How do you write Lin's Bin?
Lin's Bin starts with a question.
Is it OK to compliment a woman on her breasts?
Where does the time go?
Why are teenagers so cranky?
The questions come from clueless frat boys, from wistful mothers, from grade school kids trying to understand older brothers and sisters.
This piece first ran in Printers Row Journal, delivered to Printers Row members with the Sunday Chicago Tribune and by digital edition via email. Click here to learn about joining Printers Row.
The questions collect like snowflakes on a February afternoon. After 10 years of creating Lin's Bin on 93XRT, I am knee deep in questions that are each in their own way unique.
Do you have any tips for surviving the family vacation to Florida?
These are not so much essays as reveries, and those questions that stir the ghosts of my past are always the easiest to write. Ask me about a family vacation and my father walks out of the shadows.
There was Frank Brehmer at dawn. Lean, taut, with a crew cut so level you could have landed fighter planes on it. Short sleeve collared shirt revealing the U.S. Navy anchor ink he will always regret. Frank Brehmer at dawn surveying the 1968 Ford LTD Country Squire station wagon with the look of real wood. He squinted through the rear window.
The back seat was folded down. Blankets and pillows were sandbagged against the luggage. Twelve square feet of travel playground, wrestling mat, bunk, a cage to contain three boys so practiced in the art of psychological torture that one of them would grow up to be a disc jockey.
There are questions about music.
What's the deal with the cowbell?
There are questions no one ever thought to ask before.
What did Pavlov do with the leftover canine saliva?
There are questions we have all heard a hundred times.
Is the age of chivalry dead?
Ginger or Mary Ann?