One less redneck in Wicker Park | Bleader

One less redneck in Wicker Park

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My girlfriend and I moved to Chicago in 1991, and it didn't take much more than an hour on our first day to get into a fight with a sawed-off redneck at the Double Door, which really was a shitkicker joint in those days, in the afternoon, anyway. (When I crossed the Rubicon with a snarled "fuck you," the guy did a slow buck dance, challenged me to do the same, and staggered away. It was a good tactic, leaving everybody unharmed but feeling brave.)

Nowadays most of the rednecks in the neighborhood are pretend ones, like Durwood Wilkes, alter ego of actor Chad Briggs, who's been the caller for Honky Tonk Bingo at the Pontiac Cafe since 2005. With the Pontiac closing its doors, Durwood will have to take it on down the line. Briggs says he's talked to some people about moving the bingo game elsewhere, but right now he's just lining up some bands for one last "night of foolishness" at the Pontiac. The bingo's free but the drinks'll cost you.

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