Meet Craven Barnacle: The Mayor of Marina City

By Craven Barnacle
Columnist

Avast! Is someone there? My, my, what a curious mind you must have! Most people don’t make it all the way to the top of these towers. But you have made it, so I must introduce myself. That is the rule!

I am Craven Barnacle: The Mayor of Marina City. It is from this rooftop on high that I oversee the crown jewel of the Windy City. Not a thing happens on this sacred city block that I do not know about. Every shuffle of feet through a rounded apartment. Every pluck of a guitar string in the House of Blues. Every stinging insult hurled at Dick’s Last Resort. I hear and smell and see and taste and feel it all. It is...my life source.

And yes, I do sleep in that bucket. It’s quite rude to stare!

Beware: the laws imposed by that other mayor don’t apply here. We are our own city within the city. The Vatican of Chicago. And, as the elected mayor of such a place, I guess you could consider me The Pope. That’s why I’m wearing this papal hat.

Hmm, what’s that I smell? A freshly-cracked egg sizzling on the grill at Yolk? A sweat-covered bowling ball barrelling down the gutter at 10Pin? No...it is the smell of envy. And the scent is wafting from you. In fact, you reek of it. 

I don’t blame you, of course. To be the emperor of these hallowed Wilco Towers has been the honor of my existence. But believe it or not, I was once a landlubber like yourself.

Twas the Day of Saint Patrick many moons ago. Whilst celebrating in a drunken stupor, I slipped off of the Dearborn Bridge and plunged into the murky green river. Darkness consumed me as my consciousness faded. 

When I awoke, I was plastered to the side of the Marina City marina, held up by bright green barnacles that fastened me to the wall. Had it not been for these barnacles (which, as you can see, are still attached to my skin) and the marina, I would have surely floated out into the watery grave that is Lake Michigan. Marina City saved my life - and I have been hopelessly devoted to her ever since.

If a car ever backs up too far in the parking area, I’ll be there to stop it from falling. If a pleasure craft needs to be tied up in the marina, I’ll be there sporting very stinky rope. If a tourist orders a well-done steak at Smith and Wollensky, I’ll be there to correct their mistake. 

I spend my days swinging around these towers like the humble bumblebee who buzzes around his precious honeycomb. I wake the residents up in the morning and I tuck them in at night without them knowing. I book all of the acts at the House of Blues.

I am Craven! Yes, Craven Barnacle: The Mayor of Marina City. And I shall remain the mayor until some newcomer ends my life, thus taking the title for himself and continuing the cycle. 

Are you the challenger I have been waiting for? Do you dare attempt to rob me of my position as I did to the previous mayor so many decades ago? If so, then pick up that trident, my good man! For you are in for the duel of your life. Only one of us shall leave this rooftop alive. And I swear by my papal hat and my neon green skin barnacles that the victor’s name will be Craven.

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