Last week I did something out of character for me all thanks to my husband, risk taker that he is.
So on day one of my birthday week last Monday, Mike and I took the day off to have a date day as he was leaving on a business trip the following day for the rest of the week.
The plan was this:
Go to John Hughes grave and visit
Go to Paradise Pup for lunch
Get ice cream at the Graeter’s in Northbrook which is just around the corner from this:
Essentially the stuff my wet dreams are made of.
It was after having our burger and fries, that my husband threw a curve ball: why not pop over to the Illinois State Police Headquarters for a visit?
HE GETS ME.
Mike knows how hard it was for me to stop sharing the screenplay to the blog, and in turn, I hadn’t been talking about it (or even editing it) at home as much as I would normally.
Also, my anxiety as of late has been at DEFCON 5. Probably because I haven’t been hanging around Kate, Val or Regina. Note to self- need to do more of that.
Birthday week couldn’t have come at a better time.
“Okay honey, I guess so. I mean if you really need to see it again, I am game” was my response.
I mean, if we HAVE to.
On the way to the high school, my husband pointed out the above sign.
It created a chicken or the egg conundrum; did Bender Rd. come before John Bender. or did John Bender come before Bender Rd.?
You can’t buy this type of crazy.
Oh, look! The future home of the John Hughes Museum!
As we were pulling into the parking lot I made the fatal error of saying, “I wonder what it looks like on the inside now?”
Mike immediately pulled into a front parking spot and said, “let’s find out!”.
OOOHHHH HELL NOO.
See, I WRITE about shit like this, I don’t DO shit like this.
Normally I would’ve told him, “NOPE. Turn the car around. Let’s go get ice cream and dream about going inside. Maybe we will even tell people on Facebook we DID go. Shhhhh”.
But since it was my birthday week, my anxiety was already through the roof, and dammit, life is short, I said, “aww what the hell”.
Those are my wobbly legs getting ready to go inside the building. But I took this picture in case we were kicked out or arrested and I wanted proof of being there. Hoping for arrested because WHAT A STORY THIS WILL BE.
Before I go any further, as we were pulling into the parking lot, the sign in front said that this building was where the Illinois lottery winners head to pick up their prizes.
I couldn’t make this up if I tried.
I also cannot wait to work that into the screenplay.
Upon walking into the building, we were met with a desk and a middle-aged man in a security guard uniform asking us if we were there for the lottery.
Us- No sir, we actually just want to look around and take pictures.
Security guard- Blink blink.
Us-See, this building was in a movie.
Security guard- Oh yes, I have heard that!
Us- Have you ever heard of the movie The Breakfast Club?
Security guard- Yes but I’ve never seen it.
Us- Blink blink.
Security guard- Sorry.
Me- What about Ferris Bueller?
Security guard- Oh yes! Loved that movie.
Us- Well it was also filmed here.
Security guard- No kidding! Well, sure! Go ahead! I just need you to sign in.
Us- Looking around to make sure he was talking to us.
So there were several boxes of donuts piled up next to him on the desk and Mike (being Mike), says to our new friend, “oh and we get donuts too??”
AND THE SECURITY GUARD SAYS “SURE! TAKE A BOX!!”.
I COULD NOT MAKE THIS UP IF I WANTED TO.
We signed our names, took our donuts, and headed down the hallways of the friggin’ Breakfast Club high school.
As we were walking the halls in between classes, we ran into the winners of the Illinois Lottery sitting in a very depressing waiting area. They didn’t look very winning; more like they were waiting at the DMV or to get a root canal. It was while I was trying not to make eye contact with the lottery losers ahem, I mean winners, that I spotted my future friend, a female officer or security guard (I couldn’t be bothered with details because of anxiety attack). She was probably used to dealing with annoying lottery losers as she looked very skeptical when we asked her what the story was here.
Mike- So lottery winners get their winnings……here?
Female officer- Yep.
Mike and I- Huh.
FO- Can I help you?
Me (evasively darting the question)- OOH WHERE DOES THAT HALL LEAD?
FO- stares at me like I am one of the lottery losers
By chance, a lottery loser came up to her to ask a question and we scooted down the hall into the bowels of the high school even further.
See that guy way down at the end of the hall? We ran into him while entering this hallway and I swear to GOD he looked like a teacher. He had on a plaid shirt, wool vest, and a lanyard. He also looked at us very suspiciously (DO THEY KEEP THE DAMN MONEY IN THIS BUILDING FOR THE LOTTERY WINNERS??) which took me right back to my high school days all over again. It’s like John Hughes was directing this entire visit from Heaven.
Suspicious “teacher”- Are you lost?
Us- Uh. Yes. YES!
Me- Actually, I need to find a restroom.
ST points to the sign right next to me.
Me (giggling nervously)- Aha! Right in front of me!
ST looking at us like the suspicious deviants that we are starts to slowly walk down that hallway where he is pictured above.
I headed to the bathroom and left Mike to meander around but not too far because I am a little afraid I might end up in detention.
And by afraid, I mean excited beyond belief.
After going to the bathroom (I wasn’t lying), I decided (after washing my hands, of course) that I needed to document the fact that I just urinated in The Breakfast Club bathroom. Well, maybe not the only one but one of the ones and I am POSITIVE that Molly and Ally peed in here. I even looked for writing on the walls of the stalls even though I feel like Molly Ringwald isn’t a write on the bathroom wall with a Sharpie kind of girl.
Ally totally is.
I walked out of the bathroom and found Mike nosing around the hallway, so of course, I told him about the selfie and he’s like YOU’RE WASTING TIME WOMAN! Because of the salty old teacher at the end of the hall and we needed to make our way around the other hallways.
First, there is no library in this building because they built the library for the movie in the gym of this building.
What we were really looking for was the classroom used in Ferris Bueller.
Which is never used according to my new friend Cathy who works in this building.
Side note- Mike said over and over, “we need to find your friend, I bet she’s working!“.
To clarify, we aren’t real life friends (yet) so I didn’t feel comfortable a) popping in to see her, and 2) she might not even be working on this day and C) she’s a 911 operator, so I am sure she’s not just sitting around waiting for two social misfits to waltz the halls of a former John Hughes production so she can give us the nickel tour.
So Cathy, please don’t stop reading because we didn’t visit you on this day. Next time, we are coming with an invite, a copy of my screenplay for you, and a box of donuts for our new security guard friend.
As we headed down the hall directly across from the bathroom, we see doors leading to rooms that we are 45% sure were the rooms used in Ferris Bueller when I start to panic.
MIKE WE CAN’T GO ANY FURTHER. HOW WILL WE EXPLAIN OUR PRESENCE???
He’s all calm and collected and I am literally vagina sweating when all of a sudden we hear:
We turn around and see our female security/police friend from the lottery losers lobby but she isn’t smiling.
Female officer- What are you two doing?
Me- Um. Okay. We aren’t doing anything bad, I swear.
Female officer- Mmm hmmmm.
Me- You know this building was used in a movie, right?
Female officer- Mmmm hmmm.
Me- Well, I wrote a screenplay and this is where I want the John Hughes museum to be.
Female officer gives me the side eye
Me- Oh don’t worry! You won’t lose your job, you’ll get a brand new office.
Female officer starts softening and begins to smile.
Me- I am not crazy. I swear.
I don’t remember much else of what was said, I do remember Mike and I talking to her, her laughing at us, and her snorting while telling us YOU ARENT SUPPOSED TO TAKE PICTURES IN HERE. I also remember asking if we were getting arrested, her telling us that the people in the lottery loser lobby won over $600 plus which doesn’t make them losers at all.
Then she led us to an elevator, which I thought was her escorting us out of the building quietly as not to worry the lottery winners. We get into the elevator and there are two employees who get in with us when they spy our box of donuts. We told them they had a pile at the entrance desk and that they should get some. To which they CHANGED FLOORS and got off to get free donuts.
I couldn’t make this up if I wanted to.
We get off at the lowest level and our new friend leads us to this:
Photo credit- Cathy Ann
The exact poster that my friend Cathy shared with me.
Did you also know two Michael Jordan commercials were filmed in the building as well? You do now.
I turned around and hugged my new friend and may have told her she will be cast in the movie.
She laughed genuinely and said goodbye as she pointed to the exit.
I said to Mike, “let’s take a selfie in front of the steps with the donuts!“.
He didn’t want to be in the picture probably because he didn’t want to be associated with all of the crazy.
But it’s all good.
I got in.
And it makes for a fantastic story.