Category Archives: Philadelphia

Goodbye, Columbus? Not in South Philly.


This is a follow-up to a column Odd Man Out wrote last summer. A bizarre psychodrama was unfolding in South Philadelphia while Swamp Rabbit and I worked a dull sales event in the suburbs. Hundreds of people had gathered to … Continue reading

Posted in history, humor, immigration, mainstream media, Philadelphia | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

We pay million$ each year for cop misconduct


A typical September day in Philly. Oppressive humidity. Swarming flies. Cicadas making eerie outer-space sounds. In the media, another story about bad cops: The city of Philadelphia will pay $2,000,000 to a Black woman who was pulled from a car, … Continue reading

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‘The Troubles’ in N. Ireland pale in comparison to ours


I was reading about the possible renewal of “the Troubles” that wracked the north of Ireland in the last three decades of the 20th century: The instability has been accelerated by the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. From … Continue reading

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Anti-vaxxer? Not me. Go ahead and shoot.


The new catch-phrase in the news is vaccine hesitancy, as I told Swamp Rabbit before I jumped on my bike and headed uptown for a shot in the arm. “It’s a medical condition common in places where people are too … Continue reading

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Anti-boomer demands recount of 2,020 greatest songs


“I bet they ain’t got none of my favorites,” my neighbor Swamp Rabbit said when WXPN in Philadelphia started playing the 2,020 all-time greatest songs, an end-of-year list based on votes cast by the station’s listeners. “You might be surprised,” … Continue reading

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Yes, bad things happen (to Trump) in Philly


Swamp Rabbit’s parole officer Victor Cortez called me today with a joke about the Electoral College: “The only way for Donald Trump to get to 270 is if he loses fifty pounds.” I said, “You’re right, it’s impossible.” I was … Continue reading

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How much are essential workers worth?


I heard caterwauling: “I’m gonna have to throw all this trash into the swamp if they don’t pick up soon. The frogs and the possums ain’t gonna like that.” Swamp Rabbit was standing outside his shack, jamming empty beer cans … Continue reading

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A new meaning for ‘cancel culture’


‘Last week I went to Philadelphia, but it was closed.’ I found Swamp Rabbit near my shack, at the frog pond, drinking a beer. “There’s no easy way to say this,” I said. “Philadelphia is closing. I think we’ve become … Continue reading

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The thin blue lies


Testilying by cops is “the other side of the coin of this issue of police brutality. In the same way that we haven’t had good methods of keeping track of police brutality by particular officers, there has been even less … Continue reading

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Don’t worry, it’s only a movie


Here they come, a squad of chubby Sandinistas wearing black surgical masks. Better cross the street. Oh no! A tall, skinny diva walking her tall, skinny dog. All I can see are her eyes, and they’re glaring at me. Better … Continue reading

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