I just returned from the sun and sand.
But before I left, I couldn’t help but think there has been a strange sense of normalcy in the air lately. I’ve been confused by the lack of creepy pandas, 80s mannequins, naked mannequins or dueling Elvi around the neighborhood lately.
The sight of this stopped me in my tracks a few weeks ago:
Is this your CD collection spilled on the sidewalk of Chicago and Franklin?
Let’s make up some hypotheses about how these CDs got there, shall we?
- A jilted lover seeks revenge on her music-loving boyfriend by tossing his music collection to the street.
- A belly dancer loses her performance set, running late for a show (the only legible CD said “Belly Dance Songs,” after all)
- A teenager, desperate for a new CD collection, tosses his current rotation on the street, claiming it was “stolen.”
Cast your vote. While none of these hypotheses are exciting, I still am curious as to how they got there.
There was a visitor in my neighborhood this week.
And I’m not talking about the annoying snow that blanketed the streets and sidewalks this morning…I’m pretending that never happened.
Walking to the bus stop on Tuesday, I noticed a strange, life-like panda hanging out on my neighbor’s stoop.
Would this make you do a double take?
This was no ordinary panda. She was accompanied by a litter of molting babies. At first glance, I actually jumped because the thing looked so real. The fur, the eyes, and not to mention the babies, put the panda on a new stratosphere of creepiness.
It’s no surprise that the panda appeared on the corner that was once home to the Dueling Elvises. This corner is a Bermuda Triangle of Weirdness. Odd and intriguing things are constantly appearing and disappearing here. Just like Elvis, the panda was gone by the next morning. I can only imagine where the panda is hanging out these days. Most likely, the dumpster.
I have sad news to report from the corner of Damen and Iowa. Elvis is gone.
Only a broken post remains where this infamous Elvis effigy once stood.
Where Elvis once seranaded me on my way to and from work, only broken wooden posts remain. Looks look new Elvis wins the staring contest.
In other Elvis-related news, the King is still stalking me. I think he really enjoys beer since he seems to frequent every drinking establishment that I’ve recently patroned. Either that or Elvis is the patron saint of dive bars. I went to Delilah’s this weekend, and low-and-behold, Elvis was there, singing and shaking those hips above me as I sipped a frosty beverage. I apologize that I didn’t catch the full name of the artist.
Singing Elvis at Delilah's
Dancing western Elvis
I have a strange feeling that the King is following me.
Or maybe that the Ukrainian Village has a very serious Elvis fetish.
A few months ago, I wrote about the Elvis textile effigy located at the corner of Damen and Iowa. Recently, I noticed a new Elvis across the street from this Elvis, engaged in a staring contest. Does this block have the most Elvis fans per square capita or something? I can’t think of any other possibility for the dueling Elvises.
New Elvis on the block
This is weird, right? So last night, my husband Joe and I went to Club Foot for a very romantic Valentine’s Day beer. I look up from our table only to see Elvis staring me in face, in memorabilia form.
Elvis beer, shot glasses, thimble and pictures
Elvis is even following me as I write this blog post. No joke. A song called, “Long Lost Twin” by Clem Snide, just came on my iTunes shuffle. “Tonight I feel like Elvis longing for his long lost twin..” Perhaps the song explains the meaning behind the dueling Elvises.
Could the ghost of Elvis be taking a break from Graceland to roam the streets of Ukrainian Village? Someone please explain this phenomenon to me.
The King is alive in Ukrainian Village.
As I cross Damen and Iowa every morning on my way to work, his piercing brown eyes serenade me with “Love Me Tender.” And every evening, “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” My Elvis is the pre-war Elvis who makes the girls swoon with his sultry voice and gyrating hips. He’s not the Vegas-performing, sequin-jumpsuit wearing Elvis clouded by a pill-popping haze.
But this Elvis is not just my Elvis. He belongs to the whole neighborhood, but in particular to the owner or renter of the house on Damen and Iowa. I can’t help but imagine how this textile effigy came to fruition. Why not another famous American icon who died prematurely, like Marilyn Monroe or James Dean? And does the inside mirror the outside, with a million little Elvi quietly observing visitors?
I’m perplexed and intrigued. If you have the inside scoop, please do share. (I’m strongly resisting the urge to say, “Thank you, Thankyouverymuch”)