Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.
"Oh," he said.
Things were chilly for a moment, but he warmed up and said there were gifts for me as well.
"I know how much the bike people hate you," Emanuel said, referring to columns about hooligan bike riders who take over downtown streets, disobeying traffic laws and getting their spandex in knots because I dared suggest City Hall start treating them like drivers and squeeze them for much-needed revenue.
The mayor wants me to ride a bike.
"I got you Chicago bike socks … and I got you a bicycle owner's manual because I know you don't ever get on a bike."
I started to say that I thought he'd do the pedaling while I rode in the sidecar, but he interrupted me with more treasure:
A mayorally autographed bicycle helmet too small for my rather large head. I tried it on, but the helmet was far too tiny.
"We got the biggest one we could find," said an aide. Yeah, right.
There was something else: tiny training wheels.
"You keep those near you," Emanuel said.
Emanuel then walked us from his formal office to his inner sanctum. The previous mayor had this sanctum brightly decorated, like a bed-and-breakfast. But the Rahmfather's sanctum is somber, as befitting the Rahmfather.
"I'm going to hang it here," he said, picking a place, and I thought of visitors asking him what that strange sentence on the plaque means. I hope he doesn't pry it off.
The Rahmfather — who legend has it once sent a dead fish to a political enemy — just loves the Godfather movies, except for Part III. But no one likes III.
"The best lines," he said, "'Make me an offer I can't refuse.' You know another great line? 'Never go against the family.' And the line at the funeral."
The one where Michael is told that whoever offers to provide security at the meeting with Barzini is the traitor?
"Yeah," said the Rahmfather, a glint in his eye.
As I left, he pulled me aside. "Thanks," he said. You're welcome, I said.
The Brightfields loved meeting the Rahmfather. And it's good that the father credited the son with the idea for the piece.
"I think, of course, he liked it," Eric said. "His face lit up. You can tell when someone likes it. "
"Yeah," Evan said. "He was like a kid on Christmas. He was like a kid on Hanukkah."
Have a happy one, Mr. Mayor.