Column: Food, politics and editor-eating monsters

  Originally published in the Kane County Chronicle on July 21, 2010

Hello, again.

It’s been a while since I last wrote a column, and I’m happy to be writing again.

Along with this, we’ll now have a fixed schedule of page 2 columnists.

I will be writing on Wednesdays and Fridays, Mel Mazuc will continue to share her take on things (especially bad drivers – you know who you are) on Thursdays and Pam Otto will share her nature columns with us on Saturdays, continuing to teach me something new every week. (Earwigs are gross-looking insects? Really? I thought they were earmuffs made of hair. Both ideas are disgusting, so I suppose that didn’t change.)

And while I’m certainly willing to share my views on the world around me, I’d like to spend some of my column space telling your stories, as well.

I’ve heard many times that there isn’t enough good news in the paper. Well, there’s plenty of good news in our communities. And I would love to tell those stories. If you have a good news item, please share it with me so I can share it with our readers.

My e-mail and phone number are at the bottom of this column.

• • •

It’s never too early to start planning for election coverage, and we’ll be starting the process here in the next few weeks.

This means now is the perfect time to let us know what you would like to see in election and pre-election coverage and what questions you would like us to include in our questionnaires to candidates.

We should have plenty of interesting races and at least one referendum, if not more. This means a lot of candidate questionnaires, preview stories and letters to the editor.

Helping prepare readers for elections is one of the most important things we do, and I’d love to receive input from readers on what we can do to better help everyone be informed.

• • •

Our Mystery Diner feature returned a few weeks ago and now is rolling along steadily.

This week, Gabby’s Kitchen in St. Charles is featured. Next week, who knows?

You can read all about the Mystery Diner’s experiences Wednesdays in our Taste section. You can catch up on past visits at the Mystery Diner blog at

And if you have a favorite restaurant you would like our Mystery Diner to visit, let us know about it at

We like ideas and our Mystery Diner likes to eat at new places. It just works out.

• • •

And in other news from since I last wrote, my car now is possessed. Yes, possessed.

It eerily locks and unlocks itself, much like a person who clicks a pen repeatedly while working (a bad habit of mine).

The first time it happened, it freaked me out. I’ve seen enough horror movies to realize that things unlocking and locking themselves usually means that some sort of monster is about to pop out and eat a helpless victim. And since I was the sole helpless victim in my car at the time, that surely meant there was a very real possibility I was about to become a monster entree. (Oh, for the days when I would have been considered merely a monster appetizer.)

I’m still here, thus no editor-eating monster appeared, but the locking and unlocking hasn’t stopped.

The smart thing to do would be to take it into the shop. But I figured I’d write about it first and see whether any readers have ever had this happen to them (a car locking and unlocking itself, not encountering an editor-eating monster – though I would appreciate any information about that, as well.)

If you have, drop me a line. Until then, I will continue to drive with holy water in tow.

Joe Grace is the editor of the Kane County Chronicle. Write to him at or call him at 630-845-5368.


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