(the seasonal beauty)

an interview with Captain Lucky of The Seasonal Beauty, lake michigan’s ferry between chicago’s navy pier and a mysterious island somewhere in the west pacific. the Captain arrived on our city’s shores earlier this month, and i was fortunate enough to track him down in a local dive bar with absolutely no women in it.

d: thanks for the time, captain lucky…i know you’re probably looking forward to a beer or two in light of your recent journey.

Captain Lucky: wouldn’t you know it? chicago’s got the best bars in the world, i tell ya, and it’s the only city i’ve frequented with enough bars in it to leave plenty of them for just the boys. i can’t tell you how i’ve looked forward to getting here.

d: well, i’m not sure the abscence of women is intentional, captain, but you’re right there’s a lot of bars. is it just that you’re sick of women? i know you spend a lot of the year surrounded by them.

CL: oh, lord. show me a man who thinks women aren’t crazy and i’ll let them spend a week on my ferry. you wouldn’t believe the crap i deal with, crossing the ocean with a crowd of woman-folk. you wouldn’t believe it if you were there yourself.

d: that’s sorta what i’m getting at, sir. i think a lot of men around here would probably volunteer to join you every winter when you set sail with a boatload of our prettiest females. we’re all left here with a pitted stomach full of apprehension, wondering when you’ll be back!

CL: well, take it from me…it’s no picnic basket, this little excursion.

sure…everyone on board is good lookin’, and we spend all winter out near the equator so they stay good lookin’, but without oprah and american idol re-runs, things can get a bit nasty. old copies of US magazine have been known to cause catfights the size of millenium park!

d: no kidding! so why do they go, then?

every year, it seems like it gets cold around here and “poof!”; all the beautiful women vanish into thin air until the next spring warm front!

one day we have commuter crowds chock full of tanned legs, high heels, and cleavage…the next morning the whole world is grey and everyone looks like my econ professor from college.

CL: well unless people here have figured out how to make themselves literally vanish, i’m fairly sure it’s our little migration that’s responsible for the contrast you mention.

it’s not an overly public endeavor, you know…mostly we see our group expand through word of mouth…but we grow every year and we’re almost at capacity, which’ll mean we’ll have to find a bigger boat next year.

d: so where do you go? you mentioned the equator.

CL: and that’s all i’ll mention. no offense meant to you lad, but we keep those things under wraps out of concerns for our client’s privacy. we’re pretty selective about our clients, and they’re pretty selective about us.

i will say this; it’s warm, got its creature comforts, and far away. high maintenance clients demand maintenance, predictably.

d: i’m sure. i suppose that’s why their reemergence is so noticable…so jarring. it seems like an instant headline conversation when the streets re-populate with scorching beauty, as if winter never happened.

i know i see middle-aged men downtown congregating on cityblock corners, seemingly overwhelmed with the sudden upgrade in scenery. it’s like a fountain of youth spilled off the top of the sear’s tower or something.

CL: oh yeah? i suppose i’m an unsung hero of sorts, huh?

d: well, no offense, but i think we’d prefer you didn’t take the voyage every year as an alternative.

CL: by the end of these trips, i’d prefer to have stuck around too. you ever really contemplated six months of unbridled PMS and nagging?

d: i would imagine it’s no picnic basket.

CL: you said it, man. makes a man rethink his priorities.

d: so one last thing, Captain Lucky, if you don’t mind.

CL: sure thing, sport. shoot.

d: why only the prettiest women? why are looks so integral to your migration’s makeup?

CL: long story short?

d: yeah. long story short.

CL: mayor daley.

d: mayor daley?!

CL: oh yeah. the big cheese brokered us a deal of sorts to let us in and out of town unnoticed in return for the ‘good looks clause‘…said it would impact overall productivity around here.

d: man…i’ve said it before, but f*ck that guy.

seriously.

well, thanks, Captain Lucky…i feel really fortunate to have the time with you while you’re here, and best of luck in your next voyage. again…if you need any extra arms around the ship, let me know.

CL: well the time’s my pleasure, but even though i’d like to say i’ll let you know on The Seasonal Beauty‘s staff situation…well…that list is about a mile long. you’d be better off playing the lottery, son.

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