City Worker Pens Must-Read Pothole Press Release

You might think working for city government is a thankless, dull job. But as a press release circulated early Friday about potholes illustrates: Working for city government is a non-stop joyriding blast.

To encourage Chicagoans to report potholes to the Chicago Department of Transportation, the CDOT is billing the coming weekend as the inaugural “Potholepalooza.” Perry Farrell will not be participating, but the four-paragraph fake-out dupes readers giving the release a passing glance that bands like Minor Threat, The Cars, The Cure and even completely improbable bands like Nirvana are playing some sort of pothole-themed festival.

A closer look, though, reveals that whoever wrote this release has instead constructed a lengthy series of band-related puns to trick readers into following the whole press release — it’s rather ingenious, actually, except that it’s also kind of sad. Here, take a look: 


CDOT Encourages Chicagoans to Report Potholes in “Weekend Festival of Pothole Reporting”

Tired of Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ in Traffic over the Minor Threat of potholes in the Pavement?  Ready to see nothing but White Stripes on the roadway and not worry about The Cars swerving to avoid potholes?

This weekend, if you are motorist or a Motörhead, participate in the first-ever “Potholepalooza,” the Chicago Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) call to Chicagoans to report as many street potholes as possible.  Then watch the show next week as CDOT has The Cure for your Moody Blues and fills all of the potholes reported from Friday, April 5 through Sunday, April 7 so that your car doesn’t do the Harlem Shake and give you Divine Fits.

Thus far in 2013, CDOT crews have filled nearly 250,000 potholes with asphalt, Rolling Stones and Tar, with as many as 27crews out on the street each day.  In March, Men at Work gave Blood, Sweat and Tears to fill more than 116,000 holes with more than 1,200 tons of patching material, creating Nirvana for many drivers, and in the first week of April have addressed nearly 20,000 more, making roadways fit for the Queen.

This show won’t sell out, and even Wallflowers can have fun. and report potholes to CDOT through not just one Tool, but a number of venues, including:

·         Making The Call to 311

·         Using the City’s website at or various Open 311 smartphone apps including: SeeClickFix and Chicago Works. For more web and smartphone civic apps, visit Chicago Digital.

·         Using ChiText by texting “Chicago” to 311311  to start the reporting process

“We are making great progress in filling potholes this spring, but we need Chicagoans to help us identify all of the locations where work needs to be done,” said CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein. “This weekend surge in reporting will allow us to address as many potholes as possible until we switch many of the pothole crews to street resurfacing in mid-April.”   

Either city government just discovered Wikipedia or — what was it I said at the beginning? Oh yeah. Working for city government is a thankless, dull job.

It could be that. But it’s still a pretty slick press release, in a very strange way. 

Either way, can someone in the CDOT please make me a mixtape? 

David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a comedy-writing instructor for Second City and an adjunct professor in DePaul’s College of Computing and Digital Media. (He also co-runs a blog behind the DePaul class, DIY Game Dev.) He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.

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