Chock your mind full of useful wisdom with a Kassopedia

My friends, you have before you the ancient scrolls that contain the Kassopedia, Vol. V, a compendium of the world's knowledge.

But first, remember what Sherlock Holmes once said.

The famous fictional detective noted that the human brain is like an attic, and wise is he who carefully chooses what to cram up in there next to the junk you'll need for parking dibs in the winter.

"… you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose," said the lanky, depressive and sometimes cokehead detective. "A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it."

And that's why I give you Kassopedia, Vol. V, so you can find what you need in the attic of your head and leave the junky lumber behind. Let's begin:

Affirmative Action Cookies: The perfect treat for the U.S. Supreme Court as it puts the final touches on its decision on racial preferences in college admissions.

The type of cookie doesn't really matter, although truth be told, I very much prefer honey- and walnut-dipped melomakarona or orange Milanos. Only a few years ago, Affirmative Action Cookies were all the rage on college campuses, sold at conservative and libertarian student bake sales. Students hoped to anger and embarrass university officials for using skin pigment to help influence admissions.

Whites were charged $2 for a cookie, but the same exact cookie cost Asians only $1.50. Latinos paid $1, African-Americans paid only 75 cents. Many college officials condemned the bake sales. They just hate being exposed.

Chicago Ald. Lingonberries: Another name for Ald. Tom Tunney, 44th, who may become a reason why the Cubs move to Rosemont, Cicero or DuPage County. Ald. Lingonberries is the owner of the famed Ann Sather restaurant, known far and wide for its tasty berries and sticky buns. If Wrigleyville loses the Cubs, it will still have those great Swedish pancakes.

BEFIS (Big Fat Behinds in the Skies): A revolutionary concept in aviation, in which people with big fat behinds pay more for their plane tickets than those infuriating Slim Jims in their skinny jeans. The new wrinkle that made news this week is that Samoa Air is coming out with a BEFIS couch — two seats mashed together so fat people can sit comfortably without making the dreaded thigh-on-thigh contact. The BEFIS couches were necessary, CEO Chris Langton told CNN. "Because some bigger passengers will be paying more, we want them to be comfortable."

Corsican Brothers: In the old Dumas story, the Corsican Brothers were conjoined twins (once called by the politically incorrect name "Siamese twins") who were separated at birth. Throughout their lives, they had a special bond, and one could feel the other's pain.

But in these modern times, we too have Corsican Brothers. Two of them are Chicago Democratic politicians, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and his much younger apprentice, Senate President John Cullerton.

The current political wisdom is that these two have an uneasy alliance and are separated by principle. In reality, if Mike has an itch and tells Cullerton to scratch it, it gets scratched.

Other Corsican Brothers begin to resemble each other, much in the manner of married couples. Some are all but indistinguishable, like Sens. Dick Durbin, the Democrat, and the much younger Republican Mark Kirk. These days you can hardly tell them apart.

Stuffed elk heads: Foolish impulse buys meant to project power and status, while in reality they project only political impotence, stupidity and, worst of all, supreme bad taste. However, stuffed elk heads can be iconically ironic, if, for example, you're a former congressman named Jackson facing four years in federal prison for looting your campaign fund of $750,000.

Imperfect victim: The innocent 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, killed in a Chicago park by gang violence, was America's perfect victim. The politicians flocked to get media face time near her parents. But most homicides in Chicago are of imperfect victims, and politicians aren't interested, and neither are many news organizations. These are young men drawn into crime who end up dead. They're not perfect. They're far too typical. But they are their mother's sons.

Lewisectomy: A medical term involving the awkward removal of a politician's verve and gusto through the application of brute political force and angry race-based rhetoric. Named after Chicago Teachers Union boss Karen Lewis, who recently won re-election to the union presidency.

Example: "Yeah, Mayor Rahmfather sure acted like a tough guy in the movies, but then Big Karen gave him a Lewisectomy and she calmed him good."

Love locks: A bizarre European practice involving lovers putting padlocks on bridges and throwing away the key. This is yet another soon-to-be-the-next-big-thing — just like that chicken recipe — that I've publicized but won't make a dime off of.

Prince William: What to call the other Daley brother, former White House chief of staff William Daley, the one running for governor of Illinois.

He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Nameditis: The mental condition afflicting Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who blames his predecessor for almost everything, yet can't form the words of the name on his otherwise razor-sharp tongue.

jskass@tribune.com

Twitter @John_Kass

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