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Vol. 8 - Issue 8
September 25, 2019


Encore: Randy Spencer’s Open Mic

The Chicago Vomit Clean-up Fee And Other Cities’ Warnings To Visitors







I was in Chicago last week – work trip and I also had the good fortune of doing a set at the legendary Second City.  What a thrill!

While coming into the city from O’Hare I took a look at the fare schedule posted in the back of the cab.  Base fare $3.25.  Ok.  That sounds about right.  Airport departure tax.  Not sure why you have to pay to leave a place, but I’m not going to make a fuss.  A dollar for each additional passenger.  That makes sense.  Vomit Clean-up Fee -- $50.00.  Whoa!  Never seen that before.  I guess that’s proof that Chicago is one hard-partying town. 


On reflection – after texting a picture to everyone and saying hey, check this out -- Chicago’s vomit clean-up fee is sensible risk management.  You probably can’t prevent a heave-risk from getting into the cab.  So the next best thing is to address it post-lost -- with a clean-up fee.  I asked the cab driver about the fee.  He said that he’s had to charge it twice in the past three years.  I started to ask some follow-up questions but it was clear that he wasn’t too keen on discussing it.       

As a visitor to Chicago I was happy to be told in advance that tossing cookies in the back of a cab is frowned upon.  This enabled me to act accordingly.  Now there there would be no surprises when I saw the extra fifty on my credit card statement.  [Query – what’s the rule on whether you can expense that?]  Other cities would be well-served to provide warnings or other useful information to their arriving visitors.  We live in a world of warnings.  So what’s one more.  If someone takes the time to tell me that putting my finger into an electric socket is a bad idea, why shouldn’t I be informed on my way into Vegas that the Eiffel Tower on the Strip is not the real one.

Here are some other warnings or back of the cab notices that other cities should provide to their arriving visitors:

Denver: Brownies may actually make you hungrier.

Buffalo: Don’t worry.  Toronto is only two hours away.

Los Angeles: Not responsible for the loss of your soul.

Phoenix: That whole dry heat thing doesn’t matter when it’s 108.

New York: The Ray’s Pizza you are in may not really be the original one.

San Antonio: The Alamo is overrated – but not as much as the River Walk.

New Orleans: Base fare includes vomit clean-up fee.



That’s my time. I’m Randy Spencer. Contact Randy Spencer at

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