Cap'n Dave's Kitchen

It recently has come to my attention that you people are not sending me any pictures of yourselves in swimming suits. Two weeks ago I announced my desire to have a swimsuit column of my own, featuring pictures of real people (like you) and not snooty fashion models (like the kind you see in most swimsuit-related articles).

Speaking of this rapidly expanding field, it is my goal in life one day to underwrite a fellowship in my name at some big college--maybe Harvard or Notre Dame or somewhere like that--that will encourage aspiring young journalism students to specialize in swimsuit-related news-gathering techniques. The job market currently is in desperate need of bikini-literate cub reporters, so it's the very least I can do.

But so far, I've received zip racy photos.

I'm not totally discouraged yet. You won't see me grovel. But if this thing is going to fly, you people have got to grow some wings pretty soon. I've abandoned all pretense about hiding this deal from my bosses, most of whom are women who do not think this is a particularly frisky idea, so I'm really sticking my neck out. The least you can do for me is the same. Which leads me to another big idea. Instead of sending me a picture of yourself in a skimpy bathing suit, how about you send me a picture of one of your good friends in one? Guys, think of the little woman's surprise on the day she sees her almost-entirely-naked self in my column. And gals, what better way to say "I worship the ground you walk on, Pookie" than by sending me snapshots of Mr. Right striking satirically manly poses in that Speedo he's never worn outside of the five square feet directly in front of the bedroom mirror? If you promise to send me pictures, I promise to write about food for the rest of this entire column. Okay? Okay. I know, let's do it together! I'll go first.

There's this little joint on Indian School called Luke's that serves pretty good hot dogs and Italian beefs and excellent French fries. (Go to the dresser in the bedroom. Open the top drawer. Look for embarrassing pix.~)

I visited Luke's on a recent Wednesday. It was the morning after the Chicago primary election, when it looked like Da City was going to get another Dick named Daley to be mayor, a circumstance that made my quest for Chicago food a timely one. (Choose now from among your loved one's many humiliating cheese-and/or beef-cake poses. Keep in mind that the photo you choose must meet our Minimum-Taste Requirement for publication, which means you might have to spend the rest of the afternoon carefully scanning all the tanning-parlor ads in the back of the paper. Finish reading this column first.)

The hot dog I had was a standard-issue Chi-dog, right down to the green Day-Glo relish. (Put your sweetie's picture in an envelope, along with some serious biographical information I can turn over to postal authorities if they give me a hard time about any of this.) ~

The Italian beef was wonderfully spiced, a classic rendition. Served on a long roll, this baby dripped savory juice all over my table. I loved every bite. (Put a stamp on your envelope. Put your envelope in a mailbox.)

The highlight of my meal at Luke's, however, were the fries served with the dog. These were crinkle-cut strings, and they had been overcooked and oversalted to the point where they didn't taste like they were even remotely related to the potato family. For all I could tell, these fries, while dripping oil with every bite, had no detectable organic background. I loved every bite again. (Wait patiently for the first annual Cap'n Dave Swimsuit Column, which will be published eventually and ruin your life.)

Now, if you've completed your special task for the day, I suggest you zip right on over to Luke's and eat something substantial. It's exactly the kind of thing Da Mare (translation for non-Chicagoese- speaking persons: "The Mayor," as in: "Da Mare axd me to ax you to vote for him") would do. So do it.

Till we eat again . . .

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Cap'n Dave