Chalkie: Unofficial Mascot of the 2016 Olympics

Here's an idea whose time is, perhaps, yet to come. Or, maybe it's here.

It's Chalkie, the unofficial mascot of the 2016 Olympics, and there are plenty of people (i.e. The 2016 Committee members) who don't see a lot of humor in the image -- a chalk drawing fashioned after the familiar marking of a victim at a murder scene, but with an Olympic torch held high in his hand.

It's a joke, a statement, a warning to potential visitors and Olympians coming to Chicago for the Games. It's the brainchild of the Chicago police officers who are behind the blog Second City Cop, and has, in fact, been part of that site since at least June 2006.

Still, Chalkie is a new concept to some, and the notion of getting and wearing a black Chalkie T-shirt with the stark white  image of a torch-carrying homicide victim is both exciting and scary. 

It's been said that Chalkie is in bad taste, but (ready or not) he appears to be gaining momentum around town, having recently been referenced in a column by the Chicago Tribune's Eric Zorn.

Yesterday, the touched on Chalkie while referencing Zorn's Sunday column in the Trib.

Chalkie is included in a post on The Windy Citizen (where you choose what's news in Chicago) site, complete with instructions on how to get your own Chalkie T-shirt.

Now, Chalkie has his own site, and ordering a shirt is much simpler.  The proceeds from T-shirt sales are going to The Hundred Club of Cook County to benefit the families of fallen officers. They've raised $700 as of this writing.

And the snowball keeps growing. There's no telling how long it'll be before Chalkie is a household name around Chicago and those T-shirts are sold out.

Maybe in 2016.

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