Making friends in the Windy City…

23 Jan

Saturday we grabbed lunch at Elephant & Castle in Chicago. (I know, I’m not a fan of chains either, but it was damn cold out, it was one block from our hotel, and it had a selection of over a dozen good draft beers. So take that.)

Anyway, there was a woman <in her early forties with bleached blonde hair and a loud attention-seeking voice> seated at the bar with three older male companions.

Her voice was so intrusive that Alan kept cringing.

“Honey,” I said to him, but as if I were talking to her, “I’m sure you were cute when you were 20, but you’ve doubled in age. Not so cute at Volume 11.”

Alan added, “And now you look like leather.”

Then he cackled and forecast, “You’re probably going to get me in a fight!”

“No,” I told him. “Those aren’t fighting words. But I’m working on some.”

After a few minutes, I tested my script. I nudged Alan and asked, “What if I go up to her and ask her to raise her arms above her head?”

Alan looked at me expectantly. “And when she asks me why, I’ll just say I was curious where they put the strap on old leather bags these days?”

Alan was non-plussed, so I wandered off to the bathroom.

It was a single room with a lock, so there was a pretty steady line. When I came out, the Loud Mouth had just joined (and noticed) the line and was trying to rally the troops. “Seriously, Ladies! Go fast or I will pee on the floor!”

I was tempted to duck back in the room, lock the door and author a thesis, just so I’d have the joy of seeing her with soaked jeans, but I resisted the urge and returned to our table, where I brought Alan up to speed on the urgency of her situation.

Just as I was finishing, she walked past and reclaimed her bar stool. “That was unnaturally fast,” I observed. “Especially for a line that had two people ahead of her.”

Alan agreed. “Maybe she didn’t go?”

I shook my head. “She’s the type of woman to just use the men’s room. My money says that’s what she did.”

Alan indicated I might want to lower my voice, “I think she can hear you…”

I paused for a moment. “Do you think she’s going to come over here and ask ME to raise my hands above my head?”

And so we left. Because irony is not the same as funny.

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