Monday, August 28, 2006

Chicagoan empathizes with traveling Obama

CHICAGO (ap) -- Watching the news of U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's current travels and reception in his native Africa, local man Andy O'Planet recalled his recent visit to Ireland and discussed the many similarities.

"I can understand how the freshman senator from Illinois feels," the Rogers Park South resident said, leafing through a stack of photos from his trip. "When you're on a trip to your homeland, everyone wants to meet you, everyone wants to shake your hand, everyone wants something."

Not everyone gets a chance to lean on Dylan Thomas.

In his experience, O'Planet said, the bartenders at the local pubs were especially friendly. "Honestly, I felt like a returning hero," he said. "The way they greeted me, asked me what I wanted, carefully poured every single pint, it was amazing. I never get that kind of attentive service in Chicago."

Like Obama, O'Planet felt that the locals expected more than he could give them. "One of the reasons I went to Ireland last year, I didn't come, as was said, as a grandson of the community," he said. "I came as a United States citizen and a representative of the Chicago drinking community."

Every Dublin pub opened its doors to O'Planet.

O'Planet was joined on the trip by a friend, Rusty Bongwater, who nodded his head enthusiastically while recalling the trip.

"Yeah, yeah, Andy really got the royal treatment, especially at the Guinness Factory," Bongwater said. "And let me tell you, the Guinness Factory has changed a lot since the last time I was there. Have I ever told you about the time I went to Ireland and almost got arrested?"

O'Planet had never seen such big pints of Guinness before.

Another similarity in the trips was an HIV/AIDS screening. Like Obama, O'Planet also was tested for the disease, although he waited until he returned to Chicago. "I totally understand what the senator's going through," O'Planet said. "When you're traveling, you meet people, they all want to be with you it seems, and you don't always have a condom. So, yeah, I had to be tested, too."

For about a week after his return, O'Planet affected a slight Irish accent, which annoyed his friends, but he insisted was natural. "Listen closely to Obama; I bet he'll have an accent when he comes back. It happens," O'Planet said. "It happened to me. It happened to Oprah when she went to South Africa. And I'm sure it'll happen to Obama."

O'Planet and Bongwater were allowed to eat local cuisine in the streets even.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funniest thing I've read this week!

6:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There tisn't o Guinness factory no more, I'm afraid. Just a thumping, laser filed discotech of uh place with two story cascades of beerwater akin to a corporate lobby. Indeed, the American O'Planet was welcomed home with open arms by all Irishmen in attendance. I know! I know Rusty Bongwater.

12:06 PM  
Blogger rustybongwater said...

you little punk ass polesmoker!
how dare you try to use my name for publicity. you are not the true red eye jedi known as Senor Rusty Bongwater. There is only one and it is i says me. Straight from cali, biatch. F*&$k chi town. how dare you use my name. Google it biatch!

Did you mean: rusty bongwater

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now does any of that look like you, i think not.

heh, Later.
May your eyes be red and your buds green!

1:50 AM  

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