Tag Archives: Todd Mercer

Windy City Mascot

Chance the Snapper swims the lagoon of Chicago’s Humboldt Park. Three or four million in town, but no one can figure how to get him out of there. I would do it, but the drive is prohibitive. Somewhere in the … Continue reading

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Jesus Salesman

“Have you heard the good news?” asks a stranger holding leaflets at my front door while I stand there in my old style Fruit of the Looms. My appearance doesn’t faze him. Cold calling evangelists for Jesus force a nuclear … Continue reading

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Economic Revenants

We grow up in the cradle of surrounding culture, take it in like oxygen, have trouble distinguishing folkways from those foods that sate the soul. Then we go away. Save up for a car, buy it, drive to Ohio or … Continue reading

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N.J.’s Secret is Out

Nightswimmer Junior didn’t want to become famous. That wasn’t what drove her forward toward crossing Lake Michigan. She needed to maximize her strength. She was sick of nothing happening, so she tried endurance swimming. Trained for years, then met her … Continue reading

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The Sexton on Life Support

The Sexton wakes up hooked to machines that keep him breathing. “Punctured lung,” a Doctor explains. “You should see the other guy though.” Dark hospital humor, as the driver who prepared the T-Bone sandwich by forcing his vehicle between the … Continue reading

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Wedding Crashers’ Blues

When speaking to the bride’s people, we say we’re friends of the groom, and vice versa, as needed to hang in there through the dessert course. On our best nights we join the dancing and the bar bill remains theoretical. … Continue reading

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Nightswimmer Junior’s Grand Crossing

She is barely conscious but those lights two miles ahead register as Wisconsin. She waded in at Ludington and launched the great attempt after years of progressive endurance training. It was often solo but sometimes with her sympathetic helper, Nightswimmer … Continue reading

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