This just in from Chicago John from the Bartolini Kitchens Blog –
A Pre-Birthday Surprise!
My birthday celebration was moving right along. Cards, telephone calls, and emails had been arriving for days, all bearing well-wishes for birthday joy. Monday, the day before my birthday, I was treated to lunch at a Greek restaurant, Psisteria, which is located just outside of Chicago in Lincolnwood. Having already ordered, we were idly chatting when I heard a vaguely familiar voice, in a noticeably faux German accent, coming from behind me.
“Very interesting, but … ” I turned around and there she was. Flat Ruthie! What a surprise!
Flat Ruthie joined us just as Georgie, our waiter, brought the Saganaki. We all shouted “Opa!” and, being a tad bit flammable, she wisely waited until the fire went out before introducing herself to Georgie, our waiter.
I must say, Flat Ruthie impressed Georgie because he doted on her throughout the meal. Hmm… Anyway, here’s Flat Ruthie and she’s about to dive into the tasty Saganaki!
I won’t bore you with the details but the rest of the lunch was delicious. While we enjoyed our after-dinner coffee, Georgie took Flat Ruthie aside, telling her he wanted to show her one of his favorite places. And when it was time for us to go, that’s where we found her.
Strolling about Flat Mykonos!
Apologizing profusely, Georgie had left her, for he had to wait on the oddly tinted,Colorform extended family that had just arrived. Being an understanding cardboard cut-out, Flat Ruthie bid him a fond farewell as we left for the cinema.
Not 10 minutes later, we arrived at the theater. With sodas and popcorn-a-plenty, we found our seats and settled in for the action-packed thriller, “Mission Impossible 4″. Having missed MI numbers 2 & 3, I was hoping that this edition would live up to the hype — and did it ever! It was an unrelenting roller coaster ride, with only brief pauses to allow the audience to catch its collective breath. We were thoroughly enjoying the ride … well, until the action moved to Dubai. No one ever mentioned Flat Ruthie’s fear of heights.
Here she is, on the left, watching Tom Cruise climb the exterior of the hotel, 130 stories above ground! Yes, that is really him on the outside of the hotel!
Apparently, that was too much for Flat Ruthie because she left moments later, telling us to enjoy the movie and to look for her in the lobby. Here she is rushing out.
I called to her but she insisted I stay and watch the movie. Not wanting to upset my guest, I did as she requested and really did enjoy the rest of the movie. As soon it finished, we left to go meet Flat Ruthie. Our eyes had no sooner adjusted to the lobby’s lights when we saw her, animatedly chatting with her friends, Flat Cierra Ramirez and Flat Eva Mendez!
What a wonderful coincidence that she should be walking into the lobby just as her 2 flat friends took a seat on the seemingly out-of-place park bench. And a relief for me, for I was worried about her out in the lobby by herself. I’ll know better the next time. Flat Ruthie is very capable of taking care of herself.
Seeing us, she bid her famous flat friends good-bye and we were soon together again. We barely took a step when Flat Ruthie asked if we wouldn’t mind indulging her one tiny favor. Flat Eva had mentioned that the cast of Madagascar 3 was flat snorkeling in another section of the lobby and Flat Ruthie wanted to stop by and say hello. Along the way, she explained that she had met Alex on a recent flight home from Hawaii. Well, Alex greeted her like they were old college buddies, not exactly an easy thing to do when flat snorkeling. After introductions all ’round, Flat Ruthie jumped on Alex’s head and went for a flat ride. What flat fun!
From the left, it’s Gloria, Marty, and Alex, with Ruthie riding on top.
Soon, with darkness descending upon us and rush hour traffic beginning to build, we bid the cast mates “Ciao!” and headed for the rest room so that Flat Ruthie could be dried under the hot air hand dryer. Moments later, and with Flat Ruthie sporting a new hairdo — pictures of which we vowed never to exhibit — we left the cinema and returned to our homes.
And that was how Flat Ruthie helped me celebrate my birthday eve. Stay tuned to see Flat Ruthie tour some of Chicago’s sights, as well as attend my birthday dinner.