This project was created by Brad Mandeville, MC'98, as an assignment for CLAS240 Ancient Societies: The City, which he took under Prof. Tom Sienkewicz at Monmouth College during the fall semester of 1997. Brad acknowledges his debts to the Roman satirist Juvenal. If you have any questions about this material, please contact Tom Sienkewicz at

The Wonderful Town of Naper-Thrill

Proclaimed as the "number one best city to live in."

Sure, it could be, I suppose.

Probably is to the mayor, whose only designated

Authority is to sit high within the sinking

Imported Italian marble palace(1) at the center of Naperville, stamping his signature

On documents regarding city issues, and accepting

Interviews from curious citizens and students as

To the history of Naperville.

A man who was once "officer friendly,"

Venturing from grammar school to grammar school, now runs this so-called metropolis.

More like a sit-com if you ask me.

Hanging out with friends

At Features(2) along Naperville's famous

Riverwalk(3) is always a good time to pass the

Weekend hours, as long as you're careful of the

Tea-totaling, self-righteous police officers,

Riding their all-terrain, top quality, Trek

Mountain bikes, with the constant

Flashing red light and that annoying bell that

Most riders ditched after training wheels, along

The mountainous, rocky terrain upon which the

City of Naperville sits.


Rest assured, however. Our fine executive branch

Of the law controls the real crime that plagues

The city streets, raiding the local high school

Bathrooms for rebellious teens in possession of

Cigarettes that they bought with mommy and

Daddy's lunch money, or enforcing the

Local cat leash law, which has its share of perpetrators.

However, when

Dodging the crack-down police department and

The misplaced angry teens of generation X, some

Might find themselves enjoying a

Swim at Centennial Beach(4), grabbing a

Mocha Frappucino at the Starbucks Coffee shop

Downtown, or renting a new release at

One of the Blockbuster Videos, which seem to

Inhabit every available strip mall. Being

A restrictive, anal-retentive safety town

Can have its advantages, too, you know.

Doesn't it figure that the superficial capital

Of Illinois is also the domain of the savage

Weekend warrior and the honorable armchair

Quarterback. Where fathers who long to be

18 again, bravely take the helm of coaching

The Traveling Redskins(5) to victory, or attempt

Michael Jordan's reverse lay-up to close perfection

At Edwards Fitness Center(6) with their arthritis-

Ridden knees and high blood pressure. Where

An athlete's true ability is based importantly upon

The number of Nike, Reebok, and Weider paraphernalia

One can stack on his body at one time, experience

Not necessary. The Napervillian men, however, are

Not the only comedians on the stage. In a

Rat race, where there is a daily competition open only to women

30 years and older to win both the "Mother of the Year" award,

By covering the eyes

Of their infant 15 year olds from nudity, and the

"Miss America" pageant, with the thousands of dollars spent on

Mary Kay(7) and Dr. Smith's tummy tucks, the fine

Feminine gender of Naperville also offers its share

Of punch lines. Every perfect Napervillian mother

Knows that putting in a full day of work is

Essential, no exceptions. Starting off with a trip to

The "Baby GAP" in the Dodge Caravan with the baby

Seat and the Naperville youth soccer ball

Decal in the back window is a good start to

The grueling 8-hour work day. This, followed by a

Trip to Dave, the masseur, (who ends up more as

A psychologist than any type of physical

Technician), a half hour aerobics class, and picking

Up the chinese take-out, is enough to make anybody's

Work day stressful. On the weekends, its cocktail

Parties with half-baked neighbors, offering the

Ear-to-ear smile while they're over, then discussing

Every imperfection about Diane's outfit and Ed's

Slowly disappearing sex appeal, after they leave.

One cannot appreciate the truly hard-working,

Modest, and overall self-less attitude of this

Pittsburgh clone, until one has studied the

Overworked, underprivileged youth of Naperville.

One can truly feel an overwhelming sense of

Pity and disappointment when a 16 year old's

Present takes the form of a new black Jeep Grand

Cherokee, as opposed to that '98 cherry red Chevy

Camaro. To ease the pain, a parent can only hope

That a $500 therapy session at Abercrombie

And Fitch(8) will pull the distraught teen from

His deep pool of misery and depression. Sound like

Beverly Hills 90210? Naa, way off, there are no

Palm trees in Naperville. There are those courageous

Few, however, that prove themselves on the field

Of battle, whether it take the form of a football

Field, swimming pool, or tennis court. Personally

There's nothing I'd rather see, than the Redhawks(9)

Soar to victory over their competitor, what a

Thrill! Being the 10th fastest

Growing city in the U.S., and home of the

Most expensive high school in the United States,

This so-called "techno-burb" has far too

Many imperfections. Frankly, there's no other place

I'd rather live.

1. The current Naperville City Hall was constructed with imported Italian marble, (very expensive), which is now sinking into the ground because it was built too close to the DuPage river

2. A popular bar in the center of downtown Naperville

3. A long stretch of park benches, picnic areas, and outdoor landscape along the DuPage River, that is one of Naperville's famous trademarks

4. Centennial Beach is an enormous, man-made quarry that serves as a swimming and beach area for people of all ages

5. A pee-wee traveling football team in Naperville

6. A fitness center, complete with basketball court, swimming pool, and weights in downtown Naperville

7. Mary Kay is a popular brand of make-up that women tend to use

8. Abercrombie and Fitch is a fairly high-priced clothing store found in the Chicago land area, much like the GAP

9. The Redhawk is the mascot for Naperville Central H.S., (my alma mater)

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