Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Do You Know Bobby?

While on vacation in Chicago this summer, my wife and I decided to spend some time in Millennium Park. We were especially interested in seeing Anish Kapoor's famous “Cloud Gate” sculpture (colloquially referred to as “The Bean”) since it had become synonymous with the city.
After taking several photos from our vantage point, we decided to rest at one of the outdoor tables that flanked the sculpture. While we silently contemplated Chicago’s beautiful skyline, a young gentleman that I will refer to as Doug helped himself to the empty chair at our table and immediately inquired as to our general well-being.
 Doug looked to be in his early twenties and I was unable to determine whether his disheveled appearance was the result of actual disinterest in superficiality or a genuine desire to appear to have an actual disinterest in superficiality. Either way, he did not seem to pose any immediate danger to myself or my wife so at his insistence the three of us began one of the strangest conversations I have ever had:
Doug: “Where are you guys from?”
Us: “Tennessee”
Doug: “Oh really!? Do you guys know Bobby?”
Us: “Bobby?”
Doug: “Yeah; Bobby.”

At this point in the conversation, I was faced with three possibilities:
1.       This young man was under the impression that my wife and I would be able to identify a specific fellow resident named Bobby in a state with roughly six million inhabitants.
2.       The phrase “Do you know Bobby” was code for a transaction or act that would later be used against me if I were to run for public office.
3.       Doug was unaware that there were other people at the table and he was actually holding a conversation with himself.
While I was still mulling over these possibilities, my wife had apparently decided on possibility number one and decided it was best to let this play out:
Ashley: “No…. It doesn’t ring a bell.”
Doug: slightly crestfallen “Well…. I am from Colorado.”
Us:  “Wow. Colorado….”
Awkward silence
Doug: “You guys here for the show?”
(Had the young man been wearing a trench-coat, I would have immediately made a hasty exit.)
 Us: “Not that we are aware of.”
Doug: “I really thought that you guys would want to have fun. Are you sure you are not going to the show?”
Us: “Pretty sure.”
Doug: “You just seemed like the kind of people who would enjoy a good time.”
Us: “We are big fans of fun, but we are OK.”
Doug: as he stands to leave “You guys really did seem like you would want to have a good time…”

After Doug’s exit, we remained perplexed until I noticed that Widespread Panic was playing that night at a venue up the street. I was aware that a large percentage of their fan-base enjoyed “chemical enhancement” and I deduced that Doug was simply trying to sell us drugs without sounding like he was trying to sell us drugs. Utilizing this theory, I was able to explain the majority of the conversation but still could not make sense of the “Bobby” comment.
Since returning home, I have scoured the Internet searching for some cryptic meaning for the phrase “Do you know Bobby?” but so far been unsuccessful. If any of you know the meaning of the phrase, please let me know…..


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Oh, Wow! That was a weird encounter! I know a Bobby, my brother-in-law but I am pretty sure he is not 'The Bobby' that Doug was referring too!


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