to say thank you to the Bolingbrook First party for donating  $1000 to my campaign.”

“You’re welcome, but don’t mention it.  Our voters think we’re staying out of national politics.”

“I understand.  My middle-class voters think my tax cut bill will help them.”

Both men laughed.

Also in the Babbler:

Security tightened in Chicago in anticipation of Hanukkah Harry’s visit
Last Jedi premiere expected to draw record number of visitors to Clow UFO Base
Wereskunks to hold fundraiser for the Bolingbrook First Party
God to smite Bolingbrook on 12/15/17

Rocket sled crash-lands in Bolingbrook (Fiction)

A rocket sled crash-landed in Bolingbrook after shooting through the air at supersonic speeds.  Miraculously, no one was killed or injured. The crash only resulted in minor damage to a street.

Eyewitnesses as far north as Round Lake Beach claim to have heard a sonic boom as the sled flew through the sky:

“I heard this loud boom,” said an anonymous eyewitness from Lake Zurich.  “My daughter yelled that Santa’s sleigh was on fire.  I looked where she was pointing. I saw this red dot in the sky, with a trail of black smoke behind it.  I was so shocked that I told my daughter Santa wasn’t about to die in a sleigh accident because he isn’t real.  She hasn’t talked to me since.  I hope you’re happy that you ruined my daughter’s Christmas, Mr. Rocket Man.”

Monique, a Lisle resident who asked that we not use her last name, said she saw the rocket sled descending over her home: “At first I thought many in the lying media were wrong about Santa, and he was about to visit me.  Then I realized that his sled was dropping too fast to safely land.  I tried to wave him off, and I think I succeeded because another rocket fired and he gained altitude.  I believe in Santa now, even if he almost destroyed my home.”

Seconds after Monique’s sighting, the sled crashed into Royce RD and tumbled several yards down Concord LN, then came to a stop just short of Clover Lane.

Lenny, a Bolingbrook resident who asked that we not use his last name, saw the crash landing: “That flying sled almost hit my car.  I’m never driving down Royce RD again!”

After police and firefighters surrounded the sled, a man stepped out of a pod inside.  Eyewitnesses agree that he was wearing a charred Santa Suit, the remains of a fake beard, and a crash helmet.  He raised his right fist into the air.

“I just proved that Santa doesn’t exist!”  He said.  “There’s no way he travels at supersonic speed and makes precision stops at every home on Earth!  He’s impossible, just like that old blog post said!

Minutes later, Mayor Roger Claar appeared and scolded the pilot.  Claar told him that it was fortunate that no one died, and that the only damage was a few dents on the road.

“You could have hit the Honey-Jam Cafe or Portillo’s, or the site of the new Andy’s Frozen Custard.  What do you have to say for yourself?”

The pilot reached for his fireproof wallet and pulled out a credit card.

“How much can I legally donate to your campaign fund?”

Police immediately arrested the pilot but released him about an hour later. (Claar said he didn’t want to be known as “The mayor who arrested Santa” ). Some eyewitnesses say Claar told the pilot he was banned from Bolingbrook unless he agreed to do community service in Bolingbrook. “The Girl Scouts and Power Connection don’t count.”

Mayor Claar and the pilot could not be reached for comment.

Also in the Babbler:

Aliens laugh as Trustee Lawler says Bolingbrook will not tolerate drunk UFO pilots
Sources:  Steve Bannon threatens to run candidates in the 2019 Bolingbrook Election
New World Order close to making a decision about building a UFO Base in Peotone
God to smite Bolingbrook on 12/7/17

(Web Exclusive) Trustee Sheldon Watts proselytizes at Clow UFO Base (Fiction)

By Reporter X

Trustee Sheldon Watts celebrated his reappointment to the Bolingbrook Village Board by preaching to aliens at Clow UFO Base.

“I have walked through the valley of receiving the second fewest votes,” yelled Watts, as he stood in the middle of McDowell plaza.  “I thought I was all alone, except for my family and friends.  Then God guided me to back to his loyal servant Mayor Roger C. Claar.  Now I serve the higher powers of God, Roger, and Bolingbrook!”

For over an hour, Watts sang and preached about God in the Plaza.  Most aliens ignored him, while a few staff members listened to him during their lunch breaks.  Much of his sermon was about his seven months out of office after finishing next to last in a six-person race.

“God guided me to the Illuminati’s Crown and Scepter.  They told me that elections are unenlightened.  How many elected leaders are there in the Bible?  You don’t count votes to find enlightenment: you go to the light!”

One alien walked up to Watts and said: “There is no God.  Stop boring us.”

Watts laughed.  “All of our visitors have seen so much of the universe, yet know so little about how it works.  Let me ask you if there is no God, then how did we get here?”

Quantum Fluctuations and Multiverses are part of the answer.  No, I don’t have all the answers, and neither do you.”

Watts laughed again.

“Then think about this.  If your God exists, maybe he was testing you.”

“He’s always testing us.”

“Maybe instead of accepting the position, you were supposed to refuse it?  Then maybe you were supposed to tell Roger to appoint Terri Ransom to the board because she received more votes than you?  Maybe you aren’t supposed to be here?”

“I’d rather be smart with the Lord than a foolish alien atheist.”

“Whatever.”

Several minutes later, another alien walked up to Watts.

“You’re a lost Bozgot.  Have you heard the real news about how Lozogot sacrificed herself so you could go to the Great Singularity?”

“My savior is Jesus Christ who sacrificed—“

“Jesus cheated death.  Lozogot gave up his immortality so that we can be consumed by the gravity that binds us.”

Watts eventually ended his sermon by saying: “There is one mayor, and there is one God.  Let us be united under them”.

After the sermon, Watts refused to comment to this reporter.

A call to Mayor Claar’s office was answered by a receptionist:

“There is no UFO Base under Clow International Airport, and Bolingbrook’s voters were tricked into voting Sheldon out.  Roger is correcting a great injustice committed against a great resident.”

In the background, a man who sounded like Claar said, “Michael, last year you were at a low point in your life.  Still, you remained loyal to me, and now you’re my Deputy Mayor.  So I’m giving you an early Christmas present.”

After the sound of ripping paper, a man who sounded like Trustee Michael Lawler gasped.  “It’s real!  I’m Right, and You’re a Stupid Liar:  How to Run Bolingbrook the Roger Claar Way.  It’s your manual!

“Yes, and you’re only the second trustee who’s ever seen it.”

Bolingbrook Antifa couple are like any other Bolingbrook residents (Fiction)

Note:  Names were changed to protect the subjects from harassment.

Bob and Jane have lived in Bolingbrook for years.  They bought their utensils from Meijer and their furniture from Ikea.  They love Bolingbrook’s many restaurants and have voted for Mayor Roger Claar in the past.

They also are members of Bolingbrook’s Antifa cell.  Antifa is a controversial collective of anti-fascism activists, some of whom advocate punching Nazis. Since the election of President Trump, Antifa membership has skyrocketed.  Bob and Jane, who love taking walks along Whalon Lake, joined the day after the election.

“My grandfather shot Nazis in World War II,” said Bob.  “Now people would be upset if I told them that I wanted to punch Nazis.  Most of the time, punching doesn’t kill people.  It’s like this country is overcome with Fascistic Reverence.”

“The Klan tried to burn a cross on my grandfather’s lawn,” said Jane.  “He took a garden hose and put out the fire.  Because he was white, they didn’t kill him.  Still, my grandfather knew the importance of using his privilege to protect those less fortunate than him.  I want to live up to his example.”

Bob and Jane love to eat at BD’s Mongolian Grill.  They love to make dishes with beef.  Jane feels that BD’s is the perfect metaphor for Bolingbrook.

“They have meats and spices from around the world, and you can combine them to create unique tasty dishes. Just like Bolingbrook has people from different backgrounds and ethnicities who come together to create a unique community.  Now imagine if the Nazis came here and tossed out the spices and foods that they thought weren’t ‘pure’ enough.  It would be boring.  Diversity is what makes BD’s and Bolingbrook great.”

They are both concerned about the direction the country is headed in since Trump’s election.

“Hillary Clinton won the popular vote,” said Jane.  “Yet the media is obsessed with interviewing Trump supporters and writing puff pieces about Nazis.  What kind of world do we live in where Antifa is considered a threat and Nazis are considered good people?”

Bob, who owns a lawnmower, says most of his Antifa work consists of monitoring social media sites to locate Nazis either operating in or threatening Bolingbrook.  “It’s boring but important work.  There are people out there who want to attack Bolingbrook, and we will respond rapidly if they do!”

As for why they’re involved in Antifa, Jane took this reporter out for a walk with her.  She waved at her neighbor, an immigrant from Pakistan, and her black neighbor.  “When the Nazis talk about ethnic cleansing, they’re talking about my neighbors and friends. I’m fighting for the future of our diverse community.”

Also in the Babbler:

No casualties in Bolingbrook following Black Friday
Alien arrested for picketing outside of Village Hall
Trustee Robert Jaskiewicz escapes interstellar asteroid
Claar denies plans to visit Russia
God to smite Bolingbrook on 12/1/17

From the Webmaster: A Bolingbrook Babbler Thanksgiving (Fiction)

From the Webmaster: A Babbler Thanksgiving (Fiction)

My brother Dale insisted that I repost this video he made for Thanksgiving.  He says he’s still asking questions about the real origins of Thanksgiving.

I can answer his questions, but I thought I it would be more fun to let our readers try to answer these questions.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at the Bolingbrook Babbler.

The Mayors of Bolingbrook: Roger Claar (1986) (Fiction)

Bolingbrook, IL Mayor Roger Claar

File photo of Bolingbrook Mayor Roger C. Claar. (Image from the Village of Bolingbrook web page.)

In 1986, two years after President Ronald Reagan visited Clow UFO Base, Bolingbrook was in crisis. The New World Order forced Mayor Bob Bailey to resign. Old Chicago, once a source of pride for Bolingbrook, is finally torn down. Hair Metal bands are poisoning the minds of our children’s minds. Some fear that Clow could be closed and moved to Chicago.

In this crisis, The Illuminati appoints former village trustee Roger C. Claar as mayor.  In 1979, he was appointed a trustee and brought peace to a divided village board.  After an unsuccessful campaign for mayor, he was appointed administrator of The Men in Blue.  The Illuminati felt that Claar could restore order in Bolingbrook.

Claar did more than restore order in Bolingbrook. His first act as mayor was to announce his loyalty to the New World Order.  Instead of destroying his career, Claar became the longest-serving mayor in Bolingbrook’s history, and its most controversial. (2017: Following President Trump’s election in 2016, he switched back to the Illuminati and Clow UFO Base is now an Illuminati controlled facility.) Supporters say he spurred Bolingbrook’s commercial and industrial growth and is responsible for the village growing to over 70,000 residents. Critics say he runs Bolingbrook like a political machine and uses his campaign fund to live a lavish lifestyle.

When the Babbler first interviewed Mayor Roger Claar, he had recently been appointed mayor. Unlike the other mayors, he seemed to welcome the opportunity to talk to our reporter.

(2017: Content notice for the inappropriate use of the word, “crazy.”)

Mayor Roger Claar reveals his ‘crazy’ vision for Bolingbrook!

Reporter:  Thank you for your time.  We usually have to wait months before a mayor will grant us an interview.

Claar:  Don’t get too big a head.  I agreed to this interview because I know that not all of your readers believe your stories.  I’m using you to reach out to the Babbler’s sensible readers.

Reporter:  OK, I guess.  So, the first question.  How does it feel to be the mayor?

Claar:  Right now it’s kind of hectic, but it feels good.  It’s like my whole life has been building up to this moment where I can take chaos, and create order.   No, I have a better example.  It’s like I have a new baby, and I can once again forge her path.  (Phone rings)  Excuse me.  Hello?  Yes, it will be a lot of work.  Oh, thank you for your generous offer, but I can’t talk about campaign donations now.  I’m in my office.  I’m sure my campaign manager will organize a fundraiser soon.

Reporter:  People are donating to your campaign fund already?

Claar:  Sure.  I’ve been getting a lot of donations lately.

Reporter:  Are they trying-

Claar:  They aren’t trying anything!  You see, a donation to my campaign is the voters’ way of saying that I’m doing a good job during the off years.  The better the job I do, the more my campaign fund will grow.  Now I have quite a challenge before me, but I know the voters have confidence in me.  In fact, I could have several thousand dollars in my campaign fund by the end of the year.

Reporter:  Thousands of dollars?  Why do you need thousands of dollars to campaign in Bolingbrook?

Claar:  Would you turn down a million dollar campaign fund?

Reporter:  No.

Claar:  That’s settled.  Next question.

Reporter:  Um.  Some people say that we should reduce the population of Bolingbrook because of the risk to Clow UFO base’s cover.  How do you respond?

Claar: (chuckles)  I’ll play along.  The previous mayors have secretly tried to limit development around Clow.  I think that’s the wrong approach.  First, alien cloaking technology is more advanced today than it was back in the 1960s.  Second, I say that the more people Bolingbrook has, the easier it will be to hide the UFO base.  In fact, I support commercial development around Clow.

Reporter:  Businesses next to a UFO base?  Are you crazy?

Claar: (Smiles)  Coming from the Babbler, that’s a compliment.  No, it won’t happen right away, but think about all the supplies that a UFO base needs.  Now try to justify delivering all of those supplies to a small, rural suburb.  Like a tanker truck for example.  Before, you had to ask why a tanker is in the middle of nowhere.  With more development, we can say, “Oh that truck is here to fuel at the new gas stations.”

Reporter:  I see.

Claar:  Or think about all the people required to staff a UFO base:  Why would all those people be in Bolingbrook?  Once I get my way, we can say, “Oh, they’re here to shop.”  “They live here.”  “They work in the brand new factories.”  Do you understand?

Reporter:  I see.

Claar:  In fact, I’m going to go up to developers and say, “See this previous development?  This is the most expensive home.  I want you to oversee development of a subdivision, and that’s the starting price.”

Reporter:  Why?

Claar:  So people can move up in status and still live in Bolingbrook!  In fact, I want people to do more than live in Bolingbrook, I want them to shop in Bolingbrook.  Chicago and Naperville have been taking too many of our sales tax dollars. We need to keep those dollars in Bolingbrook.

Reporter: How?

Claar: I am going to support the building of malls. We’ll start with strip malls, and then someday, I imagine that Bolingbrook will be the home to a large outdoor mall. It will be so magnificent that people from Naperville will want to shop there.

Reporter: Wait a minute! Bolingbrook couldn’t support an indoor mall. How could we support an outdoor mall?  Especially one without an amusement park?

Claar: Because it will have anchor stores that people will actually want to shop at! (Phone rings) Excuse me. Hello? Yes! I’m doing fine. What’s that? Sorry, I can’t talk about donations. I’m working, and you do business with the Village. What? Hmm. I guess it would mean I’d have to be tougher on you, and thus you would do a better job for the village. That’s an interesting argument. I’ll have to discuss it with my lawyers. But not right now.

Reporter: Did I hear–

Claar: Everything I do will be double checked by lawyers and then double checked again! I won’t do anything illegal!

Reporter: But how will that look to the residents of Bolingbrook?

Claar: Would you want to talk to lawyers every time someone gave you a gift?

Reporter: No.

Claar: Well that’s what I’m going to do!

Reporter: But that sounds c–

Claar: Don’t say that C word!

(Knock on the door. Claar answers the door.)

Man holding briefcase: Hello your honor! (Opens the briefcase) Alexander Hamilton and I want to talk to you about building a luxury housing development and a first-class golf club in Bolingbrook.

(Claar turns red)

Claar: Aaron Burr and I want you to get the (expletive deleted) out of my office!

(Man runs away with the money. Claar walks into the bathroom and then comes out several minutes later.)

Claar: Ed sure has good taste in wallpaper.

Reporter: And missile defense systems.

Claar (chuckles): You know, a luxury housing development anchored by a golf club is a good idea. Maybe something to do several years from now. But I won’t use that developer. He’s dishonest. You know, if it’s such a good idea, maybe the village could do the project instead.

Reporter: You want the village to get into the real estate business?

Claar: Why not? Land is always a good investment. The village would collect tax dollars and money from the sale of the homes. How could we lose?

Reporter: What if the market has a downturn?

Claar: Then we’ll wait for the up-turn.

Reporter: Government in the real estate business? That’s crazy! I’m sorry.

Claar: If the Babbler thinks it’s crazy, then it must be a good idea. But don’t worry. I think I’ll build two skateparks before I build the golf course.

Reporter: Skateparks? Have you seen skateboarders! They’re crazy! They must be on drugs.

Claar: If skateboarding isn’t a crime, then only law-abiding citizens will be skateboarders.

(Reporter stares at Claar)

Claar: Oh, by the time I get to that, skateboarding will be cool and the crazy people will try to figure out how to jump off high buildings without getting killed.

Reporter: I don’t know what to say. All of your ideas are so radical-  and I’m not just saying that lightly.

Claar: Oh, those ideas are pretty simple compared to my ultimate dream.

Reporter: Ultimate dream?

Claar: Sure. Everyone needs an ultimate dream. A vision to work towards, even if you don’t succeed, so you’ll go farther than you expected to go.

Reporter: I’m afraid to ask.

Claar: You talk to aliens, yet you’re afraid of my ultimate goal?

Reporter: I’m not Reporter X.

Claar: Ah. Well if I’m successful as mayor, then not only will more people want to move to Bolingbrook, but more communities will want to be a part of Bolingbrook.

Reporter: As in copying your policies?

Claar: No. As in they will ask to be annexed by Bolingbrook. First Romeoville, and then Woodridge. As Bolingbrook grows, more suburbanites will demand to be annexed by Bolingbrook. Before long, all of Chicago’s suburbs will merge to become Greater Bolingbrook, and Chicago will be a suburb of Bolingbrook!

Reporter: Um, if you want to run a major city, why not move to Chicago and run for mayor?

Claar: Do you want to be the mayor of Chicago?

Reporter: Good point.

Claar: Once that happens, then I can retire knowing that I helped Bolingbrook reach its golden age.

Reporter: You know, somehow, that idea doesn’t sound crazy.

Claar: Good. I think.  Well, I have to get back to work. I hope you print most of the truth.

Reporter: I am sworn to tell reveal the truth, no matter how unbelievable it may be.

Claar: Some things never change. You know–

(A basketball flies in through the open window. Claar grabs the ball and throws it out the window. Then he runs up to the window.)

Claar: Hey! Watch where you throw your ball!

Girl: You’re a meanie and I’m going to get you someday!

(Girl runs away.)

Claar: (Shakes his head.) I have a feeling that girl is going to grow up to be nothing but trouble.

After publishing the interview, Claar announced at the next board meeting that the only truthful part of the story was letting the reporter into his office. The rest was “a bunch of nonsense.”

(2017 update: Over the years, the Babbler and Claar have come to an understanding.  Though he has never given another formal interview with the Babbler since this one, he has ways of getting his message to us. As the election of 2017 showed, his reputation might have been tarnished by his endorsement of President Donald Trump during the election, but he will go down in history as one of Bolingbrook’s most influential mayors.)

Despite our psychics’ best efforts, we don’t know when the next mayor of Bolingbrook will be elected. When that happens, we will interview that person, and we will print the truth, no matter how unbelievable it may be.

As this series has shown, the Babbler has always been a part of Bolingbrook’s history. We’re confident that as long as there’s a Bolingbrook, there will be a Bolingbrook Babbler. It just wouldn’t be “The Brook” without us.

The Mayors of Bolingbrook: Edward Rosenthal (1981) (Fiction)

In 1980, America rejected The Carter administration and embraced the pro-American, pro-responsibility policies of Ronald Reagan. It really was morning in America. In 1981, Bolingbrook decided to elect liberal Ed Rosenthal to be the mayor of Bolingbrook. 

The residents of Bolingbrook supported his efforts to create transparency inside village hall. They were willing to buck the national trend to put the Pride Party and him in office.

Rosenthal’s election angered Babbler publisher John Olson so much, that he would use the Babbler to try to get Rosenthal recalled before his inauguration. He said that Bolingbrook needed to be saved from that, “Peacenik hippy commie teacher!” the Babbler, under protest from the editor, ran articles about Rosenthal’s “numerous visitors with alien bankers” and attacked his family. When the Babbler questioned his wife’s administration of The Fountaindale Library and its “Collection of cursed books,” Rosenthal wrote a letter to the editor. When the Babbler claimed that his oldest daughter had a collection of voodoo dolls, he submitted a guest opinion. 

When the Babbler wrote about his youngest daughter, Rosenthal marched into the Babbler’s new Barber’s Corner office and barged into Olson’s office. The two then had the loudest argument in the history of Bolingbrook. The argument was heard as far away as Downers Grove, and as far underground as Hell. They only calmed down when lawyers for both sides entered the room.

After the meeting, Olson announced that he was stepping down as the publisher of the Babbler. He added that the Babbler would retract its article about Rosenthal’s youngest daughter. To date, this is the only retraction in the Babbler’s history.

Rosenthal then agreed to his first interview with the Babbler as mayor, but stated that he be allowed to “conclude our settlement there.” Our reporter had no idea what he was getting into.

Mayor Rosie speaks to the Babbler!

Reporter: Hello your honor.

Rosenthal: Oh come in. You can call me Mayor. We’ll worry about calling me Ed or Rosie later once you’ve earned it.

Reporter: Um OK.

Rosenthal: You must be the bravest reporter at the Babbler. 

Reporter: I drew the short straw.

Rosenthal: Ah. Well, have a seat. This won’t hurt much.

Reporter: OK. Um, you seem calmer now compared to the last time I saw you.

Rosenthal: Oh I’m quite calm now. In fact, I’ve never been happier. I heard that you have a new publisher now.

Reporter: Yes. Chris Olson took over today. He says that he’s going to keep the editorial and business departments separate at the Babbler.

Rosenthal: I think that’s good. All I have to say to your staff is this. You can accuse me of visiting alien bankers, though I only go to the bank to cash a check. You can say my wife is hoarding spell books, though she really supports science. You can talk about Rachel because she thinks it cool to have voodoo dolls. But when you go after my youngest daughter, that makes me mad. She’s too young for your silliness.

Reporter: I’m here to assure you that my report won’t be silly.

Rosenthal: If you say so. Now, what’s your first question? And it better not be about cabals ,or secret business groups, or any other innuendo.

Reporter: Um. Just a second. Oh. Trustee Claar says your policies will stunt Bolingbrook’s growth. How do you respond?

Rosenthal: Ah a sensible question. Well, we can’t keep growing forever. If our growth does slow down, we can use this as an opportunity to build up our infrastructure. I’m sure some residents would like to have sidewalks.

Reporter: Except for the Cars First party.

Rosenthal: Let’s not talk about them.

Reporter: Some people close to Claar say that he feels Bolingbrook needs to keep growing in order to cover up Clow UFO Base. How do you respond?

Rosenthal: I knew this couldn’t last. Well, you would think that if you want to cover up a UFO base, you would want fewer people in the community, not more. But if you had to have more people, you would want them to gather away from Clow. Like my policy to bring industry to the I-55 Corridor. That way residents will focus their attention away from Clow.

Reporter: That makes sense. Plus, it’s a great way to bring alien products to the public by saying they were manufactured in Bolingbrook.

Rosenthal: I guess.

Reporter: Aren’t you worried that by bringing in industry, you’ll endanger the local farmers?

Rosenthal: Oh no. They can go together.

Reporter: Our sources say that Trustee Claar is concerned about the “shopping gap” that’s driving residents out of town to buy basic needs.

Rosenthal: Roger is a good friend, but I think he’s too obsessed with shopping. The future isn’t in strip malls but in independence.

Reporter: How so?

Rosenthal: Remember when gasoline was $1 a gallon.

Reporter: How could I forget? That’s why I voted for Ronald Reagan: So he could lower gas prices, cut my taxes, and increase defense spending -while cutting the budget to lower the deficit.

Rosenthal: (Chuckles) Reagan might be able to lower gas prices for a while, but eventually prices would go up. You know someday, gasoline could cost as much as $3 a gallon.

Reporter: Three dollars a gallon? That would cause economic chaos. That’s Mad Max type chaos.

Rosenthal: Exactly. When gas gets that high, Chicago’s leaders are going to start asking questions. Like why are we buying our corn from Iowa when we could be buying it from Bolingbrook at a better price?

Reporter: I see.

Rosenthal: So, our farmers will make lots of money feeding Chicago. Then they’ll want to buy things with their riches. By having most of our manufacturing in Bolingbrook, we’ll keep the money in Bolingbrook. The farmers will get good deals because they don’t have to import their goods from out of state. The non-farmers will have good paying factory jobs, and the village will have a strong tax base. Now isn’t that a better investment than strip malls?

Reporter: Yes. It’s almost visionary!

Rosenthal: Thank you.

Reporter: Our sources are telling us that the village has been receiving messages from a thousand years into the future. Do you have any comment?

Rosenthal: No, but I’d be happy to listen to what they have to say.

Reporter: What if they’re hostile invaders?

Rosenthal: Then we’ll defend ourselves as best as we can from invaders from a thousand years in the future.

Reporter: But that’s not what I expected from you.

Rosenthal: I am a liberal, not a hippy.

Reporter: But–

(Sounds of small footsteps)

Rosenthal: We’ll have to wait a bit. I think the last part of our agreement is about to arrive.

(Rachel and her younger sister arrive.)

Rachel: (Whispers) Dad, (Name withheld) is annoying me.

Rosenthal: That’s what younger sisters are supposed to do. (Name withheld), come here.

(Youngest daughter shyly walks over to her dad.)

Rosenthal: (Points to the reporter) Do you see that man over there? That man works for the Babbler. They wrote that mean article about you. Now show daddy what you told mommy you were going to do.

(She walks up to reporter and stares at him for a few seconds.)

Youngest Daughter: I AM NOT AN ADOPTED SPACE ALIEN!

(Kicks the reporter in the shins. Both daughters run away.)

Reporter: That hurt. Are you going to punisher her?

Rosenthal: I’ll get around to it eventually. Right now, I’m savoring the moment.

In 1984, Rosenthal led Bolingbrook to victory in what would later be known as The Bolingbrook Time War. His bold leadership in the face of a technologically superior foe saved Bolingbrook from certain destruction. In the 31st century, he is hailed as a great liberator.

Though he was driven from office when he tried to disguise the cost of an anti-UFO defense system as wallpaper for his office bathroom, Rosenthal is still a respected resident of Bolingbrook. It is as if the residents know that Bolingbrook owes its continued existence to him.

Tomorrow:  Every journey starts with a first step.  Mayor Roger Claar invites the Babbler to watch him take his first steps towards becoming the longest-serving mayor in Bolingbrook’s history.

The Mayors of Bolingbrook: Bob Bailey (1978) (Fiction)

Few can argue with Bob Bailey’s dedication to Bolingbrook. He served on the Board of Trustees since Bolingbrook’s founding in 1965. To date, he is the only resident to serve two nonconsecutive terms as mayor. While critics called his expansion of Remington Blvd a “Road to nowhere,” it helped spur industrial development in Southern Bolingbrook. The current Bolingbrook Town Center is named in his honor. Some say that if you listen very carefully, you can hear his ghostly footsteps as he wonders the hallways.

In the late 1970s, Bailey had a love-hate relationship with the Babbler throughout his career. He would call Babbler reporters “a bunch of liars” at board meetings, yet most of what we now know about Clow UFO base came from his leaks to the Babbler. Sources say he summoned the ghosts of journalists to create The Phantom Press.  Bailey wanted a publication to compete with the Babbler, he allegedly told his supporters. Yet, when those supporters urged him to have the Babbler removed from Old Chicago, he refused. Circulation of the Babbler at Old Chicago saved the Babbler from almost certain bankruptcy.

Though Bailey gave many insightful interviews with the Babbler, his first interview as mayor was marred by the Disco Fever Epidemic of 1978. 

(Content notice 2017: Depiction of sexual harassment by the reporter.  Would not be tolerated today by any staff member.)

Mayor Bob Bailey goes disco!

By Reporter Quepasa

The phone rang at an ungodly hour.

“Why are you calling me at 1 PM. That’s wicked!”

“Keep cool, man. I’ve got a really hot tip, you know. So I had to wake you up, you know.”

“It had better be good, and not bogus.”

“There’s a VIP disco tonight at Old Chicago! Everyone who’s anyone in Bolingbrook is going to be there. They’ve set aside a special joint for the occasion!”

“Like no way!”

“Like way! It’s not open to the public, but I got tickets for you. If you wear your best threads they’ll let you in. Catch my drift?”

“I can dig it!”

After spending most of the afternoon enjoying the buzz from my primo coffee, I cleaned up and put on my best threads. I hopped into my car and pointed my car towards the dome.

By the time I got through the traffic on 53, it was nighttime. My source met me in the parking lot.

“The joint’s in the back.” He said as he handed me the tickets. “Be cool, and they’ll let you in.”

“This better not be bunk.” I told him.

“No way, man. This ticket is cool, you know.”

“I know.”

I walked through the front door, and made my way back through the Kitschy shops. Who knew that back in the olden times Chicago had indoor streets? As I strolled pass the Chicago Loop, I had to pause. I don’t care what the so-called scientists said, they were using alien technology to keep passengers in those seats! Someday I would figure it out. But not tonight!

Once I snapped out of it, I made my way to the unassuming door marked, “Chemicals! Keep out!” I knocked. The door opened, and large man looked at me.

“What’s the password?”

“Pathways!”

“Not so loud!”

“Sorry man.”

“You can come in. Nice threads.”

I walked up the dimly lit stairs, towards the flickering lights above. When I reached the top, I saw the movers and shakers of Bolingbrook. All twenty of them. The trustees, the editors, the business leaders, and those who wanted to be around them. It was a trip! What brought these people together? I thought I knew.

I sat down and tugged on a waitress. I asked her for coffee.

“Large or small?”

“I don’t want a drink. I want COFFEE!”

“Large or small?”

“I WANT COFFEE!”

“Oh! We’re not into that here. You’d have to go to a Chicago joint for that.”

I cursed my squeaky clean village and its boring farmers. I order a stiff drink, and slapped her on the butt. What was bringing all these powerful people here?

I got the lowdown soon enough. The dance floor lit up. The lights started to spin. The DJ spun the turntable, and the infectious groove creeped into my brain. The pull was too much. I, along with the trustees and their spouses, were pulled onto the dance floor. My brain started telling my body how to get down. I couldn’t help myself, and I didn’t want this groove to end. I started going solo, but then a cute groupie chick joined me. I should have been taking photos with my hidden camera, but my mouth just wanted to talk jive to the cutie in front of me.

“Evacuate the dance floor!” Came a cry.

Four men in blue pounced onto the floor, and then formed a large square. I thought I was on a high when I saw the four insanely FBI types start to do some synchronized moves on the dance floor.

Into the square, Mayor Bob Bailey and his wife swirled in.  Her flowing dress, and his stunning white suit, made me feel like I was having a flashback.

“Everyone feel the funk!” Exclaimed Bailey.

The music came over me even harder. My feet moved against my will, yet I couldn’t take my eye off of Bob Bailey. Not that there was anything wrong with that. Until he looked straight at me.

“I know you!”

My horror almost overwhelmed my desire to dance.

“Hustle on over here!” Exclaimed Bailey.

My legs danced to Bob before I could think about it.

He looked at his wife. “This man is with the Babbler.”

She greeted me before spinning on the floor.

“You’re here to watch us get down?” Asked Bailey.

My sense of duty came back to me. “Yeah! Can we talk while we get down?”

“Sure.” Said Bailey. “Your talking can’t stop the music. Nobody can stop the music!”

“Is it true that you’re trying to summon ghosts?”

“No comment.” Bailey said with an evil grin.

“Why?”

“Why would I summon the ghosts of reporters? You figure it out.”

The boogie overtook us for a few seconds. Then it became clear that this soul train of thought was going nowhere. That’s when I decided to go for it.

“Why do you want to build a road to nowhere?”

“Who says it’s a road to nowhere?”

“But there’s nothing there.”

“Nothing that you can see.”

“What does that mean?”

Bailey shook his head. “You’re with the Babbler. Think about it. I tell the world that I want factories there. I tell you there’s something there.”

Though I really needed my coffee, I could figure this out.

“There are invisible factories there?”

Bailey smiled. “There are cloaked factory ships there. We need to build the road so that we can get their products to market faster.”

“But won’t it look odd to have a four-lane road with no buildings?”

“You’re thinking small, man. We’ll put visible factories there to replace the cloaked ships. It will be cool.”

I shook my head. “I don’t know, man. That sounds like you’re trying to bring more people into Bolingbrook. Won’t that upset The Man?”

Bailey threw a cool dance move. “What’s The Man going to do? Get me involved in a bad deal, and then have the charges thrown out on appeal? Don’t worry. We’re cool with the powers that be.

“But I–”

Bailey started moving his arms. “I can’t hear you right now. This is the extended dance mix!”

Suddenly, Steve Dahl rushed to the dance floor wearing stereo headphones.

“Disco is evil!” He screamed. “Look at what it’s doing to our sense of dignity and fashion!”

Before the Men in Blue could grab him, he flashed a penlight at Bailey and me. The boogie left my soul, and my head felt like it was coming down after a long night of drinking coffee.

As the Men in Blue dragged Dahl away, it looked like Bailey was having the same sensation I was.

“Why am I wearing this ugly outfit? Why am I dancing to this music? Why are my guards dancing?”

Bailey snapped his fingers and the Men in Blue stood at attention.

“Don’t harm Steve,” Bailey said into the air. “I have a special mission for him.”

Bailey and his entourage marched off the dance floor.

I felt the need to go home and reconsider my life. Maybe even reconsider my coffee usage.

As I started towards the exit, I heard a man talking to his date, or maybe his wife.

“It is unacceptable that I have to go out of town to buy a fine polyester leisure suit.” He said. “I should be able to buy everything I need without leaving the village.”

“Maybe you should run for office.” Said the woman.

“It’s too expensive to run for office.  I would need to raise at least a thousand dollars to stand a chance.  Plus, the moment I say we need to replace cornfields with strip-malls, I’ll be labeled a foe of Bolingbrook.  Who wants to go through that?”

History says that a year later, Steve Dahl ended the disco epidemic with Disco Demolition Night. Though dance music came back in the 1990s, artists and producers worked to ensure that their music would never be as infectious as disco was.

We may never know if Dahl was acting under Bailey’s orders. If so, then perhaps we should be thankful that Bailey helped save the world from the disco apocalypse.

(2017: Though to be fair, some of the motivation behind the backlash against disco was homophobic and racist.)

As for Reporter Quepasa, he left the Babbler later in 1978 to find himself. When we last heard from him in 2006, he said he now had a personal relationship with the Flying Spaghetti Monster.  He wanted to inspire young people to become pirates and to “Not make the same mistakes I made when I was young.

Tomorrow:  They said that as sure as disco would live forever, Jimmy Carter would free the hostages, and Edward Rosenthal would never be mayor of Bolingbrook.  Find out what happened after he defied the odds.

Skepticon rejects Bolingbrook’s bid to host 2018 convention (Fiction)

Despite secret lobbying efforts from the Bolingbrook Chamber of Commerce, Skepticon officially chose St. Louis as their new host city.

“We are disappointed in Skepticon’s choice,” said a source within the Chamber.  “We feel that we had a competitive bid, and we feel that Bolingbrook is a great site for any convention.”

Skepticon, which describes itself as “The largest free skeptic conference in the nation, and possibly the universe,” is known for its coverage of both skeptical and social justice issues.  Sources within the Chamber say that winning the Skepticon bid could have been a big boost to tourism in Bolingbrook.

“Sure, Skepticon is filled with so-called social justice activists,” said another source.  “But they would have been our social justice activists, and even the most die-hard social justice activists need to spend money on food and hotels.  We could have made huge profits if we’d gotten this convention.  Just look at what it did for Springfield, MO.”

Sources within the Skepticon organization said they were flattered by Bolingbrook’s bid, but never seriously considered it.

One source, who asked to be called Rose, explained the reasons: “Most of us live in Missouri, so Bolingbrook is too far away for us.  Plus, most of the venues in Bolingbrook are too small for us.  The only place that we could hold it in was the Bolingbrook Golf Club, and even the discounted price was too much for us.”

The sources said they appreciated Bolingbrook’s efforts to make new homes accessible for people with disabilities, but cited other problems with Bolingbrook.  Among them were: a lack of public transportation options from both Chicago airports; a lack of sidewalks in Bolingbrook; and the distance between hotels and nearby restaurants.

Another source, who asked to be called Steve, had harsher words for Bolingbrook:  “We could not, in good conscience, go to Bolingbrook. Its mayor not only endorsed Trump but raised money for him as well.  We don’t expect our host mayors to be perfect, but (Mayor Roger Claar) is too far from perfect for us to move Skepticon to his community.”

Publicly, Skepticon denied ever receiving a bid from the Bolingbrook Chamber:  “We have no record of such a bid, and we’re skeptical that you interviewed anyone connected to Skepticon.  You can meet us in St. Louis next year.  Or the year after, or whenever we decide to start up Skepticon again.”

The Bolingbrook Chamber officially denied placing a bid for Skepticon: “The Babbler is already under a lifetime membership ban.  If we could extend it to two lifetimes, we would!”

A receptionist answered a call to Claar’s office. She said, “I’m sure Roger has never heard of Skepticon, and I’m skeptical of your sources for this so-called story.”

In the background, a man who sounded like Claar said, “So Charline, this is the letter you want to send to Bolingbrook’s churches if the Johnson Amendment is repealed.

“Yes.  Once churches are allowed to endorse political candidates, it will be important to control them.  Just like you took control of the Village Board and the Chamber of Commerce.”

“Well, I didn’t really take control of the Chamber—Oh my God!”

“What?”

“Charline, you really wrote, ‘Church and state make each other great.’ Seriously?”

“What’s wrong with that?”

Also in the Babbler:

Russian snow attack against Bolingbrook fails
Crocoducks spotted in Bolingbrook
Sources: Mayor Claar threatens to move all of Bolingbrook into DuPage County
God to smite Bolingbrook on 11/15/17

The Mayors of Bolingbrook: Nora Wipfler (1975) (Fiction)

In 1975, Bolingbrook celebrated its 10th birthday. Now it was officially the second largest municipality in Will County, and some predicted that Bolingbrook would soon reach 100,000 residents by 1985. If you were young and starting a family, Bolingbrook was the happening Chicago suburb. Old Chicago would open later that year, along with the Fountaindale Library. The future seemed bright.

The Babbler’s future, at the time, seemed uncertain. Following the loss of paper of record status, publisher John Olson was forced to make cuts. The page count was cut in half, and the number of enhanced photos per issues was reduced. Many believers feared that Chicagoland’s voice of truth could be silenced.

Though the Babbler was down, it was certainly wasn’t out, as our first interview with newly elected mayor Nora Wipfler clearly showed.

Mayor Wipfler speaks: Romeoville won’t eat us!

After avoiding the Babbler during the campaign, new Village President Nora Wipfler finally agreed to an interview! While obviously the powers that be prevented her from telling the whole truth about her plans for Bolingbrook, we found her relative openness to be quite refreshing.

Reporter: Thank you for the interview, madam president.

Wipfler: You can call me mayor. Everyone else does.

Reporter: OK. Well Mayor Wipfler, thank you for this interview.

Wipfler: Oh don’t thank me. I just want to be able to go to sleep and not worry about a three AM call from your reporters.

Reporter: Fair enough.

Wipfler: But don’t think that means I’ll put up with any sexist questions.

Reporter: (Tears several pages out of his notebook.) In that case, my first question is, how do you enjoy being the most important mayor in the galaxy?

Wipfler: Galaxy? Oh, that’s right. It feels just like being the mayor of a large village in Illinois. I enjoy it.

Reporter: Tell us about your first meeting with a space alien.

Wipfler: Now come on. You know that would be classified. I could tell you, but then a man in purple would have to slap you.

Reporter: Not a man in blue?

Wipfler: I meant a man in blue. Now, how about some questions that I can answer.

Reporter: OK. Our sources tell us that Old Chicago is being built over the Indian burial ground of ancient astronauts. Are you concerned that Bolingbrook could come under attack from a curse, the alien’s decedents, or both?

Wipfler: No.

Reporter: Do you care to elaborate?

Wipfler: Old Chicago isn’t being built on an ancient nuclear waste disposal site. The developer isn’t an alien. The communists aren’t ordering me to harass the developer. It’s just as ordinary as a shopping mall with an indoor amusement park can be ordinary.

Reporter: Are you concerned about the possibility of Old Chicago coming under psychic attack?

Wipfler: I’m sure the men in lavender, er purple, er whatever color they are, will handle any such attack…Though it sounds like a good plot for a disaster movie. You should pitch it to Hollywood.

Reporter: Oh no! We’re a serious publication.

Wipfler: Sure. Next question.

Reporter: With Old Chicago opening this year and the proposed widening of Route 53, are you concerned that with more people coming into Bolingbrook, Clow’s cover will be blown?

Wipfler: Clow’s cover?

Reporter: You know. Clow’s cover story.

Wipfler: Oh, the whole UFO base silliness.

Reporter: I’ve seen the evidence!

Wipfler: Calm down. I’ll give you a quote. Old Chicago is to the South of Clow air- er, UFO base. Since everyone will be looking South, they won’t notice the UFO’s flying into Clow. That way, when someone claims there’s a UFO base in Bolingbrook, we can say, “If there were a base in Bolingbrook, how come no one has seen it?”

Reporter: Because we’ve distracted them with Old Chicago.

Wipfler: And since everyone is indoors–

Reporter: That’s brilliant!

Wipfler: That’s why I won the election.

Reporter: You know, when John–

(Wipfler clears her throat)

Reporter: OK. Next question. You are urging residents to buy in Bolingbrook. Yet Bolingbrook relies on Interstellar tourism and trade. If the aliens followed your advice, wouldn’t that devastate our economy?

Wipfler: How so?

Reporter: If they did all their shopping on their homeworlds, then they wouldn’t shop in Bolingbrook. Since we rely on their tourist dollars, should we really be suggesting that they spend their money at home?

Wipfler: Well, if they’re shopping in Bolingbrook, that means they can’t get what they’re looking for on their home planets. So, I find it unlikely that our campaign would encourage them to shop elsewhere. So, if we encourage our residents to shop in Bolingbrook, and aliens to shop in Bolingbrook as well, together they’ll help boost our economy.

Reporter: I see.

Wipfler: Now we’re getting silly. What’s the next question?

Reporter: Some people say that the Bolingbrook/Romeoville joint planning commission is part of a plot to merge Bolingbrook into Romeoville.

Wipfler: Absolutely not. Romeoville is not going to eat Bolingbrook. It is just a group dedicated to coordinating the growth of our two communities.

Reporter: Kind of like the Twin Cities.

Wipfler: In a way, yes.

Reporter: I have a friend in the Twin Cities. He tells me that he knows an unusually large number of people there who practice polygamy or are in so-called open relationships. Aren’t you afraid that if Bolingbrook and Romeoville act like the Twin Cities, more residents will take up these so-called “alternative lifestyles?”

Wipfler: I… I really don’t know how to answer that question.

Reporter: You’re not afraid that forcing Bolingbrook into a twin city relationship with Romeoville will endanger traditional family values in Bolingbrook?

Wipfler: I’m not sure what I think of your hypothesis.

Reporter: Some people say that this commission is oppressive to the residents of Bolingbrook, and could lead to a civil war.

Wipfler: Is some people named John Olson?

Reporter: Maybe. How do you respond?

Wipfler: I think our alien ambassadors would be able to broker a peace deal before any violence. Besides, we are suburbanites. We don’t resort to violence. We resort to filing lawsuits against each other. That’s the civilized way.

Reporter: But don’t you think?

Wipfler: I think you have enough material. You don’t have as many pages as you used to.

Reporter: True, but I do have one more.

Staffer: (Walks into the room.) Excuse me. That man sent another letter to you. He says that our ordinances regarding gas station signs are too restrictive, and that we shouldn’t be fining stations whose signs violate the rules.

Wipfler: So, he thinks a gas station should be able to post signs advertising their food and non-automotive products?

Staffer: Yes.

Wipfler: Well then. Maybe we should let all the gas stations put up as many signs as they want, and if the marketplace allows Bolingbrook to be covered in signs, then who are we to argue?

(Long pause and both women burst out laughing.)

Wipfler: That’s a good one.

Tomorrow:  Mayor Robert “Bob” Bailey catches Disco Fever.