Reporting, Recording and Relaying - But Always Telling It As I See It

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Moms Are From "Sure, I Will Go Out On Sunday Night To Get Poster Board" And Dads Are From "You're Screwed."

At 6:10 on Sunday night, we were enjoying a family dinner when my son asked, “Do we have any poster board?”

“Oh yeah,” my other son said, “I have that project too.”

Parents, we know the following to be true. Those who aren’t parents heed my words. Nothing good comes from poster board. It is a gateway to school project hell.

So last Sunday evening, a few hours from bedtime, we were about to make collages – with poster board that we were not sure we even had – that were due the next day.

And by “we” I mean the boys and my wife. The “I” part of “we” went to the family room to finish off the wine.

Sensing the encroaching swear-fest from me, Bonnie donned her “Ultimate Mom” cape and herded the boys upstairs.

Or so I thought. About thirty minutes later she came up from the basement –with poster board. “I snuck out because I didn’t want you to get mad,” she said. She did the right thing of course, teaching the boys a lesson by not getting them what they needed would be fruitless.

She did it because she “didn’t want them to be upset.” Would I have done this? Probably - but I would have made damn sure they were upset. I just feel that as the father of a couple of boys, I need to be, well, a prick sometimes. Now, this could be some buried passive aggressive wiring, but I don’t think it is. I liken it more to the “silverback syndrome” that gorillas display. You see, the second a baby boy is born, the silverback knows his days are numbered; he also knows his offspring is going to be way cooler than he is. Before he can pick the fleas off his wife, his son will be eating more awesome bananas than he ever had as a kid. The silverback will be envious. So, in the years that he is still physically more imposing and while his offspring still need a back ride to the clearing to play with his other gorilla friends, the silverback jumps at the opportunity to pretend he is still the boss.

For the kids, of course (gorilla or human) this doesn’t work. Dave Bowie sang, “And these children that you spit on as they try and change their world, are immune to your consultations. They’re quite aware what they’re going through.” So yeah, I would have gone out for the poster board, and I would have been pissed off. I like to think I could have pissed them off a little, just a little, for not telling us sooner. But they would certainly have been immune to my consultations. They know the Silverback would move a mountain for them.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Bending The Sub Lady To My Will (Where Dave Contends With A Knife Wielding Senior Citizen)

The lady brandished the 14” bread knife at me as she spoke, each syllable accented with a flicking of the knife through the air.

“That was not me, sir,” she said sternly. (Five flicks.)

“It absolutely was you,” I said.

“Sir,” flick, “I would not have done that.”

“You did it last week,” my safety buoyed by the counter between us.

It’s rare you find yourself in a confrontation at the sub counter in a grocery store, but I sure as hell did.

It started three weeks ago, and like the Bloods and Crips, escalated to outlandish proportions.

You see, every week Bonnie and I order a 14” Italian sub to eat over the weekend. Well, three weeks ago when I ordered the sub I was told by the lady who would soon be brandishing the knife that they were running a special: buy one 7” sub and get a 7” sub for free. “Great,” I said, “I’ll take it.” I really was not paying attention, but at the very last moment, I noticed she cut the sub, made on a 14” roll, in half, wrapped each separately and gave me both pieces.

“Hmm,” I thought, “had I known that I would not have had her cut it.” Why? Because we bring our sub home whole, and cut it into thirds. Lesson learned.

The following week, I went to the counter and told the lady (who had no idea at this point in seven days hence she would be considering felony murder) that I would like the special, but just do not cut it.

“I can’t so that,” she said.

Before we go further, a few facts:

1. I was not asking for anything special, including: extra meat, half-toasted, double wrapped, the tomatoes not touching the lettuce or Swiss cheese with minimal holes.

2. Had the special meant I would get 7” inch bread, I would have been fine. I would assume they got a deal on 7” rolls somewhere. It was the EXACT SAME SANDWICH, just cut in half (and at the very end to boot.)

Round two was successfully mediated by a younger worker – kind of like the former gang member who goes back to the neighborhood. Reluctantly, she left the sandwich intact and just put two stickers on.

It was 1 to 1. The rubber match.

This week when I showed up at the counter, I thought the problem was solved. This is when the lady began wielding the knife, steadfast in her resolve. I felt like asking her if she forgot what the gang mediator had done last week.

After some posturing, she went to ask a manager.

“We can’t do it.” I think her teeth were clenching.

“You don’t remember this discussion last week? You were here last week, I remember. Just put two stickers on it, that’s all.”

Granted, I sort of felt like an elitist prick at this point. And truthfully, I really had no desire to upset this older lady. I brushed those feelings aside.

She went back to the manager who I am sure told her, “Okay, just don’t cut the sub for the elitist prick.”

“Okay, what kind of cheese do you want?” the knife back on the counter.

I almost said, “The same kind I asked for when I fucking ordered before you tried to turn this into a Federal racketeering case.” But I didn’t.

When she handed me my uncut sub, I also didn’t say, “See, that wasn’t so hard after all.” I did say, “See you next week.” I swear I heard the knife flick through the air.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Where Dave Eats A Fried Pig Head

“I wouldn’t recommend eating the eye,” our waiter said as he placed half of a deep fried pig head in front of me. It took a few seconds for my eyes to orient themselves; for the head to come into focus.

As it arrived.  The sunken eye is near the top

“It’s being held up by a piece of neck meat. Make sure you rip it open and dig around. I brought you a knife but mostly you just go at this thing with your hands.”

I found the eye, just aft of the jaws. It was crinkly brown with a little ball of hard yellow that had formed on the outside. (The iris?) I started with the cheeks.

Bonnie and I were eating at Cure, a newer restaurant in Lawrenceville, for her birthday. Our general rule for finding a new restaurant is that we don’t eat anywhere that my parents would love. This excludes anyplace that serves baked potatoes. Not that there is a thing wrong with baked potatoes, I just don’t want to spend money to eat one. (Our biggest restaurant avoidance is steak houses. Fifty dollars for a steak I can cook just as well on my Weber kettle grill? Kiss my ass.)

But back to the swine’s head. Imagine a mold of a pig skull with every cavity stuffed with juicy pulled pork then wrapped in bacon. Then deep fry it. Granted, you have to get past the wrinkled eye and the teeth, but beyond that, it’s really quite amazing. The snout was the one part that was a bit disappointing, with its bits of bony cartilage. On the other hand, the gums were a treat, like thinly sliced, crispy bacon.

Lest you think Bonnie was averse to this, she was not. She gamely devoured the pieces I placed on her plate of house made chorizo and gnocchi. I could not say as much for the young girl sitting next to us. She had a look on her face best described as a cross between someone who was witnessing an autopsy and someone who was questioning the wisdom of a fifth shot of tequila. I made sure to pull the upper and lower jaw apart when she was looking.
The halfway point.  See the teeth?

Bone exposed (God that was fun to type) and eye still intact (though I have to admit, the waiter said he didn’t “recommend” I eat the eye - he didn’t say to “not” eat the eye) we passed on desert which would have been a plate of locally sourced cheeses.

Here is a brief Q&A culled from several inquiries:

Q: Would you eat it again?
A: Hell yeah.
Q: It was BYOB, what did you drink?
A: Duh. A cooler of beers, a squirt bottle of vodka and some tonic.
Q: Did you say pickled beef tongue was on the appetizer platter?
A: Yeah, it was great. So was the creamy lard on baguette.

Anyone hungry?

(I highly recommend you visit this place.  Click here for their website.)