5/03/11: Tilt that Kilt, Evanston

It’s been one year and 11 months since I left Las Vegas and drove across the country with a constipated dog (Lucille the neatnik didn’t know what to do outside of her own backyard) and two large, wailing cats. Across the prairies, through the heartland of America and her religious billboards, we arrived in Chicago to a steaming pot of chili my sister had prepared in her Lincoln Square home.
In coming days, I adjusted to evenings in the 60s (I was used to evenings in the high 90s), blooming flowers and grass, flatly enunciated “A’s,” pressure to select either the Cubs of White Sox, and strangers who smile and make eye contact everywhere you go. In the ensuing year, my clients migrated from the west coast to the “third coast,” I met the love of my life, and made friends I feel like I’ve known for far longer than the reality.
But even after nearly two years, a certain Las Vegas sensibility still lives in me, and I’m grateful for it. It’s that Libertarian-esque, live and let live nature that I assumed during my decade in the desert. And while it usually lives quietly within me these days, it flairs up every so often when I see uptight headlines like this: “Evanston Rejects Tilted Kilt.” And this: “Show-Me’s Too Sexy for Naperville?”
The reason always points to “community standards,” that elusive, holier-than-thou reasoning that Republicans refer to as “family values” before having sex with the nearest open depository after the wife has gone to the group scrapbooking party. The perception that Evanston is brimming with residents whose standards are higher than other cities is laughable. Instead, those residents take their dollars to places like Las Vegas, where places like The Tilted Kilt, the Slanted Clam and The Pink Taco gladly charge Master Cards from Evanston, Naperville, Sheboygan and other places with higher community standards. Maybe what Evanston needs is another live sex demonstration at Northwestern to tilt that kilt just a little.

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