Last night my family and one of our friends saw Mr. Holmes at the Chicagoâ€™s Landmark Century Theatre. On our way out, we went with everyone else to pay for parking.
A cheerful man of maybe 60 was standing there. I asked if he was in front of us on the line.Â â€œNo,â€ he replied, a bit oddly but with a friendly smile. â€œI would punch that machine. Itâ€™s crazy. It’s crazy out there.â€
He asked my friend if she thought it was crazy out there. She replied, â€œI know what you mean.â€
â€œI carry a whistle,â€ he told her, holding it up. â€œDo you carry a whistle?â€
â€œSome people carry one on their key chain,â€ she replied. He asked to see her keys.
My friend understandably got a bit nervous. â€œIâ€™m not going to show you my keys.â€
I handed her the parking ticket, and said â€œWould you get on the line for me?â€ She went ahead to do that.
â€œThatâ€™s some whistle you have there,â€ I told him. â€œWhat kind is that?â€
â€œA Thunderer. A policeman gave it to me. If you see anything that isnâ€™t right, anyone who needs help, you blow the whistle. That way, people will come. I wanted to give it to her.”
He added, a bit embarrassed: Â “She didnâ€™t want to show me her keys. Thatâ€™s good. You have to be safe.â€
We chatted amiably. I asked if I could take a picture of it so I could buy one for my friend. I thanked him for the advice. We all happily went on our way.