We are wandering around what we believe is the Chicago neighborhood of Wrigleyville, searching for a classic Chicago-style hot dog. Although you can find fine franks all over town, we're told that in Wrigleyville, you can't swing a dead scrap heap of unidentifiable meat parts without hitting a good hot dog joint.
"There's a hot dog place on every corner in Wrigleyville," one Chicagoan tells us.
After walking for blocks and blocks and coming across many X-rated shops but not a single hot dog restaurant, Jessica asks, "Do you think we're in Wrigleyville?"
I spot a cop car parked at the corner. Jessica goes over, taps on the window, and asks the female officer behind the wheel whether we're in Wrigleyville and where we might find a hot dog.
Turns out we're in Boystown, not Wrigleyville. The cop gives Jessica directions to Wrigleyville and to one hot dog place in particular.
Jessica and I start heading in the opposite direction of where we had been walking. After about six or seven blocks, the cop pulls up beside us, rolls down the passenger-side window, and leans across.
"You're walking?" she asks, a note of incredulity in her voice.
"Yes," we say, vaguely wondering if we've broken some kind of no-walking law.
Her eyebrows knit slightly and her lips crease, commingling personal concern and professional assessment.
"It's too far to walk," she says, "especially in this heat. Hop in."
Jessica and I look at each other. Are we in trouble?
"I'll take you," she says.
Amid a chorus of thank-yous, we slide into the back seat, flabbergasted.
As the cop drives, she tips us to other restaurants.