Meeting Jim Dale

  July 28, 2003 at 11:48 AM ET
  grae     Wizard News (via The New York Times)

You never know who you might run into when dining in the Upper West Side of New York, as Janet Siroto discovered when she took her two sons, ages 6 and 8, out for Japanese foodopens in new window.

As soon as we were seated at the Upper West Side restaurant, I could tell this was a misguided adventure in parenting. The tables were shoehorned together, the air-conditioning wasn't working, my younger son quickly managed to spill his pineapple juice all over himself and the table, my older one launched all of our chopsticks onto the floor and the staff, wilted from the heat, was nowhere to be found.

I was thinking of giving up and heading home when my older son pointed to a table nearby and said, "Look, I think it's the guy from the box of Harry Potter tapes," which we'd listened to nonstop the past year. Indeed, the man bore a striking resemblance to the actor Jim Dale, who recorded the books on tape and whose photo appears on the packages. "Go ask him if I'm right," my son whispered.

Figuring that the evening was already in a downward spiral, I decided to risk embarrassing myself and went over. I asked if the man was indeed "the guy from the box of Harry Potter tapes."

It was - and Mr. Dale graciously said in his mesmerizing voice, "Let me come meet your boys."

Mr. Dale sounds like such a nice guy...


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