Rahmfather could have a lock on revenue from tradition of love

Unfortunately for the sarcastic Mr. Bemis, the parking pay boxes are now leased by a private company. And the parking fees don't go to where they're needed in Chicago. The cash is shipped, reportedly, to oil-rich Abu Dhabi.

But thanks to love locks, Mayor Rahmfather now has the answer to all that lost revenue.

He's already trying to turn Chicago into Paris with that wacky bike-sharing plan of his. And Paris is the city of love. They have love locks festooning many of the Parisian bridges. All the Rahmfather needs to do is open his eyes and see.

He could lease space on Chicago's bridges to couples and charge a hefty fee so they could park and lock their love. And the in-laws of aldermen could be granted official love lock kiosks to sell official City Hall-approved love locks for exorbitant sums.

Under my plan, if you wished to remove the Rahmfather's smiling face from the back of your official love lock, it would cost you even more.

A new bureaucracy would be formed: The Department of Love (Locks), staffed with lawyers, accountants and inspectors, and the Love Lock Maids. Just imagine the uniforms!

Kanye West's "Love Lockdown" — the hit song he wrote long before he allegedly stepped out on the curvy Armenian woman bearing his child — would be the Department of Love's anthem.

"The mayor is correct!!" agreed reader Steven De Mar, who also wants the city to cash in. "Rogue (untaxed) locks must be eradicated. This is a whole new undiscovered source of revenue."

Dianne Kaiser can see the potential, even if the Rahmfather can't. Last year, she and her husband Tom celebrated their wedding anniversary in Paris and she wrote to tell me about it.

"A small souvenir shop across the street sold the locks, with free etching for a few euros," she wrote. "We decided on a spot, kissed the lock & each other, secured our testament to the bridge & tossed the tiny key into the Seine River. … It was a way to leave a part of us in one of our favorite cities.

"It is such a shame that Chicago is refusing to let our many residents and tourists from all over the world leave a bit of love in our city."

The good news is that the love lock I wrote about last week, the one Agne and Elikem Ansah locked to a downtown bridge on their wedding day two years ago, still survives.

The ruthless City Hall love lock haters haven't yet found it.

"Don't destroy our love," Agne pleaded to the Rahmfather when last we spoke.

Agne, it's still there. At least for now.

But it needs friends.


Twitter @John_Kass