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Mark Andel has been writing newspaper columns since he began working as a newspaper reporter in Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains in the early Nineties. For seven years afterward, he produced a weekly column for Chicago’s Northwest Leader and North Loop News. Here is an archive of some of those columns.

Easy Mark Column Archive
by Mark Andel


Do Fast Food Employees Deserve a Break Today?

Enron’s End-Around The Law

When King Arthur Falls, What Happens to Camelot?

Who’s to Blame for High Gas Prices?



Fish Story: Dispatch From Lake Wisconsin

Lost Weekend at Poynette

The $100,000 Seafood Appetizer

The Theory of Drifting



A Christmas Tip

A Rose Is A Rose

A Twisted Thanksgiving

A Visit From Santa Claus

Halloween at Six Corners

It’s a Wonderful Life

Predictions 2001

Predictions 2002

Santa Claus Comes to Town

Smashing Pumpkins and Other Halloween Idiocies

Thankful for….

Trimming the Halloween Tree



Embrace Your Weed Eaterness

Growing Grapes

Helping Out Around the House



Beanie Baby Economics 101

Homework Can Be A Home Wreck

Not Amused by Amusement Parks

The Baked Bean Rain and other Ghost Stories

The Tell Tale Coffee Mug

We Can Build a Snowman: Or Not


Movies and Television

A  Recollection of Movie Stars in Woodstock

Golden Globe Mystique: “I’d Like to Thank....”

Ground Hog Day Revisited

Now Playing at the Deserted Island Multi-Plex

X-Philes Are "Out There"



A Taste of Jones Country

Bad Vibes from Woodstock '99 

Grasslands Quintette Burns Down The House

On Chicago’s Outskirts, the Grass Is Blue

The Last Time I Saw Elvis



In Praise of Mutts

Pet Sounds

Welcoming Mr. and Mrs. Higgs



And the Winner Is . . .   

Big Tobacco Inhales

Here’s Some Money Now, Don’t Expect Any When You’re 65

Monumental Sacrifices

Office Cartoons

 Practical Jokes and Prison Cells

The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations 

The Deeper Value of the Confederacy

Pretzel Attacks President: Terrorism Ruled Out

Video Games Or Military Training Simulators?

Who Wants to Vote for a Multi-Millionaire?

Will Pregnant Chads Give Birth to a New President?



Awakening to Something: George Harrison

A Case of Martha Stewart Envy

A Close (Curtain) Call: Dell Close

A Skeleton in the Wine Cellar : Jonbenet Ramsey

Life as Theater of the Absurd: In Defense of Springer

Set It And Forget It: The Sales Artistry of Ron Popiel  

The Rise and Fall of Miss Cleo

The Short, Troubled Life of Gary Horton


Reflections and Ruminations

A Bahamas of the Mind

Bartering For Memories at a Garage Sale

Battling the Bulge: What Makes Weight Watchers Work?

Billy Goat’s: An Oasis of Authenticity

Blame It On El Nino 

Confessions of a Commuter: Briefcase Blues

Consumer Paralysis

Drive-In Demise: An Appreciative Farewell

Fall Fell, Just Like That

Gardening Catalogs

I’m Not Here Right Now

Instant Karma at the Home Depot

New Car Fever

Objects On The Rear-View Mirror

Old Man River

On Autumn’s Brink, Another Renaissance Faire Ends

Taking Some Down Time

The Farewell Tour

What Am I Signing Here?



Back To  School -- I Wish!

My Life As A Sub

The Ghosts of Teachers Past

The 25 Year High School Reunion Weight Loss Challenge

Who’s to Blame for Truancy?



Social Commentary

Clear and Present Danger: The HMO and PPO Mindset

Countdown to Y2K

Creating Your Dream Life, Oprah Style

Mark My Words

Senior Moments

The Battle of the Sexes Is Over

The Pee-Wee Leaguing of the Olympics

The Trouble With Boy Bands

What Makes for a Great Chicago Neighborhood?

Who’s  Not Self-Actualized?

Y2K Post Partum Depression



A Homerun Press Conference

A Real Olympics Style Hero

A  Tale of Two Cities

Arnie’s Army Hopeful of a Last Assault

Breathing Without Air

Call Him No-Show Sosa

Five Circles of Shame

The Big Hurt Is Only Hurting Himself

The Masters: A True Harbinger of Spring

The Rock and Me

World Champions? Bull! 

Wrigley Field’s Bar Exam


War and Terror

An Old-Fashioned Angle on Vietnam

Early Warnings

Fear of Flying

Preparing the Survival Bunker

Times That Try Men’s Souls

Under Seige



The Flap Over Frangos

The Real Cost of Internet Access



Kerouac’s Beat, Sacred Scroll Comes to the Auction Block

Where Can We Turn Now for K-Mart Realism?

Wright College Address: Music To Fill an Empty Purse