Friday, May 30, 2008

Tales From the Crypt

From Chaz in our South Side Bureau comes this absolute gem, in which our sort-of neighboring city of Guanajuato tries to get greater exposure for its most precious natural resource: preserved corpses. The plan was to ship some of the exhibits (i.e., dead people) from the city's Mummy Museum up to the US, drum up some publicity, and wait for the tourist dollars to pour in.

The Mexican town was looking informally for a U.S. host, and Cook County Commissioner Joseph Mario Moreno had a mutual friend with the Mexican consultant hunting for venues.

Although no contracts were ever signed, Cicero began talking up the mummy exhibit. A Mexican official in Chicago initially trumpeted the milestone: The high-profile event was going to Cicero...

Awesome! Cicero! Right in the middle of downtown Chicago. How...elegant!

Sadly, no...

The plan hit a hitch, however, when Guanajuato officials learned that the mummies weren't going to a downtown museum in Chicago, as they had assumed, but to a gymnasium in a working-class suburb of primarily Mexican immigrants.

Predictably, because both Cicero and Guanajuato are full of Mexicans (including what used to be Querétaro's basketball team), resentment and deeply hurt feelings abound on both sides. Grudges that will last 20 generations are being formed as we speak.

Guanajuato leaders worry that the exhibit could bomb if crowds stay away from a town known in Mexico as the home of Al Capone. They also fear that if the mummies make their U.S. debut in a gym, they might come off as a "freak show."...

"They should educate themselves about the town and its resources and the kind of run the exhibit could enjoy here," said Cicero spokesman Dan Proft. "I think their wrongly held preconceived notions will be dispelled. But I can't force people to think a certain way.

The chances of any guanajuatense being named "Cicero" before the year 3000 are basically nil. Meanwhile, the mummies' reps have decided to "form a commission" to explore alternate venues. May I offer up a suggestion? It's Mexican-free...

Seriously, amigos. Three phone calls, and I make this happen.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Isn't that Keith Richards in the photo? Damn, he's looking a lot better than he has in years.