Let Me Drink From The Kiddie Pool Filled With Fire Hydrant Runoff

By Dominic Brassile
Columnist

As the fever pitch of summer rolls into September, Chicago is racked with turmoil and strife unprecedented. Lori Lightfoot can send out all the jackbooted thugs she wants, raise the bridges into downtown like some kind of mad king resisting the will of the many, but the people, undeterred, cry out with one voice that shakes the heavens and demands an answer: why aren’t I allowed to drink out of the kiddie pool they fill with fire hydrant runoff outside of the fire station?

Don’t I get thirsty when I take a constitutional about the block? Am I not entitled to some of that sweet, clear water straight from the fire hydrant? The city doesn’t seem to think so!

Every time I saunter up, parched as can be, ready to drink deep of what the city has seen fit to provide, I am made out to be some kind of thirsty Frankenstein’s monster, shooed and yelled at and driven off to a metaphorical windmill by my unwilling partners in this cosmic dance—the hated Chicago Fire Department.

“That’s not for you,” they scream, barring my way. “Why do we have to tell you this every day?” 

Well, they wouldn’t have to do anything if they’d let me drink deep of that icy clear nectar they’re so intent on denying me. “Don’t you have water at home?” They demand. What if I do? What business of it is yours? If Mussolini was hanged in Italy during World War II, then why is he in Chicago in 2020, asking me questions about why I’m so intent on drinking from the kiddie pool?

You can make it illegal for protesters to congregate in front of your house, Mayor Lightfoot. You can raise the bridges whenever you want—Lord knows I would if I could! But do you hear it? Do you hear the people sing? As long as there’s breath in our lungs and fire hydrant runoff in a kiddie pool outside of a fire station, we will not be cowed. We will not be deterred. We will not be broken and we shall crash upon the shores of your iniquity with the strength of a tidal wave, ready to drink our fill when you’ve been pulled out by the undertow.

We are legion, and we are thirsty. You’d do well to remember that.