Leslie's Omnibus


I forgot to mention that I was abducted by aliens last Friday night.

I went out in front of my regular Friday night hangout with my friend Dana for a smoke. It looked like half the bar was out there, despite the fact that it was snowing and quite windy. Dana turned towards the building to shield her lighter from the wind.

That's when I saw them.

"Pliss, kenju halp mee? Esscuuuuuzzzz! Pliss, kenju halp?"

Oddly, no one else seemed to notice them. Chicago is funny that way, though. Very few people actually acknowledge a panhandler, so I can understand, sort of, how these two could slide under most Chicagoans' radar.

Still... two guys in black sunglasses after twilight, carrying white canes with red tips -- how do you miss them?

I approached the odd-looking duo and asked what they needed.

"Pliss, wee iz go to Oh-Gil-Bee Tranzportayshn Senner. How to go from heerz?"

I explained that it wasn't far, and asked where they were from.

"Pay-ru. Joo no where is Pay-ru?"

I made the first mistake. "Si. It's in South America on the Pacific coast."

"Oh! Joo spick dee Spanitch?"

Oh, boy. Now I was stuck trying to give directions in a mish-mosh of English and Spanish to a couple of blind guys from Peru.

Let me ask you something. Have you ever tried to give directions to a person standing directly in front of you without gesturing with your hands? Especially when the destination is a block or less away?

It's nearly impossible to stop yourself.

And you feel pretty damned stupid when you realize what you're doing.

Anyhow, the next thing I knew, one of them grabbed my right elbow and the other one slung his right arm around my waist and gripped my left elbow with his left hand. Next thing I knew I was leading them down the block while they chattered away merrily.

I led them to the light at the corner I explained that they simply needed to cross the street, make a right and that the next building was Ogilvy Transportation Center.

They were perplexed.

The light turned red.

I turned them to the right, explained that they should cross the street, make a left when the light changed, and the first building was Ogilvy.

They were more perplexed.

That light turned red.

I turned them left again and led them across the street. We turned to the right and waited for the light to turn green. I was going to send them on their way, but I knew they'd be lost in 30 seconds... right in front of Ogilvy, probably. Off we went.

Good little citizen, I grabbed the first gullible looking person I saw heading for Ogilvy's revolving door, explained that my new pals needed help getting to the correct train, exchanged enthusiastic goodbyes, including much kissing of cheeks and hands, and headed back across the street.

Yes, I was ready for a drink by then.

Dana was waiting for me, much put out by my disappearance. "Where have you been? I turned around and you were just gone."

I couldn't help myself, really. "I was abducted by aliens."

"No, really."

"Yes, really. Blind. Peruvian. Aliens. And I am so blogging this."

1 comment:

Hammer said...

Wow I would have seriously been looking for Alan funt. Certainly an interesting experience!