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This Guy's Friends Took Out A Giant Personal Ad On A Wicker Park Bus Shelter To Razz Him

By Stephen Gossett in News on Feb 20, 2017 6:01PM

The humble bus shelter might be one of the most utilitarian things on the planet, but something brilliantly bizarre and hilarious is playing out at one located near Wicker Park’s most bustling intersection: a good-natured public shaming dressed up as a single’s want ad.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, an ad for “Chicago’s most eligible bachelor!” popped up at a bus stop near the intersection at Milwaukee, Damen and North avenues. But as you might expect given that one of the selling-point attributes listed for “Ryan Stew” is “perspires ambitiously,” there’s a bit more to the story than a man’s quest for love.

Ryan, a social-studies teacher in Monee, IL, had always been the self-described “villain” of his fantasy football league. “I’ve always been a little cocky when it comes to fantasy sports,” Ryan told Chicagoist. So when the former league champion tanked it this season, his friends and league mates decided to give the mildly sore winner some ribbing of their own.

The ad, which went up last week and still runs for another three, advertises the Instagram and email for “respected educator” to potential suitors—along with a lovably gawky photo of Ryan serving as an usher from a wedding some four years ago.

Ryan actually had a pretty good excuse for his cellar-dweller season: he was swamped with work and was also dealing with the aftermath of the end of a six-year relationship.

“It was the first year I acted like an adult; this is what happens a result,” he said. But he says he knows the ad was all in good fun. “My friends are thinking about me, helping me out,” he said. “They’re good friends.”

As for return on his buddies' investment, Ryan said he unfortunately hasn't had a lot of offers—mostly people messaging him and following him on Instagram, but not much in the way of actual date requests. But he's in the city often, visiting friends; so the window's still open for admirers looking for a guy who has his priorities straight—and certainly a sense of humor about himself.