Editor and Publisher
Southwest Chicago Post
Seeing the name of teenage cop impersonator Vincent Richardson in the news again:
...reminds me of a light-hearted "City Mom Chicago" column I wrote a few years back. Thought I'd share it again, because we can all use a chuckle.
(originally published on October 6, 2010)
You probably read in the news about the man who on the evening of Thursday, September 9, walked into the CTA bus barn near 103rd and Stony Island and so successfully impersonated a driver that he made off with a bus---and actually picked up and dropped off passengers on the South Side, even returning his bus before he was found out and fled.
I wonder if the driver was inspired by the antics of Vincent Richardson, the 14-year-old Police Explorer cadet who in 2009 used a Chicago Police badge, a uniform and a whole lot of gumption to walk into the Third District Police HQ at 71st and Cottage Grove and successfully talk his way into working a beat car for five hours before he was discovered.
Is this the start of a trend? Mostly qualified yet uncredentialed people doing jobs without permission and without want of a paycheck?
If so, I have a few suggestions.
** Faux Maid: a local woman dons an apron, convinces me she is a fully qualified housekeeper and cleans my house---and yes, she does windows. Cheerfully.
** Wanna-Be Taxi Driver: a local man pulls up to my curb in a spacious sedan and gives me rides here, there and everywhere to get errands done.
** Imitation Pet Care Specialist: he walks my dogs, picks up the poop, and even cleans out the cat’s litter box.
** Spurious Chef: she may not really be the classically-trained executive chef she claims to be, but she whips up a good meat-and-potatoes meal for my family.
** Pretend Painters: one day, a half-dozen 20-year-olds show up at my front door, insist they are college kids struggling to put themselves through school, and proceed to paint my walls, ceilings and outside trim. And then clean up after themselves.
** Rogue Road Crew: sure, they don’t really work for IDOT; but they have the equipment, materials, expertise and desire to show up at two o’clock in the morning and quickly fix the Harlem Avenue overpass and any other axle-busting local road projects that have been sitting half-finished for what seems like forever.
And my favorite, Ersatz Eccentric Millionaire Philanthropist: not quite a real millionaire, but he has plenty of dough and a desire to pay all my bills. Hey, I’ll play along!
Have a great week…
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