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Company Offers Greeting Cards From Chicago

December 26, 1986

CHICAGO (AP) _ Never let it be said the Windy City has a chip on its broad shoulders.

The nation’s third-largest city can take a joke about corruption in its government and courts. It can laugh about state workers who use beach umbrellas in their offices to keep out the sun, and may even manage a smile about the Cubs.

Just to prove it, a company has begun marketing a line of greeting cards that take a sometimes less-than-gentle poke at the foibles of Chicago life.

One card shows a long line of people waiting outside City Hall.

″I couldn’t decide what to buy for your birthday - a judge, a job or a card,″ says the greeting. ″The shortest line was at the card rack.″

The Chicago Breezes collection made its debut last spring and Charles Levy Circulating Co. has expanded the line, which is available only in the city.

″Chicago is a town with such a strong personality and colorful figures, we thought it could have great greeting cards,″ sales promotion coordinator Mary McGrath said in a recent interview.

Someone trying to make an apology might choose a card depicting the new, problem-plagued State of Illinois Center, where noise has prompted complaints and a malfunctioning air conditioning system has forced workers in top-floor offices to erect beach umbrellas to shield the sun to reduce 100-plus-degree temperatures.

’Forgive me,″ says the card. ″Everyone makes mistakes.″

″I try to get the nuances of living in Chicago into the cards - the traffic jams, the things that happen to everybody every day,″ said Joe DeBartolo, author of ″The Original Chicago Trivia Book″ and writer of most of the cards.

Another card depicts the Chicago Cubs stadium, the only one in the major leagues without lights for night play. Candles adorn the top of Wrigley Field pictured on the card.

″If I put the right number of candles on your cake, the Cubs could play night baseball at Wrigley Field,″ says the card.

A Christmas card pictures nine politicians, many currently or formerly feuding with each other, singing carols together.

″Peace on earth,″ extols the card.

DeBartolo says it helps to have lived around Chicago all his life and to be familiar with its customs, political intrigue and sporting teams.

But any well-known personality may appear. A Valentine’s Day card pictures Chicago movie critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert.

″There’s only one way to rate my feelings for you,″ the card says. Inside are four stars.

DeBartolo said some of the cards get outdated and have to be replaced, but he manages new ideas.

″What day goes by in Chicago when something doesn’t happen?″

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