CHICAGO. Facing a run-off in his first bid for re-election, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel took a major step to repair his abrasive image by sending a dead fish to his opponent, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia. “This is a friendly reminder,” Emanuel said as left the fish, an alewife, on the doorstep of Garcia’s residence in the 22nd ward. “Chicago is known for its natural beauty, so don’t fuck with me.”
Emanuel: “Don’t think I’m letting you off easy because your mom named you ‘Jesus’.”
Emanuel needed to win 50% of the vote in the general election but failed to do so because he has pissed off a majority of voters for one reason or another. “It’s the Mort Sahl approach to politics,” said Edward Nowaki, a professor at Roosevelt University, referring to the comedian who would ask “Is there anybody I haven’t offended yet?” midway through his routine. “Thankfully the election is three weeks away,” Nowaki added, “so some people may have forgotten how Rahm insulted them once they have two losing baseball teams to follow.”
Jesus Garcia: “I appreciate the gesture, but I ordered the beef.”
A dead fish is often viewed as a threat that the recipient will soon “sleep with the fishes” in Mafia argot, but Emanuel disclaimed any intent to menace. “What was I supposed to do, put a live fish on his doorstep?” Emanuel asked rhetorically. “The thing would die without water.”
Dead alewives: Yum!
Chicago has more dead fish per capita than any other U.S. city because alewives, a species of herring, invade the Great Lakes for seasonal die-offs when prospective mates dump them. The mass suicide, memorialized in the award-losing poem “Among Dead Alewives” by Con Chapman, is sometimes blamed for the unsatisfactory love lives led by undergraduates at the University of Chicago who take dates for long walks on the beach unaware that local fish are also depressed.
Actual unretouched photo of Emanuel in ballet class.
A ballet student in his youth, Emanuel was nonetheless tapped by Presidents Clinton and Obama as an enforcer on the campaign trail and in the White House. He once sent a dead fish to a pollster who displeased him, saying “I’m all about civility in politics. He can take that fish and bake it, broil it or sautee it in white wine, it’s entirely up to him.”
“Civility is key. If you can’t be civil to me, I’ll break your face.”
In the general election Emanuel received 46% of the vote, Garcia 34% and three other candidates 23%. When a reporter noted that these figures add up to more than 100%, Emanuel shrugged and said “What’s your point?”