Since we're talking Chicago this week, it's a good time to revisit Peter Richmond's story about hanging with Bill Murray that we reprinted earlier this year.
The first time I called Bill Murray to see if he wanted to watch some Cubs games he insisted on reading me the Recipe of the Month from the Cubs newsletter, which was Ryne and Cindy Sandberg's recipe for Chicken Parmesan. It didn't sound particularly appetizing. We never found out what it tasted like, even though we did end up in Chicago, and we did end up eating a lot. We just never ate any of Ryne and Cindy Sandberg's Chicken Parmesan. We did eat Diana Ditka's chicken, which wasn't anything special, especially after Bill picked up this kid who wanted an autograph and lowered his head until it was a few inches from the mashed potatoes. We also ate lamb chops with an orange sauce at a cocktail party for some of the Cubs in a men's store that sold ties for $200, but there was nowhere to put the bones except in the pockets of the silk jackets. We also had eggs Benedict with fresh tomato slices, and some pretty good swordfish, but the most appetizing dish by far was the fruit bowl that looked like a Dutch still life in Mick Fleetwood's hotel suite on the forty first floor. Unfortunately, he never offered us any, even though Bill was polite enough to read aloud from the unpublished science fiction manuscript written by Mick's dad, the late Wing Commander Fleetwood of the RAF, at 3 a.m., while the rest of Fleetwood Mac drank pear brandy down at the bar.
And, of course, we ate Polish Sausages. We ate a lot of Polish sausages. In fact, the first thing Bill said when he reached our seats behind home plate in Wrigley Field during the national anthem for a 7:35 start against the Expos was, "I brought you a Polish," and he held up a brown paper bag. He was wearing a baseball cap with the insignia of the Salt Lake Trappers on the crest. He was wearing baggy bluejeans and a black Adidas jacket with Cyrillic writing on it. Holding the bag in his left hand and his ticket stub in the right, with the brim of the cap pulled down, Bill had moved through the crowd without causing a ripple. He seems to fit in Wrigley Field the way something fits in your glove compartment that's always there, where it belongs.
"Beer?" said the vendor who always brings her coldest case to where Bill's sitting.
"That's what we're here for," Bill said.