I've lived in Chicago for more than six years. I ride the bus and take the train and work (well, at the moment, worked) downtown and run along the lakefront and go to big splashy events and eat at restaurants and in general am quite the man about town. By some definitions.
And yet I have never run into a famous person here. Or anywhere, for that matter. Co-workers will tell stories of running into Bill Murray on Michigan Avenue over their lunch hour. Friends will recount breathlessly how they saw Jennifer Aniston at the Holiday Club over the weekend. But not me. I keep thinking I'm going to look up from my Show Tune Weekly (which I keep hidden in a copy of Tap and Clog World so nobody thinks I'm some kind of queer) one day and discover I'm sitting next to Oprah on the 147 bus, but it never happens. (She must be a 151 gal. Or maybe she's one of those snooty 136ers. They're so smug with their even numbers and their I-don't-have-to-take-the-inner-Drive-to-get-to-work attitude. Let's make fun of their shoes.)
But that all changed tonight! My friend Rich (who is not the famous person) is here on business from San Francisco, see, and I met him at his hotel at an hour that could be considered "after work" if I actually had any work to go to, and we grabbed a late-night snack (raspberry tea and caramel brownies!) and took a little walking tour of downtown Chicago together. We meandered as far north as Oak Street and as far south as the river, where we descended those lovely terraced steps at Wacker and Wabash to explore the new war memorial. Which is pretty impressive. And the space down there with the fountains and the landscaping and the out-of-the-way places you can sit and watch the river go by is so gorgeous it makes me wish Romantic Date Guy would come back from his freakishly long four-week business trip sometime soon. (Wish granted! He comes back tomorrow! And I'm so excited I could seriously exhaust my lifetime allotment of exclamation points in this single paragraph!)
Where was I? Oh, yes: I heard a rumor that Mary Cheney is a lesbian.
Oops. I backed up too far. I was talking about that lovely new area on lower Wacker where I was about to run into my very first famous person. And it wasn't Mary Cheney. Thank goodness. Anyway, as Rich and I climbed back up the steps at State Street, I heard a familiar voice. I looked up, and standing right there at the end of the State Street bridge talking to some blond woman about her camera as though doing something that pedestrian were acceptable behavior for a person of such fame and stature was ...
Did I mention that I think Mary Cheney is a lesbian? And don't you think that lesbian is a funny word anyway? Say it with me: LEZZZZBEEEEEEUUUUUNNNNN. See? Funny!
Anyway, as Rich (who was not impressed) and I were walking back to his hotel, I kept harping on the fact that I had finally seen my very first famous person. Rich was all "I have to get home and call my husband" and I was all "I have first dibs on your bathroom" and he was all "OK" and I was all "cool, because I really have to pee" and he was all "I said it was OK" and I was all "are you sure? because it's your bathroom" and he was all "seriously--you can use it first" and I was all "cool, thanks" because I've always maintained when I finally ran into Fred Willard on the street, the first thing I was probably going to do is pee.