Monday, October 02, 2006



A fake protest for "real fruit"
draws a crowd on Chicago's Mag Mile

IT'S AROUND 2:30 on a sunny Friday afternoon. The majestic Michigan Avenue drawbridge, gateway to the Magnificent Mile, hosts its usual array of buzzing traffic, busy people, tourists, panhandlers. At the foot of the northeast bridge house, magnificently adorned with classical bas-relief sculptures, a homeless man sits oblivious to it all, picking at his crusty feet.A dapper denizen of the district known as "Homeless Yanni" or "Walking Dude" (subject of a supposedly upcoming "Dudeamentary") strolls northward over the bridge, sporting his trademark flowing hair --now silvery rather than Kiwi shoe polish black -- and a rumpled leisure suit.

At Pioneer Court in front of the Tribune Tower, a little girl runs up to a 9-foot-tall moose sculpture made from car bumpers and tries to climb the creature -- then notices it has a penis, which she immediately grabs. Mommy scolds her, then complains to daddy, "Do they have to make these so realistic?"