Clow UFO Base survives holiday concert (Fiction)

By Reporter X

Clow UFO Base once again survived its annual holiday concert. Officials were quick to call it a success.

“The stats speak for themselves,” said Bolingbrook Mayor Roger Claar.  “Arrests were down a half a percent.  We had one less visitor hospitalized this year than last.  We also confiscated one ton of corn cobs before the concert.  I think it helped that we banned Festivus celebrations this year.  The feats of strengths and airing of grievances were creating too many problems for our security staff.  Now were there unfortunate incidents during the concert?  Yes; but it wouldn’t be a Clow Holiday Cultural Event without an incident or two, would it?”

The concert, officially titled, “A Study of Contrasts Between Traditional Christmas Music and Christmas Music Composed in the Late 20th Century/Early 21st Century,” started with a moment of silence in honor of former Bolingbrook Mayor Edward “Rosie” Rosenthal, who recently died of natural causes.  The first two performances were by the Bolingbrook High School alien choir and the Bolingbrook High School Alien Show Choir, both of which were well received.

Trouble began when three aliens suffered convulsions during a slide show presentation of the Village Board members’ children and grandchildren.  The three were hospitalized and are in stable condition.

“Sometimes our visitors can be overwhelmed cuteness,” said a doctor who asked not to be named.  “What can I say?  Our leaders have cute kids.”

After the slideshow, Trustee Robert Jaskiewicz was invited to walk on stage.  He was handed a piece of paper and asked to sing along to the music.  When the music started, he sang the beginning of “Little Drummer Boy.”

Seconds later, Trustee Michael Lawler walked on stage and sang “Peace on Earth/Can it be?” He smiled as he walked towards Jaskiewicz and kept singing.

Claar charged on to the stage and ordered the music to be stopped.

“Michael,” he yelled.  “What are you doing?  We are supposed to be shunning that man, not singing with him.”

“But I always wanted to sing a Bowie song on stage.”

“At the New Years party, you can sing ‘Fashion’ if you need to.  Now get off this stage!  You too, Stankiewicz.”

“Jaskiewicz,” Jaskiewicz replied.

“Whatever.”

The next band, Night Castle, was supposed to perform cover versions of Trans-Siberian Orchestra songs.  When they entered the stage, the lead guitarist announced that they had left their sheet music in their quarters.

“So we’re going to pay tribute to our second favorite album from Earth.  With a twist, of course.”

Night Castle started playing “American Idiot” by Green Day, and changed the chorus to “Don’t want to be a Bolingbrook Idiot.”  An alien, wearing an orange Claar mask, marched to the center of the stage.  Six aliens, wearing costumes that resembled the elected members of Claar’s Bolingbrook First party, ran up to the Claar impersonator, dropped to their knees and bowed before him.  Then aliens wearing Bolingbrook United shirts ran onto the stage. They were chased by aliens wearing Bolingbrook police uniforms and waving batons.  Some audience members then tried to rush the stage.

Claar walked up to the window of his luxury box and made an obscene gesture at the band.  The stage lights and sound were cut off, and Men in Blue stormed the stage, arresting the performers.

Claar then turned towards Jaskiewicz.  Jaskiewicz shrugged.

Tim Minchin, the final performer, finished his set by performing “White Wine in the Sun.”  During the performance, Trustee Sheldon Watts turned his back and plugged each ear with a finger.

After Minchin finished, the aliens gave him a standing ovation.  Minchin bowed then started writing on two sheets of paper.  He then held them up.  One read, “New World Order.”  The other read, “Illuminati.”  He tore up both sheets then wrote on a third sheet and held it up.  It read: “One Universe, One Humanity.  One Family.”

The aliens and many Clow staffers cheered.

Claar shook his head.  According to some sources, he ordered Minchin and Night Castle placed on the ‘banned for life from Clow’ list.

While the concert didn’t go as planned, many aliens said they enjoyed the show.

“These concerts are the best argument for anarchy,” said an alien who asked not to be named.

Also in the Babbler:

Bolingbrook Resident: My website will settle all political debates
Claar:  No rap concerts before Village Board Meetings
Bolingbrook police promise not to arrest Santa
God to smite Bolingbrook on 12/31/17

In memory of Edward ‘Rosie’ Rosenthal (Non-fiction)

My friend Edward “Rosie” Rosenthal died last Thursday at the age of 69.

Ed Rosenthal was Mayor of Bolingbrook from 1981 to 1985.  Part of his legacy as mayor included Bolingbrook’s tornado sirens.  Ed’s term featured many infrastructure improvements for Bolingbrook, although he did have to deal with his then rival, Roger Claar, who was a trustee at the time.  (Now Claar is the current Mayor of Bolingbrook, and he eventually became one of Ed’s friends.)

I suspect Ed will be better remembered as a long time science teacher at Naperville North, as well as the coach of the Girl’s Golf Team. I’ve been moved reading the many testimonials from his former students and athletes.  Many still met up with him years after he retired, and his Facebook page is filled with comments from former students.

Ed was also involved with the National Educational Association and was a negotiator for Naperville’s teacher’s union.  I remember reading his quotes in the paper as contract talks were close to the deadline.  He struck me as someone always willing to fight for the best deal, even if that sometimes meant taking cuts.  After he retired, he remained active with the NEA.

When I first met Ed, I believed that he wasn’t quite sure what to make of one of his daughter’s friends from the Internet.  I think I won him over soon afterward.  He helped me get settled in the Chicago area, and we eventually became neighbors in Bolingbrook.  I also enjoyed Thanksgiving dinners with his family. Whenever I had a question about Bolingbrook politics, he was always willing to answer it—though I now I suspect that there was more he wanted to share with me.

Ed also liked it whenever I mentioned him in a Bolingbrook Babbler article.  He even shared my “Mayors of Bolingbrook” article about him.

Ed was a very kind and helpful person to not only me but to his family and many others.  I feel honored to have been friends with him and he was an asset to Bolingbrook.  I and many others will miss him.

Military investigators question Mayor Claar about UFOs (Fiction)

Sources say military investigators questioned Mayor Roger Claar for about an hour about Clow UFO Base:

Many sources in Village Hall say the investigators were from the successor program to the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program.  They were investigating a UFO sighting in California.  These sources said the investigators considered Claar a person of interest because he has family in California, and because of the Babbler’s articles about Claar being the administrator of Clow UFO Base.

Clow is an airport,” Claar allegedly replied.  “It is not a UFO Base.  You can’t believe anything you read in the Babbler!”

“That’s interesting,” one investigator allegedly replied.  “PZ Myers says the same thing about the Babbler. But we spoke with military personnel who used to be close to PZ, and they said you cannot believe anything PZ says.  So if PZ is saying—”

“Oh, that’s just great!”  Claar allegedly snapped back.

Sources agree that the investigators showed Claar pictures of every UFO sighting in Illinois and California.

Claar, the sources say, was not happy with the questions:

“Just because something is unidentified, does not mean it is from outer space!  It could be drones, clouds, or hoaxes.  Don’t you guys read the Skeptical Inquirer?”

“Our superior officer says we shouldn’t read articles by people who don’t believe in UFOs.  They foster doubt about our mission.  If we doubt our mission, then we start doubting our superior officers.  If that happens, then who knows what would happen to the military.”

“I don’t want to know.”

Near the end, Claar pulled out his delegate card from the 2016 Republican Convention:

“See this card. It means I voted for our President at the convention.  I was willing to stick with him no matter how many rounds of votes it took to give him the nomination.  I remained a supporter after he was elected.  I didn’t distance myself from him during my last election.  As long as he doesn’t try to remove me from office, I will remain loyal to him.  Our President rewards loyalty.  So with that in mind, what do you think he would say if I called him right now?”

The investigators thanked him for his time and left.

When this reporter called for a comment, a receptionist answered the phone:

“Roger is preparing for this week’s Village Board meeting and cannot be disturbed.  Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays.”

In the background, a man who sounded like Claar said, “Hello Comcast?  I know our franchise agreement doesn’t expire until 2020, but I was hoping that you would consider creating a Bolingbrook-friendly Internet Tier for our residents.  I’ll send you a list of sites you can exclude that are not Bolingbrook-friendly.  I’m so glad the FCC repealed net neutrality so I can help my residents avoid fake content from my foes!”

Also in the Babbler:

Sources: Trump vows to take down Freethought Blogs
Canada offers to buy Chicagoland from the US
Elf on a shelf arrested for spying on children
God to smite Bolingbrook on 12/20/17

‘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

(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

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