It's Official

Walked around some in the Freezing Cold scouting for Unofficial St. Patrick's Day nuttiness. Found some. As in, it's astonishing how drunk people can get by 1:00 p.m. on a school day.

Took a bunch of pics, but in the end, this one says it all:


  1. Beautiful thumb extenstion, slightly angled presentation (to convey attitude)--that's as fine a specimen of the classic bird as I've seen in some time.

    (A whole new kind of bird watching for you!)

  2. Anonymous12:16 PM

    yeah, ok, I take back my earlier comment about things seeming calmer. And did you see the story in the local paper? excerpts:

    Tiffany Smith of Orland Park said partying is a family tradition. "My dad went to school here," Smith said. "They said to get wasted because that is what they used to do. I don't go to school here, but I'm going to live it up and go crazy." [ . . .]

    UI senior Evan Ryan of Highland Park said taking part in Unofficial has become a treasured tradition. "When I first came here, the UI was ranked as the number 4 party school in the nation, and this is all part of it," Ryan said.

    hmm . . . more talk about "tradition" . . .

  3. katka9:43 PM

    Beautiful thumb extension, yes, but what exactly in that gesture is the thumb supposed to signify? When did the thumb extension become part of the bird, and why?

  4. There's some debate about this in bird-watching circles, katka. Some argue that the thumb extension signifies the rigidity, the unflinchingness, of the animosity expressed by the gesture.

    I prefer a less formalist reading, aruging that it is an intergestural echo of the "rock-n-roll-devil" sign, suggesting not so much a specifically targeted animosity as a general disdain for the non-partying citezenry, in keeping with both rock and party subcultural norms.

  5. For a thorough treatment of the topic, see _Field Guide to the North American Bird_, the cover of which is illustrated sans thumb extension: http://www.amazon.com/Field-Guide-North-American-Bird/dp/1580085741

  6. Anonymous1:14 PM

    You're lucky they don't party on St. Urho's Tay, too. -tt

  7. katka1:38 PM

    A field guide! Hilarious. Wonder if they have a companion text for Scalia gestures.

    "Some would argue..." Lance, you're too much.