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redeyechicago.com

Why Carlos Zambrano was one of my hardest interviews

Luis Gomez

About Last Night

12:45 PM CST, January 5, 2012

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The night before I was supposed to cover Carlos Zambrano’s Big Z Foundation launch party in early 2010, I came down with a case of food poisoning. All I wanted to do was lie in bed with a garbage can at my side. I was in no mood to talk – well, other than yelling “Take me now, God.” And the last thing I wanted to do was think about food, which would be difficult seeing how the party was at Fogo de Chao.

So yeah, the odds were against me.

But seeing how I had already backed out of an assignment once before due to food poisoning (I got food poisoning from fish tacos in Tijuana and never made it to the soccer game I was supposed to cover in San Francisco the next day), I decided to suck it up and play hurt.

What was the worst thing that could happen? You know, other than me getting sick in a cab and having to pay an extra $30 (at least that's how much it cost in Madison -- don’t ask me how I know) or getting sick in front of Zambrano at Fogo de Chao and never living it down.

Fortunately, I made it through my sit down interview with Zambrano with few problems. He was friendly and entertaining and said he would try to get Jim Carrey to attend his charity event in the future. After the interview, I picked up my notepad and bolted out of the restaurant. I didn’t want to push my luck.

I like to think I earned my editor’s respect that day by taking one for the team, but I don’t know for sure. After all, the Tribune never did run the article.

Good luck in Miami, Big Z.

On the record: "They ask me every year, and I just can't do it. I tell them why: You guys keep saying every year you're going to get A-List people and then it's the girl that was with George Clooney... They better talk the walk or walk the talk -- whatever that saying is." – Actress Jenny McCarthy talks to Hollywood Reporter about ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars”

“Breaking my Twitter silence just to say that A) our ABC project is called "Last Resort" with no "The" and B) ABC Pickup is not official yet.” – “The Chicago Code” creator and Rockford native Shawn Ryan, via Twitter

Heads up: Kyle Korver’s charity and clothing line --the Kyle Korver Foundation and Seers Outfitters, respectively – will host “A Night of Fashion, Music & Hope” at Double Door January 29. Korver will be unable to attend because he and his Bulls teammates will be on the road against the Miami Heat that night, but the band Barcelona will be performing there. Tickets can be purchased at doubledoor.com.

Sightings: Bill and Giuliana Rancic had dinner at Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab Sunday while in Chicago preparing their soon-to-open restaurant, RPM Italian. ... The Texas Rangers' Mike Napoli had lunch at Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse in Rosemont Wednesday.

Twitter @aboutluisgomez