The Chicago City Council is proposing to hire an Inspector General to investigate itself. That sounds like a big job. There’s plenty to investigate in City Hall: in the last 40 years, 29 aldermen have been sent to jail.
Maybe that’s why the City Council seems to want an inspector who won’t inspect anything. Aldermen suggest the new IG should be a part-timer, “like a retired judge,” since aldermen are officially part time. (Although any honest alderman will tell you you gotta work full-time to properly collect graft.)
They also want to make sure the new IG can’t use any information from anonymous finks. Only “signed and sworn” statements.
So here are our suggestions for a new Inspector General. All of these detectives would be ineffectual in one way or another.
Fargo North, Decoder: The trench-coated cryptologist from The Electric Companywas so clueless he didn’t even notice his desk was on fire. However, Fargo North was adept at translating confusing messages, so he would be able to untangle confusing bits of Chicagoese, like this sentence recorded in Mike Royko’s Boss: “Somebody beefed that I was kinky and I almost got viced, but I saw my Chinaman and he clouted for me at the hall.”
Daryl Zero: The hero of the movie Zero Effect was billed as “the world’s most private detective,” because he was so socially awkward he had an associate do most of his investigating. Mr. Zero wouldn’t show up at City Hall, which make him not much different from many ghost payrollers.
Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective: Look at all the goo-goo prosecutors who have used their investigations into City Hall hinkiness to launch political careers. U.S. Attorney Jim Thompson put former Gov. Otto Kerner in prison, then was elected governor himself. The city’s last Inspector General, David Hoffman, ran an unsuccessful campaign for the U.S. Senate. You won’t have to worry that with Encyclopedia Brown: he’s too young to run for office. See also, Veronica Mars, Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys.
Batman: Batman already lives in Chicago, as anyone who saw The Dark Knight can tell you. So the City Council wouldn’t have to pay relocation expenses to move him to a local cave. However, after tangling with the Joker, the Riddler, the Penguin and Mr. Freeze, he would find the paunchy aldermen a colorless lot. Zoning shakedowns would look like petty crime after the schemes for world domination Batman has thwarted. Bored, the Caped Crusader would quit within a year, and the IG’s office would be quietly abolished.
Inspector Gadget: So incompetent that he would accidentally investigate and convict Mayor Daley, thus opening up a big job for an ambitious alderman.