|Ann and Joe Scheidler|
“Hey, it’s my pal, Joe Scheidler!” I said, happily, seeing the white-bearded man on the corner of Madison and Wacker holding a 5-foot-tall sign showing a fetus at eight weeks. I pumped his hand. Good old Joe, known him for years.
“Honey,” I said to my wife, who works downtown now and commutes with me. “This is the famous Joe Scheidler, national director of the Pro-Life Action League.”
He stuck out his gloved hand. She looked at it.
After nearly 25 years of marriage, you’d think I’d know the woman. But I forget. My wife’s a hardass. When I found myself in a booth at Gene & Georgetti, having coffee with then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, I also forgot. We were getting on, bonding and, wanting to show off, I asked Blagojevich if he’d mind saying hello to my wife. I dialed the cellphone, handed it to him. “Hello!” he said in his fake butch voice. “This is Governor Rod Blagojevich!” The smile died on his face. He mechanically handed me back the phone.
“What are you doing?” my wife spat. “I didn’t even vote for him. Come home.”
But that was over the phone. Face to face with Joe, 87, father of seven, grandfather of 23, she melted — a little. After a moment that lasted an eternity, she took his hand with her left and gave it a single squeeze. We continued on our way, pushing east on Madison.
“The left hand doesn’t count,” she said.
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