The Chicago raconteur and roots-rocker does his
duty as a good neighbor and gets a tale out of it.
BY IKE REILLY
only means one thing to me. Drunk, stiff, wasted, loaded, pissed, plowed, tanked,
gone, shit-faced, stoned, pickled, primed – you know what I mean, right?
It means three sheets to the wind, you had one too many, you’re in the cups,
came home late one night a couple of months ago, and my neighbor Darwin was lying
on the sidewalk between our houses. It’s actually my sidewalk but he can touch
his door if he happens to be lying down on my sidewalk. I was surprised
because the old guy doesn’t leave his wife much to go out now since he got
pinched driving drunk a while back. I knew she’d be pretty upset if he was out
getting tanked-up again, so at first I thought maybe he had been jumped.
got down to check him out, he had what I thought was food or something all over
his jacket. It turned out to be food all right, but it had already spent the
evening in his stomach before it made its debut on the front of Dar’s Member’s
Only. There were some strong odors, too, familiar yet unpleasant – brown liquor
and a fresh shit.
him up, and we got up near the side door. I felt him up a bit but I
couldn’t find his keys so I had to bang on the storm door, and, when I did I,
could feel the recoil in Dar’s body as we heard HER footsteps coming closer to
the door. The light came on, the door was unbolted and swung open, and, as SHE
put her hand out to grab him, he reached into his pocket quickly, pulled out a
twenty-dollar bill, and she snatched it and then yanked Darwin into the house!
I thought the exchange of money was kind of weird at that time of the night for
a married couple… didn’t know if it was some kind of role playing shit, or if
maybe he had to pay her a fine if he was late. It left me uneasy, and I thought
I’d ask him about it when I saw him next.
into Dar a couple weeks after I found him in on the sidewalk. He was
sitting in his car, waiting for his wife Leticia to come out of the salon. He
smiled wide when he saw me and said he didn’t remember that I helped him to the
door until he looked me right in the eye right there and then outside the
salon. He thanked me and I told him to think nothing of it but that I did want
to ask him why he handed that money to Leticia.
money,” Dar said. He went on to tell me that when he puked on his jacket at the
bar he knew Leticia would discover just how many drinks he had had and she’d
likely kill him. So he concocted a plan. A 90-proof plan to cover his
drinking. He told Leticia that he did indeed stop in for “one” drink but that
actually a really pissed-up fella at the bar puked on him and in fact gave him
ten dollars to have his Member’s Only jacket professionally cleaned. As proof
to this incident Darwin said he flashed the ten-dollar bill as soon as he
realized that Leticia was closing in on him.
laughed, thinking that it was something more torrid than that, but then I
remembered that it was a actually a twenty-dollar bill that Darwin gave
Leticia, not a ten spot, and I said, “Hey Dar, you told Leticia that some drunk
puked on your coat and gave you ten bucks to have it cleaned but I saw you give
her a twenty not a ten. What did ya tell her when she saw that it was a
said, “I told her the drunk fella shit in my pants as well.”
The Ike Reilly
Assassination’s new album Hard Luck Stories is released this week on Rock Ridge Music. Song samples, tour dates,
etc. can be found at Reilly’s MySpace page. The band appears tomorrow night,
Nov. 25, at First Avenue
Also, as previously reported, Reilly has being doing weekly podcasts at his
official weebsite in conjunction with Hard Luck Stories.
(center) with bandmates Tommy O’Donnell, Ed Tinley, Dave Cottini and Phil