“I still say da guy deserves what he got. He ran down dat poor animal on purpose! Hates squirrels. Says so in da papers.” So proclaims Loop Lonagan regarding Alderman Brookins of Chicago’s 21st Ward. Continue reading
Category Archives: Story
We’re here to interview some reprobate named William Shakes for the job of special correspondent. I do not know why I’m a part of this. No sir! Continue reading
by Mark T Wayne
“Whaddaya think is da best Christmas gift o’ dem all?” Loop Lonagan puts this puerile question in a peculiar verbal form he calls the American language just as Donatis Ludditis and I innocently raise a Christmas toast at that notable Chicago landmark, Ludditis Shots & Beer. The place offers several distinct advantages. Our host never presents a bill for our proclivities and the back room houses our magazine offices.
“I got best gift! Is this!” Ludditis states his case in his Lithuanian accent, and passes fancy boxes across the table. “This one for you, Mr. Wayne. Is Christmas!” Continue reading
Howard Brookins Jr, the alderman for Chicago’s 21st ward, was biking along Cal-Sag Trail on Nov. 13, when a squirrel darted into his path. The squirrel wrapped itself in the spokes of the alderman’s bicycle. [The Washington Post.] According to the alderman, “I can think of no other reason for this squirrel’s actions than that it was like a suicide bomber, getting revenge.” [The Chicago Tribune.]
If this is revenge, there is good reason for it. Yes sir! As the Post also reports: “Brookins denounced the eastern gray squirrel in a Chicago City Council meeting and has publicly spoken out about a toothy menace.” He complains of “aggressive squirrels that undermine efforts to overhaul the city’s trash carts.” [Chicago Sun Times] He claims that squirrels are gnawing through garbage cart lids at a cost to the city of $300,000! Continue reading
This thing still replays in my mind. And the news is everywhere!
“The last real American sports story—the story of the team that couldn’t and seemingly never would—is gone for good… [Rick Morrissey – Sun Times] Now I watch in shocked delight as the Cub’s sleeping bats come alive! A leadoff home run…
“…ending more than a century of flops, futility and frustration.” [Ronald Blum – Associated Press] …now more runs—a lot more runs, but way too many innings left to go… Continue reading
Avid fisherman John Jonelis was enjoying some late night fly-fishing on the Pere Marquette River in Michigan when he had a close encounter with something not swimming upstream.
“I’m casting a fly called a Crystal Bullet with a number 4 hook on a sink tip,” said Jonelis. “This beautiful Chinook Salmon practically bends my number 10 Recon in half but after about an hour, I land it. Al snaps a picture, then all this happens. Me and my salmon get lifted by a glowing ray into some giant saucer-like ship that smells of fish inside.” Continue reading
Lotsa people keep tellin’ me good things about Bob’s Bad Poetry so I’m checkin’ it out. Yeah, yeah, I know what yer thinkin’. But there’s no law against an angel investor goin’ in fer high culture. That’s right, I like literature ‘n’ modern art too—’specially the abstract stuff. You got some problem with that, bud? Hey, me fodder and me mudder’s both Irish ‘n’ both poets, so’s I got it in da genes. Maybe you already figured that out from da way I talk. Continue reading
Mark T Wayne hurls his cigar to the barroom floor and grinds it under his heel. “Lonagan, you’re a consummate ass!”
“Shuttup ‘n’ have anudder whiskey.”
“You sir are heavily inebriated.” Wayne’s voice resonates above the noise of the crowded bar. “I know better than to get tight oftener than once in three months.” He lifts his chin and peers down his nose at Loop Lonagan. “It sets a man back in the esteem of people whose opinions are worth having.” Continue reading
At Loop Lonagan’s urging, I’m walking his 85 pound bull terrier Clamps down the hard Chicago winter pavement. I don’t mind because it’s an opportunity to road test my two knee replacements. That’s right; I’m the happy product of the wonders of modern orthopedic carpentry! And I enjoy the best physical therapy known to man because I own the company!
Old Donatas Ludditis flanks my other side to make sure I don’t slip on a stray patch of ice. Despite my upbeat attitude, I hold Clamp’s heavy leather leash with some trepidation. In my condition, I seriously doubt my ability to control such a large and volatile animal. Continue reading
The radio crackles, “Cherokee Six, rock yer wings and rock ‘em good.” Jim Kren ignores the command. We’re no Cherokee Six. Is the controller looking at another airplane?
The sky is lousy with traffic converging on one tiny airport Too many planes for back-and-forth radio chatter. Special rules apply. The controller spots incoming with binoculars and radios his instructions—the pilots respond in a kind of airborne sign language. Keying your mike is tantamount to declaring an emergency.
Jim can comply. He can bide his time. Either is dangerous if he’s wrong. Aviation is full of moments like that. The entire air transport system won’t function unless responsible people break the law in just the right way.
Here in Chicago, we’re blessed with two professional baseball teams. I root for them both—yes, for me it’s Chicago against the world. But how many fans do that? Almost nobody, right? Whenever I betray my crosstown allegiance, people look at me cross-eyed. Continue reading