8 a.m.: Clock radio goes off.
8:01 a.m.: Clock radio crashes on sidewalk.
10 a.m.: Pull sheet off of face.
10:45 a.m.: Go to Forest Park P.O. Box to remove bundles of checks. Call Brinks for escort to bank.
11 a.m.: Forest Park National Bank crowded thanks to first-ever “Add a Zero to Your Deposit Day.”
11:15 a.m.: Steak and eggs at Louie’s Grill, keep the coffee coming.
Noon: Stop at Centuries & Sleuths to make sure my books are still topping national bestseller lists in fiction and non-fiction categories.
12:30 p.m.: Sink the 9-ball off break seven consecutive times at Circle Lanes.
1 p.m.: Use pool winnings to buy antique chest at Forest Park Emporium. Discover 400 unpublished Mike Royko columns in secret compartment. All columns are about Forest Park.
1:30 p.m.: Take a dip at Forest Park pool. Share lap lanes with Hawaiian Tropics Swim Team.
2 p.m.: Watch my 12-year-old score game-winning goal at the park.
2:30 p.m.: Stop at Circle Theater to watch rehearsal of my world-premiere play about Haymarket Trial. Pacino is improving but Hanks still struggling with German accent.
3 p.m.: Return to park to watch 12-year-old’s walk-off homerun.
4 p.m.: Steak and eggs wearing off. Go to Shanahan’s to scarf down two pounds of crawfish.
4:30 p.m.: While browsing at Military & Supply, Inc., spot top Al Qaeda leader attempting to buy Swiss Army Knife. Give worldwide press conference on capture of Bin Laden’s meaner brother.
5 p.m.: Stop at Healy’s for a Guinness and run into long lost relatives from Ireland. After handing me deed to a pub in Cork, they insist I buy next round.
5:01 p.m.: Suddenly remember I have to buy batteries at Trage’s and run out on relatives.
5:15 p.m.: Leave Trage’s with widescreen TV.
5:30 p.m.: Crawfish wearing off. Stroll into La Piazza for pasta. After sipping their finest wine, order a bottle for every table. Depart to thunderous ovation.
6:30 p.m.: Attend reception in my honor at Francesca’s Fiore. While listening to tribute from Nelson Mandela, Tiger Woods calls my cell phone to confirm tee time. U2 starts warming up. Would like to chat with Bono but have to meet a friend at Mugsy’s.
9 p.m.: To Molly Malone’s to recite poem. Patrons overcome with tears, before bursting into cheers. Have to leave when Irish relatives show up.
10 p.m.: Madison Street blocked off for fireworks in my honor. Ground-level explosion takes out tacky advertisements in U.S.A. Beverage windows. Crowd cheers and carries me home on their shoulders.
10:30 p.m.: Mayor and commissioners assemble to tear up my property tax bill, present me with “Get Out Of Jail Free” card and new clock radio.
11 p.m.: Tell wife she can quit fanning me as soon as I fall asleep.
Editor’s note: John Rice has the week off. Please enjoy this perfect day from April 30, 2003, with him.