I had a wonderful week spending hours with my sister, Emily, and her husband, Adrian. I ate so much good food (including several incredible meals cooked by Adrian). But most importantly, I met the real people of Chicago.
First stop: TGI Friday's for some lunch after getting off the plane. Imagine this: a welcoming committee of 3 different hosts; a young Hispanic man, a young black woman, and a white woman in her 60's or 70's. I'm not exaggerating. She was at least 65. After all three of them seated us, the manager came over to greet us. In his best "sleazy game show host" voice, he informed us that he "had a special menu, JUST for you!"
Needless to say, we were a bit uncomfortable. But this was just the beginning of my strange encounters with the people of Chicago.
Next Stop: Friday Night Karaoke at a sports bar. There are basically 4 men who sing here with a couple other random people mixed in.
The 4 men are:
The Karaoke Host: a guy in his mid 20's who runs the karaoke but also makes sure to mix in some 90's pop-rock songs that he can sing all while looking like he's constipated and completely frightened at the same time.
Jack: a Mexican-American or possibly Native American man in his 50's who is SERIOUS about karaoke.
Party Marty: a white guy in his 50's with blue eyes who looks like he just stepped off the streets of South Boston and sounds like he may have had a few too many before grabbing the mike.
Felix: a Mexican-American guy in his 50's who sings songs that made us think a woman may have just left him.
These people provided endless entertainment. And apparently they are there EVERY Friday night.
|Jack! The other face has been blurred to protect the innocent :)|
Em, Adrian, and I were enjoying a lovely lunch at Panera when suddenly, the woman next to us struck up a conversation with us. At first, the conversation seemed random but completely harmless. But then, it took a turn for the worst. This woman told us about a book she'd read called "The Belly Fat Cure" and stood up to show us that her t-shirt and shorts were loose on her because of this book. We sat there, eating our chips, carb-heavy sandwiches, and scones while she proceeded to tell us that we all needed to lose a significant amount of weight. She even mentioned that sometimes she's afraid to tell people about the book because she's afraid she might get their dinner in her face. She's lucky she didn't get an orange scone to the face that day. Her parting words? It was God's will that had put her in Panera at that moment so that she could tell us how to lose the weight. My thoughts? It is God's will that I'm fat. There's too much good food in the world that God wants me to try.