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Morning Shift

Chicago Party Aunt Talks Booze, Brats, And Ira Glass

Chicago’s biggest Twitter celebrity of late isn’t a well-known actor, activist, or politician. It’s an account called Chicago Party Aunt that’s a parody of a middle-aged, hard-partying woman whose Chicago roots run deep.

“Hello, is this Terry Gross?” Chicago Party Aunt said when she called into the station Wednesday to talk to Morning Shift host Tony Sarabia.

Chicago Party Aunt told Morning Shift about her simple joys in life, like hot dogs and Da Bears; her views on Mayor Rahm Emanuel, or “Rahmmie”; and why she thinks she's so popular. We also took calls from listeners.

Here are some interview highlights.

Chicago Party Aunt’s current husband, Kurt

Chicago Party Aunt: He works in the pothole division at Streets and San. He’s been very busy. Speaking of which, how’s the Dan Ryan looking right now? Do we got any delays?

Tony Sarabia: I don’t know. I take public trans.

Chicago Party Aunt: Of course. You’re an NPR guy. All you NPR guys take public trans. Did you know I gave Ira Glass the idea for Dis American Life and never got any credit for it?

Sarabia: Really?

Chicago Party Aunt: Yeah, that is true! OK. I told him, “Tell stories about American lives, this.” OK. And he never gave me any kind of credit.

Sarabia: You put the “this” in the wrong place, maybe. So how did you meet your husband?

Chicago Party Aunt: Kurt? So Kurt is the love of my life. I’ve lost count on which number … [coughing].

Sarabia: I was going to say “the love of your life right now.”

Chicago Party Aunt: The love of my life for now. But he proposed to me at Soldier Field in section 210. He hid the ring inside of a brat and it was the most romantic thing that anybody’s ever done for me.

A taste for Malört

A caller named Billy: Which Malört do you find most tasteful: Bësk or Jeppson’s?

Chicago Party Aunt: That is an excellent question, Billy. By the way, I used to date your dad in high school. I, myself, am a Jeppson’s Malört girl. OK. I like my Malört to taste like I’m licking a battery. I like it to taste like I’m chewing on a dandelion, if you know what I mean. So I’m a Jeppson’s gal. I’m a Jeppson’s gal, through and through. Billy, tell your dad I said hi. I miss him.

What makes her successful on Twitter

Chicago Party Aunt: People, maybe, have a Chicago Party [Aunt] in their lives. Whether it be a friend of theirs, a friend of theirs mom’s, you know? A couple of one, two, tree friends in their lives who perhaps I remind them of.

I’ll tell you what, Chicago party aunts all around dis city aren’t afraid to have a good time. OK. They have an absolute riot wherever they go. They have a hoot. They have an absolute ball, whether it be a church at St. Alphonsus or whether it be at the Wiener’s Circle or Clark Dog or Manny’s or Da Billy Goat.

Now I would assume you, Terry, you’re probably eating at, like, Three Dots and a Dash or something like that.

Sarabia: Oh no, I do a lot of home cooking.

Chicago Party Aunt: Oh, you’re like a Blue Apron kind of guy?

Sarabia: Have you ever put ketchup on a hot dog? Be truthful here.

Chicago Party Aunt: [Long pause] Terry, you want me to hang up on you right now? Because I will.  

This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity. Click the “play” button to listen to the entire interview, which has been edited for the web by Hunter Clauss.

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