Flash fiction: The Girl Shots of Drexel Tell Us About Each Other

Yesterday on Twitter I was pointed to an excellent group portrait on Shorpy, one of my favorite sites around. One thing led to another, and the 1925 girls’ rifle team of Drexel Institute began talking. You know how it is when ladies get together. From left to right:

Then there was Tess. She was new to Drexel, and sometimes wound up jockeying for power. Dolly always came out on top, but Tess was a good sort, so we kept her around. She made things interesting, particularly with her sweaters. She was a ferocious knitter too.

Bitty, well. We called her that because she told us to. Something about her mother always thought she was too tall. We went along with her.

Alice and Bitty, they were always real close. Alice was old money, but she rebelled by wearing out all her old things until they fell apart.

One time we had to gag Eulalie up to get her to stop talking. You’d think it would be immaterial while shooting, but she was a distraction. She took it pretty well, though. Eulalie was always pretty cheerful about ropes. We blamed it on her being a Girl Guide. Rue wasn’t so sure.

Dolly, she was our leader. She was a natural, with a face that got your trust at once. A fine sniper with a fine coat and great shoes.

Fran rolled her own cigarettes. Her brother ran rum across Lake Superior. She was just in the rifle club for the socializing.

Rue never talked about her husband. We saw what she did to that line-up of soda bottles when Eulalie asked about her ring. Rue had a great laugh, though, when you got it out of her. She and Dolly could really cut a rug after practice.

We kept each other interesting.

All this happened at @magpiewhale. Follow along and see what else happens!

Art: Odd number

As soon as the news was out, people were tweeting me and sending me links. @MayorEmanuel‘s identity is a secret no more. On the plus side, this Dan Sinker seems like a pretty cool guy. But I’m still left with a sense of melancholy. It took less than a week for the internet’s best and greatest mystery to be torn down. As a friend put it, “The mystery is fucking over and I’m not sure what we really gain by that.”

Of course, it was inevitable. We don’t like secrets much, especially online. But I miss that feeling that anywhere I went, @MayorEmanuel could be right there, and I’d never know. When @MayorEmanuel cursed out Michelle Malkin, it came from on high. This is not to say Dan Sinker is not a man who has communed with Chicago luminaries and the glowing heart of Studs Terkel — his writings clearly demonstrate otherwise — but it was more fun before. I hate to be that person, but I am.

I got really excited when I figured out how I could respond to my @MayorEmanuel article. My supplies are all in place, and I had all sorts of plans. There would be ducks, and bones, and mustaches and even a Honda Civic. Now that there’s a real person out there, I feel a little self-conscious about going forward with the rest. Tributes to fake Twitter accounts are fun; tributes to actual people are a little weird. So, all we have now is a draft. But it gets the point across, I think.

And hey, with Dan Sinker out from behind the curtain, perhaps we can expect what I want most from this post-@MayorEmanuel age: a book.

Nine and a Half (Test)

High four-and-a-half!

I know, I know, I never write, I never call! Last week I got caught up in my head about what to write for Monster Mash, and this week I’ve been caught up in, well, I don’t know what. But I wanted to share a post that I wrote for another blog!

Oy!Chicago is a blog collective for young Jewish twentysomethings; I’m a regular contributor, usually writing about health issues, but occasionally I get to add something a little different. Today, it’s taking a look at the brilliance that is @MayorEmanuel, the fake Twitter account of Chicago mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel, who over the past month has really put us through the ringer. I take a look at the implications and the effect this has had on its readership, along with some thoughts on what makes the experiment so great.

Read it all at Goodnight, sweet nine-and-a-half-fingered prince.

(As for my own Rahm story, I did get to shake his hand at an El stop this election cycle. It was on the day he was struck off the ballot for the residency issue, and I was very impressed that he was down at the turnstiles in the State and Lake station, rather than huddled in a conference room or raging from a podium. Yeah, call me impressionable, but it was neat. He’s not a big guy, but I liked that I got to shake his hand. Yes, it was the hand with half a middle finger. He said “Nice to see you” and then moved on to whoever was next. I’ve had my brush with greatness. And who’s to say I didn’t meet @MayorEmanuel himself?)