Perhaps only once in the entire history of the Sears Tower (Okay, I know it's the Willis Tower, but that's still too weird for me to say.), have twenty adolescent boys, led by one completely bald track coach, run through its lobby carrying chicken cooking cream.
I wish I could have seen the spectacle. During my sons' track practice last week, they left their school's campus for a run through downtown. It must have been quite a sight when they decided to take a shortcut through Union Station, which is where they picked up the chicken cooking cream. (And you should know, I only refer to it as chicken cooking cream because that's what my son called it, so I guess technically it's "so-called chicken cooking cream.")
Apparently, there was a promotion on chicken cooking cream that day. The company that makes it had set up a stand with free samples. Why twenty adolescent boys would want free samples of chicken cooking cream is beyond me, because the adolescent boys I know can only cook peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but then again, it's a rare adolescent boy that can pass up food in any form. Since the chicken cooking cream never made it home, which is why I'm still uncertain as to what, exactly, it is, I'm guessing it had the same fate as every other form of food that's come within five yards of my sons in the last ten years.
While I've never run anywhere carrying chicken cooking cream, so-called or otherwise, I have found myself in plenty of similarly ridiculous and what I imagine would be head-turning situations. My favorite is me trying to unlock the front door of my house with a rhinoceros between my legs. No, it's not what you think. At least I don't think it's what you think. Maybe I just hope it's not what you think.
My son asked for and received a large stuffed rhinoceros for Christmas one year. (And good luck finding one of those at your neighborhood Toys R Us.) After dropping him off at school, I noticed he'd left the rhino in the back seat of the car, so I dutifully carried it up to the front door, with my purse and my keys and my coffee cup. Not wanting to set the rhino down on the dirty porch...well you get the picture. I'm just hoping none of the neighbors did.
When my kids grow up, I hope they'll look back fondly on their urban childhood, full of fun memories of driving past Wrigley Field on their way to school each day and jogging around and through famous Chicago landmarks like Union Station and, okay, the Willis Tower, regardless of whether or not they turned any heads with their giant stuffed rhinoceros or little tubs of chicken cooking cream