Last Friday night was one of those nights you think back on even a few years later and say, “That night was perfect.”
Perfect friends. Perfect experience. Perfect weather. Perfect beer.
It started with me draining the battery on my husband’s new used Mazda CX-7, which I drove around the entire day not realizing I never actually turned the car completely off. It has one of those newfangled gosh-darn tootin’ keyless starter thingamajiggies and how was I to know that the reason the navigation wasn’t turning off after I shut the car off and the reason the car was beeping and hooting and hollerin’ at me every time I walked away from it was because I had to turn the keyless non-key thingamajiggie even further back than I was?
Technology can kiss my grits so hard.
Having to wait for a jump from my brother-in-law Muchacho put me behind schedule fifteen minutes to meet my friends for the game.
No matter. I didn’t let it phase me.
I met up with besties Mike Woycheck AKA The Butler AKA Woy and Jonathan Wander to enjoy the Buccos taking on the Tigers at beautiful PNC Park.
We drank beer. We ate Crab Fries AKA Crack in a Cup with a side of Liquid Crack in a Littler Cup. We laughed as Rod Barajas slid into home where “slid” means “plopped.” It registered 1.5 on the Richter Scale.
The Buccos won.
After the game Mike and I bid farewell to Jonathan at the end of the Roberto Clemente bridge and then the two of us continued on. On past the Byham. On past the Renaissance. On past Bally’s, we walked. Chatting and laughing and wait.
I made eye contact with a man — a wee man of Asian descent as he and another man rushed past us in the opposite direction. They held playbills in their hands. For that split second that we made eye contact, it registered in his eyes that I recognized him and also because I said, “Waaaaaaaait. Is that..?” just as he passed by.
I grabbed Woy’s arm, my eyes as big as your grandma’s pierogies and for a second we simply spoke telepathically via mindmeld.
Then Woy, once a huge Star Trek fan, said breathlessly, “Was that … George Takei?”
We stood motionless, staring at each other for one long moment and then I said, “Mike! GO!”
We were off, chasing George Takei down like snarling dogs after a Snausage-covered cat.
We dodged the oncoming onslaught of foot traffic like the Starship Enterprise avoiding an asteroid storm.
We jumped this way and hopped that way, spun out of the way of a garbage can, possibly hurdled a flower cart — I can’t be sure. We were Riggs and Murtaugh getting closer and closer to our perp until finally he was right in front of me and had made the terrible mistake of slowing his pace down just one tiny bit.
That was all I needed.
Have you ever waited around the corner to scare someone and you leap out from behind the wall, land in front of them while ever so slightly hunched over, your hands held up like the claws of an angry bear? As Woy is my witness, that’s what I did to George Takei. I leaped in front of him from behind, spinning 180 degrees while in air, landed directly in his path like a lethal ninja and said, “Hi! Can I PLEASE PLEASE get a picture? [SCARY DESPERATE TEETHY SMILE]”
And he smiled widely and said, “Sure!”
Woy snapped the photo and then George continued on his way probably all, “Red alert! Batshit crazy yinzer-ninja!”
Whatever. I’m a delight.
P.S. You too might spot George in town. He’s here in the New Hollywood filming a Nickelodeon series called Supah Ninjas. I can’t believe he didn’t just cast me on the spot. [awkward kung fu moves]