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I was standing on the corner of Wilson and Paulina at about 7:30 AM on a Tuesday, waiting for the 145. An old postal truck rolled south toward the intersection, but no one was steering the beat-up white Jeep. Suddenly a guy ran forward and climbed into the front seat, grabbing the steering wheel; then he jumped out to push the vehicle. He seemed oblivious to the traffic, which politely stopped for him.

His body stretched as he guided the Jeep across Wilson. His tank top and bushy mustache made him look like a circus strongman. He ran forward again to steer, narrowly missing an SUV parked on Paulina.

As he disappeared around the corner, I turned to another guy waiting next to me and said, "That was an odd sight." I then noticed street-cleaning signs on the block of Paulina north of Wilson.

The Jeep reappeared, moving backward up Paulina. The strongman ran around the Jeep to stop it. He pushed it forward again, then got in to steer. He was parallel parking.

--Jay Powers

Reader to Reader welcomes (and pays for) anecdotes, overheard conversations, and slices of city life from 20 to 200 words in length. Send yours to Reader to Reader, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611, or E-mail to


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