I started yesterday with a Wordle that I swore I had solved in 2 … then 3 … then 4 … then 5 … then 6 … then nope.
Was I becoming cognitively impaired, or was it just bad luck guessing? Any regular reader of this blog will choose the former. I even harbored thoughts of it as I got word that yet another of my cousins who is my age now is showing signs of dementia. But I chalked it up to bad luck guessing and got ready to continue my career in the cinema.
No, I wasn’t hired as an usher at the local Megaplex. I had a paying gig as a film extra playing a funeralgoer at Graceland Cemetery. Not Elvis’s final resting place in Graceland in Tennessee as I had originally thought, but Graceland Cemetery in Chicago.
Traffic was light and I made it to the Chicago cemetery faster than Google said I would. I parked and had a distance to walk to the chapel where the filming would take place. That’s when I hitchhiked for the first time in my life.
As I strolled through the gorgeous cemetery, a guy pulled his car up to me and asked if he could give me a ride to the filming. He looked old enough that I thought I could take him if he tried any funny business, so I hopped in. Besides, if he killed me, I was in the right place. Then he picked up another old guy walking. Needless to say, I survived. We dumped the second man’s body behind a monument. Kidding!
The second hitchhiker and I actually hit it off well. We are both adoptive fathers in transracial families, so we bonded over that. He did these film shoots just a bit more frequently than I do, but the driver who picked us up has an agent! He told us about earning $1000 for his hand being in a commercial sprinkling shredded cheese. According to him, it took about an hour of filming to get the sprinking just right. I hope he didn’t get carpal cheddar syndrome from overuse. I was tempted to tell him that I had been offered $6500 last week to participate in a clinical trial like the ones I have been doing. The only catch was that I had to be a recreational opioid user. I told the interviewer that I was not, but I am willing to learn. She laughed and then …
I eschewed a ride on the way back to my car after filming was over to enjoy a walk through the cemetery to see cool monuments like this …
I would not mind going back some day to take the whole walking tour to see all the cool ones I missed, like this one …
The story is that she died after being struck by lightning, and during thunderstorms the statue disappears because of fright. I think I’d disappear because of fright if I saw that happen.
And here lies the founder of the Chicago White Stockings, one of the original eight teams from baseball’s National League.
And no, the Chicago White Stockings did not become the Chicago White Sox as simple logic would have you believe, but they did become the Chicago Cubs.
Speaking of the Chicago Cubs, I drove home a different, slower way through some of Chicago’s neighborhoods. Contrary to what Fox News and MAGAs would like you to believe, I never once feared for my life as I drove home with windows rolled down enjoying a brisk fall day. The city was vibrant and full of people walking, on bikes, on scooters, and unfortunately … in cars. It was a slow ride home, but I got to do a little sightseeing on the way back. It is just so cool to drive south on Clark Street and all of a sudden have historic Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, appear on my left, just maybe 200 feet from my car. Please don’t listen to those fearmongers going on about Chicago. As I have written before, it is truly one of the world’s great cities.
If you don’t believe me, listen to Laslo, a young funeralgoer extra that I sat next to in one scene. He is a Canadian who was living with parents in North Dakota before he decided to go to college at DePaul in Chicago. As we spoke, it became apparent to me that Laslo is gay. Great! Chicago is very LGBTQ-friendly. More apparent was the fact that Laslo will NOT be going back to live in North Dakota, because he already loves Chicago so much. I can understand that after all these blog posts, you may not trust me, but trust Laslo. Chicago rocks.