Sunday, January 31, 2010

keep a stiff upper lip

The British are famous for staying calm and carrying on.

Shortly before she moved to Evanston in the spring of 2007, Sharon encountered a man who added an entirely different meaning to the term.

Due to a wide variety of work locations, the four members of the Brennan clan found themselves living in three different locations in the Chicago area in 2006.

Kelly was a nanny for a family that lived in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago, so decided it made sense to get her own apartment in the Lakeview area of Chicago, close to the Belmont harbor.

I had moved to Evanston not long after starting work at The Autobarn, and wound up renting a one bedroom apartment a block from the dealership where I worked, starting in June of 2005. Since Brian did not have any solid prospects in the Logan Square area, he decided to become my roommate, and wound up landing a couple of different jobs in Evanston.

Since the family that Sharon was a nanny for lived in Chicago, it made sense for her to commute to work from Logan Square, and all 4 of us got together on the weekends, normally in Logan Square.

In late 2006, Sharon’s family moved to Glencoe, which meant that her commute time increased to more than an hour on heavily traveled Western Avenue, the l-o-n-g-e-s-t street in Chicago

After taking care of a small child all week, and enduring a LONG ride home, she was usually pretty beat by the time she backed the old Buick into the carport at the apartment on North Drake.

One evening in the spring of 2007, she arrived home after a particularly trying day at work, and after a horrendously long commute, to find that an obstacle was blocking access to the carport

The “obstacle” turned out to be the body of a recently-deceased homeless person who lived in the area.

Since all she wanted to do was put the car in the carport and “put on her jammies”, she didn’t have much patience for her situation.

Fortunately, another homeless person was standing nearby.

When she saw him, she said, “hey, put on these plastic gloves and help me move this body”.

He said, “lady, I’m not touching that body”, to which she replied, “oh yes you are!”

Dutifully, he put on the plastic gloves that she always kept in the car, and helped her move the body way from the carport garage door so that she could back her car in.

After they had finished moving the body, she told the homeless man to call the cops, and she retired for the night.

In a manner of minutes, two fire trucks, an ambulance, and a police car appeared in the alley, and the rapidly stiffening remains were put into a zippered bag and hauled away.

It wasn’t too long after that that the two of us moved into a larger place in Evanston, and we’ve been there every since.

Although Evanston DOES have its share of eccentric people, it’s a much more pleasant place to live in than Chicago, but here’s an interesting fact:

I’ve known Sharon for more than 40 years, and regardless of where she is living, life will never be dull.

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