Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Sunday, April 21

Gapers Block

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Oh, please, please, please tell me you've seen the little pocket-sized disaster that is Chicago Scene magazine! I love finding it tucked in the corner of some overpriced shop in the Gold Coast or downtown. Sometimes, when I've had a bad day, my betrothed finds the latest issue and brings it on home, where it sits on our bathroom floor, waiting to be read and laughed at.

Wait, you don't know that Chicago Scene is? All right. Hrm. It's a 4-inch-wide, 6-inch-tall magazine available for free at ritzy places. The content is comprised of advertisements from fancypants bars, clubs and shops plus all kinds of shots of hot people (read: women) in pretty people places. And if I put on my copywriter's hat for a moment, I suppose the tagline I'd write for the mag is this: "The Magazine for People Who Don't Exist."

At least that's what I would have said the tagline was before a little trip I took on the Clark Bus last week.

(Oh, by the way, this is going to be one of those columns where I don't actually talk about classified ads. Like the Trader Monthly column. I started reading Chicago Scene hoping they'd introduce columns, but they never did. Whatever, it's f-ing hilarious. Next week, I'll resume my usual pattern of chatting about the classies.)

I hopped on the good ol' #22 in the Loop and crowded in next to what can only be called a fancy lad. This guy was probably in his mid-twenties and wore a suit, v-neck sweater, collared shirt with tie. Oh, yeah, and a fucking pocket square. So, in short, he was Patrick Bateman from American Psycho. But on the Clark bus.

But whatever. I was on the trixie bus and had expected a chad or two — just not the uber-Chad. I watched his every move. At some point, he reached into his suit coat pocket and pulled out Chicago Scene. And since I was standing behind him, I could tell what page he was reading. Then, he flipped out his Motorazr phone and called his euphemism. This was his conversation:

"Hey, yeah. Where are you at?"
"I'm on my way home. But hey, I wanted to know if you wanted to do something tonight."
"Yeah, it slipped my mind, but there's this photography party thing at the W downtown."
"There might be, like, drinks and appetizers there. Whatever. It's some, like, Chicago photographer who's been doing photos of fashion and design for, like, 20 or 40 years."
"Well, you'd have to get to my house, park, and then we'd need to hop in a cab. But it's the W. It's hot there. Yeah. Sexy."
"Cool, cool."

I had never before actually encountered the intended readership of Chicago Scene interacting with the publication, i.e. using it to pick up mad poontang(?). I've seen traders read the business section of the Wall Street Journal and lawyers read Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. But my life so far had not arranged this sweet little happening. There's something quite special (and maybe this is my professional experience in marketing speaking) about a target demographic interacting with a product designed just for them.

I happily watched Patrick Bateman flip through the rest of the tiny magazine, checking out the shiny, preternaturally tanned people smile at free booze bar nights. He dog-eared some pages and blew past others, not making room for others getting on the #22. I lost Patty B. between the Newberry Library and North Ave. and didn't even get a chance to give a fare-thee-well to his satin pocket square or the specks of dandruff on his 38-regular jacket.

I'm going to make up my own ending here. That he met the person he spoke with at the W and she/he got really pissed at him because Patrick was being all handsy, got tired, and went home. Patrick hung out for a while longer, drank too much, and then hailed a cab home. He tipped the guy a buck twenty on a $14 fare and called him Abdul, even though the cabbie's name was Sammy and from Central America.

Or maybe he went home, watched Hotel Rwanda on Netflix, got all weepy and decided to give money to charity. A bottle of wine and $200 later, he would be getting thank-you notes from Girl Scouts of America, the Fresh Air Fund and Do Something, that charity the guy from Melrose Place has.

But maybe, just maybe, he went home, changed out of his Brooks Brothers Catalog, page 10, and called his mom. Because Chads can be people too, right?

Have you ever read Chicago Scene? Tell momma what you thought.

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About the Author(s)

Shylo Bisnett loves ironing, baking and dancing naked. She dreams of being a naughty housewife. Let her know what you think about Public Notice at .

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