There’s this bar we go to after class right outside of Second City called The Ale House. It’s an interesting dive bar – there are half-naked pictures of various (supposedly) famous people covering every surface of the walls, including one of Mitt Romney posing coyly in his “Mormon underwear” (note: I don’t believe this underwear is underwear that any actual Mormon would be caught dead in).
Pitchers are ten dollars and they allow outside food and it’s filled with a hodgepodge of furniture, ranging from dining room tables and chairs to what I suspect was once a church bench. It’s frequented by a lot of the students from Second City and it has a sort of dank but friendly atmosphere that I think might attract the comedic type.
Anyway, one thursday we were there, probably discussing the merit of butt jokes, when I saw someone tall wander past. Someone very tall, like a lumbering sasquatch only inside, less hairy, and (probably, I don’t want to malign Big Foot) much better-looking.
“That dude looks like Michael Shannon,” I remarked to one of my classmates.
“Who?” he asked.
I went on to explain how Michael Shannon was in Take Shelter, that movie I never shut up about and how he was robbed during awards season. This quickly devolved into a rant about Brokeback Mountain (as I am wont to do whenever I start complaining about the Oscars) and soon no one was listening to me and I needed to use the restroom.
I made my way to the bar’s fascilities – the men’s room is adjacent to the ladies – and I saw to my relief that my designated bathroom was open.
But before I could reach my destination, the men’s room door opened and out stepped Michael Shannon.
The Michael Shannon.
Like it was actually him.
He was as tall as the mighty redwood and really good-looking in person. Shocked into silence, I stared at him. Like an idiot. He stared back because I was standing in his way, staring at him. And then I noticed that he was still zipping up his fly. This made sense, seeing as he had just exited the bathroom.
Unfortunately, I didn’t glance up quickly enough and, when I did, he was looking at me in confusion and borderline disgust.
He had noticed me noticing.
So I did what any sane person would do; I grinned at him at a way that I hoped was playful but really just came across as psychotic and threatening, did NOT yell “ILOVETAKESHELTER” at his now-terrified face like I had been planning, and bodily threw myself into the bathroom where I locked the door and tried to convince myself that he didn’t think I had been staring at his crotch.
And that is how I didn’t meet Michael Shannon.