Illustration by Bruno Pieroni

The biggest rip-off I’ve ever experienced in Chicago was when my kid brother came to visit. He knew nothing about Chicago back then, other than 1) his brother lives here, 2) their mother gets stuck in revolving doors every time she visits — this is true, bless her heart; and 3) the city was the home of famous gangster Al Capone.

So on a hot summer day, the kind you only get in that very specific part of the year between mid-July and early-August — but then also in late-January, early-February and mid-February now — I presented my brother with…


“That’s not how it was supposed to go,” said the old man, his head barely poking over the bridge railing. “Not at all.”

None of the people in our green gaggle heard it. They were all taking pictures with their phones or taking swigs from their flasks.

One of the reasons I look forward to getting old is that old people generally have a fascinating ability to share their opinion with anyone and anytime.

“You work hard on the things you believe,” he continued, “and then people make a mockery of it.”

Me, I’m still young enough to worry what…

Bruno Pieroni

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