Natarus is unhinged

Natarus is sounding increasingly unhinged. No wonder he lost the election.

Natarus as a Witch

'Resident comedian' has last laugh | Chicago Tribune
At one of the last public meetings in his long tenure as Chicago's most talkative alderman, Burton Natarus could not help but get himself into a nasty shouting match with a taxi driver in the audience.

“I ought to punch you in the nose,” Natarus bellowed at cabbie Yusef Saadah from across the room as the meeting ended. “You don't even know who I am!”

“I know you. You're a loser,” Saadah shot back. “You lost after 36 years.”

“I'm not a loser,” Natarus said, sounding sincerely offended.

But moments later, as a police officer ushered Saadah from the room, Natarus stood to the side of the hallway and grinned. He explained that he had goaded the driver by falsely claiming responsibility for the loss of his city taxi license.

“I did that to entertain myself,” Natarus said after the incident at a City Council committee meeting two weeks ago.

and this is just ungracious:

Natarus, 73, says he remains baffled by his loss and he refuses to congratulate Reilly.

“I'll still be around,” Natarus told members of two community groups who gave him a plaque at a Gold Coast bar last weekend. “I lost the election. I just plain lost it. How I lost it, I don't know.”

What he definitely does not appear inclined to do is help Reilly much. On election night, Reilly called Natarus six times. Natarus would not come to the phone.

At the meeting Saturday with community activists and Division Street business owners, Natarus shot down an offer to serve on the board of a neighborhood beautification initiative because “I'd have to deal with this alderman.”

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During the meeting, Natarus held court with reporters in the anteroom of the council chambers, telling them he had been unfairly mocked for a long-ago proposal to outfit horse carriages with manure catchers.

“That was [former Mayor] Jane Byrne's ordinance,” Natarus told reporters. “Now when a horse poops on the street, people complain. So all I was doing was responding to the complaint, telling these people, 'Adjust your diaper.'”

Reporters chuckled, and he feigned umbrage: “What are you laughing at? I'm not a funny person. I'm a serious fellow.”

He immediately segued into what he said was of greater concern to him -- “dog doo.”

“It's important to understand the difference between dog doo and horse doo,” he said. “The rats don't eat horse doo. The rats eat dog doo. They love it.”

“Everybody laughs at the problem of dog doo, but it's really nothing to laugh at.”

-- Natarus in 1996, calling for increased enforcement of pooper-scooper laws to combat rat infestation.

“The neighing of horses in a city where people are not used to such noises can be more piercing than a car alarm. Is there any way a driver can lean over and say, 'Shush,' to the horses?”

-- Natarus in 1986, to a consultant for a horse-carriage company

“This way, the patrons will know what they have to pay in advance.”

-- Natarus in 1977, on his proposal that strip clubs post prices for “all services rendered.”

“Maybe I'm a coward, but I want to live.”

-- Natarus in 1983, on a proposal to install bulletproof glass between City Council members and the public.

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on May 10, 2007 8:50 AM.

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