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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Dinner with Bill

I had dinner with Bill Purcell for Valentine's Day last night. OK, well, not exactly, but he did sit about four feet from my wife and me for about two hours yesterday evening. We had reservations at 6:30 at Eastland Cafe (which was excellent, by the way) and sat down at a cozy and candlelit little table for two. (We were about where the bald waiter is standing in the above stock photo from the Eastland Web site.)

As soon as we sat down, a friend of mine said my name and said hello. She was sitting at the table on the far side of the mayor from us, not that we had even noticed that his honor was in the room at that point. After thirty seconds or so of conversation across the mayor's table with my friend, I sat down and began looking at the menu. Sure enough, Eastland Cafe has a beautiful set of mirrors at about eye level running the length of one wall, and there was Bill in the reflection right above my wife's shoulder.

Unless I someday sit down across from Bono, I'm going to continue to try to not be "that fan" or "that guy." You know, the one who makes an ass of himself by fawning all over a public figure. Granted, our mayor is a bit more local a celebrity than, say, a philanthropic rock-star who has won multiple Grammys and has been named Time's Man of the Year, but it was still an awfully fun surprise. I managed to (hopefully) subtly steer my wife's gaze in the mayor's direction with my own eyes, and we did our best the rest of the evening to leave him alone.

I'm happy to report that it was the mayor, not me, who broke out his Blackberry during dinner to check e-mail, though my wife notes that, as mayor, he stood a lot better chance of getting away with that on Valentine's Day than I did. (I kept my Treo in my pocket the whole time.) It should also be noted, for the record, that as far as I could tell, the mayor spoke almost entirely in English the entire evening. Then again, there were several French and Italian words on the menu, so I'm not sure whether Bill ordered by pointing at the menu or if he embraced his recent veto by pronouncing every single word. I hope it was the latter.

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