Reader to Reader | Essay | Chicago Reader

News & Politics » Essay

Reader to Reader



I'm sitting near the entrance of a bar one Monday night when this guy--young, shaved head, wearing camouflage pants and a tank top--walks in. He approaches my table, mumbles something about being sorry to disturb me, and asks me to buy something.

I'm expecting candy, cologne, StreetWise, or something equally innocuous. Instead he pulls out of his shoulder bag this device with a green rubber ball and leather straps. An illustration on the package shows a man, eyes bulging, with the green ball strapped into in his mouth.

"Uh, no thanks," I say.

"I can guarantee it's never been used," he says.

A born salesman, I think. "I believe you," I tell him, "but I'm not interested."

The guy puts the sex toy back in his bag and walks over to a table of girls, but they refuse to hear his sales pitch and he leaves.

The waitress walks up. I tell her what the guy was selling and she gives me a funny look. A couple minutes later I see her with the bartender and another waitress. They're all looking at my table. --Mark Lawton

Reader to Reader welcomes (and pays for) anecdotes, overheard conversations, and slices of city life from 20 to 200 words in length. Send yours to Reader to Reader, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611, or E-mail to

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →