Essays, Interviews, Observations, Pop Culture, Stories, and other Dodginess

The Louisville Hugger

Posted on October 18, 2018

I visited Louisville a few weeks ago.

The last time I was there several years prior our band U.K. Grief played a show at a dive bar that goes unremembered. But it was where we debuted a new song there, “Pretty Little Johnny.”

We went bar hopping after the show and discovered The Louisville Hugger. She was about the age of Courtney Cox when “Friends” ended and wore a brown leather jacket, loose green pants and blue heels. Long scraggily brown hair covered the parts of her face that weren’t already hidden by large sunglasses.

She called herself The Louisville Hugger. She would go around offering free hugs.

She had one of those little Louisville Slugger souvenir bats they give you at the end of the tour at the city’s famous baseball bat museum. After hugging my friend Mosquito, she took the small bat and rubbed it between his legs.

During that incident she showcased a wide toothless grin which made the scene more interesting.

The Louisville Hugger shadowed us to another nearby bar. While Mosquito and another band member talked her up at the bar, I went to the bathroom where at one of the urinals was a pissing man who started burping loudly. Indeterminate fluids  spewed from his mouth with each burp. He laughed and burped and pissed and farted. I hightailed it the fuck out of there.

“You’ve heard of cotton mouth? I’ve got cotton ass and a bad case of it.”

That was what I heard The Louisville Hugger telling my friends as I returned to the bar.

She left us, a drink in one hand and the tiny bat in another, apparently targeting someone else’s genitals.

Back at the hotel room I could not sleep because of Mosquito’s snoring. He sounded like a sick animal. A pig in distress. After going to the bathroom and seeing Mosquito’s tighty whitey underwear stacked on the toilet tank, I decided to crash on the floor in another room where my bandmates were.

The room was near the elevator, which opened as my groggy bandmate Franz let me in. I looked over and The Louisville Hugger was crouched inside, with her bat. As the elevator door closed she put her tongue between her fingers and called me “a fucker” and finished her crap.

I didn’t sleep well that night.


Depeche Mode Came To Town

Posted on June 29, 2018



On June 1 Depeche Mode cleared out the stink in the United Center that was left over from the Bulls and Blackhawks.

I had a good time at the concert. For the most part I was fine with every song the band played, but I as always I wish they would dig a little deeper. How about “Only When I Lose Myself.” Let’s hear that one for a change.

I told my neighbor, Ms. Weregun, that I went to the concert. If you’ve read some previous posts, you know all about her. Especially from the one titled “Ms. Weregun.”

Ms. Weregun reminded me of something I’m not sure I wanted to remember. That time she danced on the bar at Mickey’s Tavern in Bucktown to “My Joy” – a scampy and wonderful Depeche Mode B-side that I wish they had performed June 1.

I spent a lot of time at the concert looking at the row behind me. I thought my ex-girlfriend Angela was there, about seven seats down. I noticed, while Dave Gahan was shaking his ass, that this girl danced like Angela, smiled like Angela, and drank beer like Angela.

She looked a little taller than Angela, but her jawline was straight up Angela. From my vantage point I could not tell, however, if she developed the same crooked eye that Angela did after drinking several beers.

At a point in the concert I stood in line to order a $12 beer, I recalled that Angela didn’t seem to care for Depeche Mode. While eating french fries during “Personal Jesus” I remembered her preference for Latin dance music.

If it was Angela, I wanted to dance with her like we did at my friend Strob’s party in Pilsen. That dance with her was sensual and yet stupid. The song was “Armies of the Night” by Sparks. Then I watched her dance with a girl named Comisa who had a T-Shirt that read “I Will Keel You.”

It made me remember that Angela used to call Depeche Mode’s grungy hit “I Feel You” by another name – “I Will Feel You.”

Depeche Mode did not do “I Feel You” on June 1 at the United Center. And had it been their final song of the night, Angela (maybe) was already gone.




Chicago’s Smallest Bathroom

Posted on April 1, 2018


Chicago’s smallest bathroom may be at a no-frills neighborhood BBQ joint on Granville Avenue in Edgewater.

And getting to the bathroom at Sam’s Chicken & Rib is an experience in itself.

I visited Sam’s one recent late night with a friend who ordered food to go.  I asked the kind man behind the counter if there was a public bathroom. He pointed to a door in the corner of the small dining area. Expecting to walk through the door and into a bathroom instead exposed the kitchen and back area of the restaurant. Just like in “Goodfellas” I made my way through the kitchen past a few workers doing their thing. I exchanged short pleasantries with them and was led to another door in the corner of that room.

I could not immediately find the light switch because it was placed on the opposite wall and a little higher than your usual switch.

This bathroom with its green glow is tiny. It reminded me of an apartment I had in which the bathroom was so small your knees practically hit the sink while sitting on the toilet. In fact it was about the same size minus a shower stall.

After I did my business (No. 1, thankfully), I walked back through the kitchen, nodding to the workers as I met up with my friend and got our food. I don’t know if they let everyone use the bathroom but I was thankful the kind man at the counter allowed me too. It reminded me that I have several Chicago bathroom experiences (don’t we all), which will be the subject of an upcoming post. Cheers. And remember, if you use the bathroom at Sam’s Chicken & Rib, the light switch is on the opposite wall. And even though I didn’t need it, by the looks of it they keep a lot of toilet paper rolls in there, right on top of the toilet. Don’t get your right foot stuck in the garbage can.

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The door that leads to the bathroom via the kitchen at Sam’s in Edgewater.