If you're like me, you get occasional mass emails from friends and acquaintances asking you to vote for this or click on that. These messages tend to arrive when you're busy at work, yet they come from people you like and would be happy to help in some small way. So you take a moment to do what they want, or maybe you do it later that day, or maybe you intend to at the time but then forget to.
With apologies for all the times I've fallen into the final category, today I will do more than I usually do by encouraging my literally tens of readers to join me in a proud Chicago tradition: stuffing (electronic) ballot boxes so my friends can win.
Our leading alt-weekly, the Chicago Reader, is currently running its annual "Best of Chicago" poll. Click here to vote for Josh Alton as best standup comedian. He's a funny comic, a menacing softball slugger, and a hell of a good guy, well worth your vote even in a ridiculous popularity contest such as this. (There's no limit on how many times a person can vote, and a well-connected Facebook campaign can presumably win the day regardless of merit; still, being voted Best in Chicago by popular acclaim in a respected newspaper sounds pretty good, and if it helps Josh book some gigs, let's do it.)
Likewise, please support FOBB&Bs The Hot Karl at the above link by voting for them as best sketch/improv group and best late-night theater experience. There are many other deserving groups in these categories, some also friends of mine, but the Karl specifically asked for my support so they are getting it.
Finally, I am a past donor to an animal shelter called Tree House Humane Society, which is trying to win up to $10,000 in grant money. Please click here, type "Tree House Humane Society" into the search box, and vote for the first 60640 location, not the Bucktown location. You can do this once a day through mid-August and kittens everywhere think you should.