Observations: Chicago Friday, 20 September 2002 12:00:04 CDT David-Braverman Entertainment (0) First, you must learn to pronounce the city name. It is Chi-ca-go, or Cha-ca-ga, depending on if you live North or South of Roosevelt Rd. Next, if your road map is more than a few weeks old, throw it out and buy a new one. If you are in Naperville and your map is one day old, then it is already obsolete. Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. Chicago has its own version of traffic rules... "Hold on and pray." There is no such thing as a dangerous high-speed chase in Chicago. We all drive like that. All directions start with, "I-94"... which has no beginning and no end. The morning rush hour is from 6 to 10. The evening rush hour is from 3 to 7. Friday's rush hour starts Thursday morning. If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will be rear ended, cussed out and possibly shot. When you are the first one on the starting line, count to five when the light turns green before going to avoid crashing with all the drivers running the red light in cross-traffic. Construction on Northwest Tollway is a way of life and a permanent form of entertainment. We had sooooo much fun with that we have added Elgin-O'Hare and the I-355 to the mix. All unexplained sights are explained by the phrase, "Oh, we're in Cicero!" If someone actually has their turn signal on, it is probably a factory defect. Car horns are actually "Road Rage" indicators. All old ladies with blue hair in Mercedes have the right of way. Period. First Ave, La Grange Rd, Northwest Highway...all mysteriously change names as you cross intersections. If you are asking directions in Cicero you must have knowledge of Spanish. In Bridgeport, Mandarin Chinese will be your best bet. If you stop to ask directions on the West or South side, you'd better be armed. A trip across town (east to west) will take a minimum of four hours, although many north/south expressways have unposted minimum speeds of 75. The minimum acceptable speed on the Dan Ryan is 85. Anything less is considered downright sissy. The wrought iron on windows near Englewood and Austin is NOT ornamental. The Congress Expressway is our daily version of NASCAR. The Dan Ryan is called "The Death Trap" for two reasons: "death" and "trap." If it's 100 degrees, It's taste of Chicago time. If it's 10 degrees and sleeting/snowing, it's opening day at Wrigley Field. If it has rained 6 inches in the last hour, the Western open Golf Classic is in the second round. If you go to Wrigley Field, pay the $25 to park in the "Cubs Lot". Parking elsewhere could cost up to $2500 for damages, towing fees, parking tickets, etc. If some guy with a flag tries to get you to park in his "yard," run over him. Submitted by reader S.P.