New Orleans update: "The Big Easy," also known as "Show Us Your Tits, USA," is a charming, fun-filled burg whose delirious reputation hides the nasty fact that it's in Louisiana. Poor, backward—that is to say, Southern—Louisiana is where people are eaten by things. To be fair, the state has done a good job recently of attracting tourists, especially those interested in learning more about rickets. Here's Louisiana: recently, a Catholic schoolteacher and coach was arrested for molesting 11 boys between the ages of 11 and 17. This went on, police say, for 14 years without anyone noticing. The accused finally raised suspicion when he did the unthinkable: he washed the kids' clothes. One parent spoke for the families of the victims, as well as the family of the guy who married Linda Tripp, by saying, "You go to bed thinking about this big, fat, ugly thing in bed with your son."
Chicago update:The Second City, the City of the Big Wind, the Hunched Shoulders, the Jan Brady of American municipalities, Chicago is what happens when cities aren't breast-fed. Cloying and needy, the city attempts to validate itself through sports, whether it's the worship of Mike Ditka, who doesn't play or coach there anymore (he coaches New Orleans), or Michael Jordan, better known as "His Selloutness," who would shill for nerve gas if the money was right. Night game: Writer Anne Rice's vampire books (Interview With the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, etc.) have made New Orleans a destination point for those fascinated with the macabre—that is, cat lovers and people with "Single and Loving It" license-plate holders. Witness the success of the local Times Picayune's online forum called "Vampire Sightings." There were nearly 900 entries listed on the site earlier this week—by such luminaries as Vampyress Chrystos, Celestia Dark, the Juvenile and Darke Awakening—making it the highest concentration of geeks since the last Microsoft shareholders' meeting. Penalties:Eager to shed its gangster image—kept alive by rap music and pizza restaurants—Chicago police last week announced a major crackdown on crime. Job one? Police will now cite motorists for running red lights. To come, reportedly, are crackdowns on cows setting fire to the city and anyone named Daly serving in elected office. Consensus:You know, it's easy to pick against a Southern city. Guess that's why I like doing it. It's so easy. Go Bears.