We managed to retrieve Ted from Union Station on Thursday night in spite of Amtrak customer service, which told us his train was running 47 minutes late (it was on time) and that it would arrive at one of the Amtrak-only gates (it did not). Although he has no cell phone, Ted did have the resourcefulness to call from a pay phone and leave a message on my cell phone, which I got a mere fifteen minutes later.
Upon learning that our guest had arrived, Dolores and I ran over to the appropriate platform (half an hour late) and there he was, sitting and knitting a sock and doubtless wondering whether we had succumbed to fear of his Canadianity.
"That's Ted?" whispered Dolores as we approached.
"Most likely," I said.
"Rrrowwwrrr," said Dolores.
"Don't you even–"
"Ted!" screamed Dolores. "Allow me to be the first to welcome you to Chicago! Aren't you looking like nine kinds of heaven especially after all that traveling. Was it too awful? You must be exhausted. Well, don't worry, you're in good hands now and I'll take such good care of you. Gimme a kiss, lovey."
"Hi, Ted, it's nice to finally mee–"
"Franklin, why don't you get his bag, and secure a taxi, and we'll meet you outside? Excellent. You're sweet. Ted, honey–a drink in the lounge before we trot along home to bed?"
Ted did not, as it happened, care for a drink and so just a few minutes later we were speeding up Lake Shore Drive in a taxi. Dolores tried to insist it was an usually small taxi and so perhaps she ought to sit on Ted's knee. Ted took it all in stride, possibly because he was too tired to know what was going on.
At home, as Ted freshened up, I pushed Dolores into the kitchen and decided to nip this thing in the bud.
"Knock it off," I hissed. "He's not going to fall for it. Ted bats for the other team."
"You mean he goes up the down staircase?" she said, aghast.
"That's right," I said. "A card-carrying friend of Dorothy."
"Well," Dolores huffed, "I've never let the fact that a studhunk was a confirmed pole-smoker* get in my way before and I don't intend to start now."
"Keep your hooves to yourself," I said. "Or you're going to be a very sorry sheep indeed."
"I'm sorry," she said. "Even if he does sing soprano in the fairy choir, it's too late to stem the flood-tide now. Out of my way and let Mama surf."
It's been a very long weekend so far, and it's only Saturday. I'll tell you later.
*Tip o' the pen to David.