Archive for February, 2009

“white” hot chocolate

Dunkin’ Donuts has been pushing a “white” hot chocolate” I’m not really clear on the “white” part. Is it “white hot” like molten metal and no conventional cup can hold it nor can anybody drink it, “Here’s your white hot chocolate, it’s served in mug hewn out of solid rock, you should let it cool down for a day or so until you drink it.” Or is it something more insidious like a “white power” kind of thing. “I want a hot chocolate, make that a “white” hot chocolate, it goes with my hood.”

get me to the slots

I was driving to Cape May with my wife and we stopped at a rest area right before Atlantic City. On our way out we saw a small crowd of people gather around an old lady who had collapsed in the line at Burger King. The woman, who didn’t seem to be in any danger kept screaming “Get me to the slots! Get me to the slots!” On the outside of the crowd was this down syndrome Burger King employee, a broom pusher. The whole scene with the old woman was blowing his mind and he was hitting a table with his broom. I felt bad for the guy, it looked like his head was gonna explode. He had no supportive people around or coping skills to deal with it. The old woman just kept yelling and we left.

ham (I Hate Me, Pt.000,001)

After work I went to Foodtown for some cold cuts. It was about an hour until closing and pretty empty, the best time to shop. It’s like having your own store. There’s an old, skinny, worn out guy who works the deli section. The best thing about him is no small talk, “What do you want?” and “Here’s your order”. I ordered a half a pound of ham and he slices too much, almost a full pound and he starts to get upset. I tried to calm him down and told him it was fine, I’ll take what he sliced.  I pat myself on the belly and say, “Don’t worry about it, it’s not gonna go to waste.”  That should have been it but he came back with a morose “I can eat and eat and I never gain any weight.” I’m thinkin’ “Good for you, I hate you. You skinny bastard.” But I say “well, you’re a lucky man.” “I have a thyroid condition and I’m pretty sick.” I don’t know what to say, I mumble a “that sucks” and then there’s really uncomfortable silence that felt like ten minutes but it wasn’t more than ten seconds. I’m waiting for him to give me the ham and I’m thinking mantra like, “gimmethefuckin’ham gimmethefuckin’ham gimmethefuckin’ham”. “Do you want anything else?”, “no (never)”.

I Like Records

I work in a record store, here’s a story.
A skinny middle aged long hair came in with a small pile of records to sell. He’s a “you don’t remember me?” guy. He has a tenuous connection through my brother in-laws old band and I’ve never figured out what that connection is. He was bummed out that I didn’t remember him, I’ll call him Ben. He showed me the stack of records, “are you still buyin’ these?” He doesn’t wait for an answer and he has the frantic cadence of a tweaker. “Yeah, These ain’t mine, they’re a friends…bigfatguy, he’ll be here innaminit.” About a minute later his friend walks in; short, heavy, sweat shirt and pants, drenched in sweat. Ben did the introductions, “Foggy meetTim, Timmmeet Foggy”. Foggy had been standing there for a couple of minutes and he was still out of breath, when he spoke it sounded like a drunken Tom Carvel. “Yeah…huhuhhu…these records are…huh..uh real good,some…huh…huh..uh…of them are…sealed….Look a sealed Stevie…huh..uh Ray Vaughn. You…don’ see that…uhuh every day.” It was a small but pretty good collection, I offered him fifty dollars and told him that he could probably do better on E-Bay. “yeah…I don’ have …afuckin’ computer…uhuh…I don’ give a…shit…uhhuh..uh…I don’ wanna bring ‘em home…huh…jus give…uh..uh what they’re worth.” I told him they were still worth fifty dollars to me. “Ahh…gimme fiftyfive…huh..uh for all of ‘em…huh…I don’ wanna bring ‘em home.” O.K., deal, I pay him and Foggy and Ben start discussing their breakdown, “yeah..uh..fiftyfive…ten percent..uh..uh..is uh..fivefifty and uh..twenny percent..is uh…” Ben jumped in, “yeh twennypercent is eleven an you owe me twelve.” “yeah…uhuh..but you owe me… five bucks…uhuh so that’s uh..uh.” “sevenfuckin’bucks” “yeah…ok…uh..do you want the…cash…or I could…uhuh give it you…in pills.” “yeah gimme it in pills sevenbucks aintshit.”

Fatback

Fatback
As a fat guy I’m well aware of sometimes being a clog in some smaller aisles at stores. As a conscientious fat guy I do my best to let people pass by or “appear to let people pass” by contorting my body or just moving away.
One of the banes of my existence are skinny people with giant backpacks. These skinny jerks who have never been aisle cloggers are a goddamned menace. A menace because they don’t realize what kind of aisle clogging assholes they are. You say “excuse me” and they just ignore you. I’m sure they’re thinking “Me, I’m skinny. I could never be in somebody’s way”. The only thing worse is a fat guy with a back pack, it’s a giant orb of inconvenience.

.backpack

Harold & Maud’Dib

Harold & Maud’Dib is part of the Museum of Television Network (MOTN) series entitled “Orphans”. A month long retrospective on TV shows that had extremely short runs (less than four episodes) or never made it past the pilot stage.
Harold & Maud’Dib was a science fiction-buddy-comedy series that tried to capitalize on the blockbuster sci-fi move Dune and the quirky appeal of actor Bud Cort. It ran for two weeks as a summer replacement in 1986. The premise of the half hour show was Paul Maud’Dib (Kyle Maclachlin) the future leader of the free universe is caught in a time warp while inspecting “spice mines” on the planet of Arrakis. He winds up in present day Los Angeles in the office of a mopey, down on his luck private investigator Harold (Bud Cort) who’s still mourning the death of his octogenarian lover, Maude. In the first of the two episodes “Getting to Know You”, Harold is still convinced that Paul is crazy and introduces him to his psychiatrist friend Mona (Margot Kidder). Paul saves the day by using the “weirding ways” on a bunch of thugs sent by Boss Rocco (Efram Zimbalist Jr.). The second episode “The Mix-Up” has Harold trying to find a spice called Melange that Paul is always talking about (this was supposed to be an ongoing theme), in this episode he winds up with Saffron. Paul meanwhile is investigating a case involving Freemasons which he confuses with the Freman from planet Arrikas and is almost arrested when he keeps insisting that he’s their leader. This episode also featured ex-football player Joe Nameth as Duke Hooper a streetwise informant.
Harold & Maud’Dib failed to capitalize on “Dune Fever” which never really materialized and was replaced after two weeks with reruns of Pig in a Poke.

Check local listings for time and date
.harold2Kyle MacLachlin

If You squint

I mean really squint, the cover for the cd of High School Musical 3 kind of looks like the cover of the first Suicide album. No, I said really squint.

shit chef

Shit Chef: Nail in the Paella
About a million years ago I was a cook at a bunch of different restaurants along the Jersey shore Here’s a story from that time.
     This one place I worked at was on the water, it’s gimmick was the dining room was built on a moored barge.  It was pretty high end and we did about two to three hundred diners on a weekend night.  Like any restaurant we would get the occasional scam artist who would try to cadge a free meal out of us. They would slip a pushpin or a rubber band in with their meal and cry foul. Nobody ever got a free meal out of it, the most they’d get was a round of drinks or a free desert. I’m not saying that nothing ever fell into the food, on a busy night something might fall off of a shelf. If a complaint did come back to the kitchen I would check what was found in the food against what was around it’s preparation and plating.
     Paella is a big Spanish seafood dish, we served it for two. It had lobster, shrimp, scallops, clams, chorizo, and saffron rice. It was pretty expensive and we would sell a few each weekend. One busy Saturday night at around 9pm when it was packed a couple who had a Paella started freaking out (of course it was about 75% eaten already). They had a found a nail in their Paella not just any nail but a bright, shiny five inch nail. Now there’s no goddamned way that could have happened except for the customers putting it in themselves. The guy started complaining and it went up the complaint ladder from busboy to waiter to hostess to manager. The customer was getting louder and he was just at the point of having everyone in the restaurant hear him. A horrible silent moment where the tide of the night could turn and maybe just maybe the future of the restaurant, “There was this guy who found something in his food, a giant nail…” Stories like that can sometimes spread like a cancer.  This guy didn’t just want the dinner taken off the bill, or drinks, or desert. He wanted everything comped, another Paella, and more drinks. He thought that his loud act would win out. Doug our manager was a guy who had been around kitchens for a long time. He was big and looked like a professional wrestler, drank like a fish, was coarse, funny as hell, and would not put up with any bullshit. Doug came in the kitchen and got Sammy and I.   Sammy was another line cook a big Hawiaain guy who was crazy, he never got fucked up which made his craziness a little more serious. I on the other hand was not crazy but I was fucked up, and ready for the inevitable dinner rush. Doug told Sammy and I to stand by the kitchen doors and if he pushed this douche bag through it we were to beat the shit out of him and throw him in the dumpster out back. This all went down pretty quick and for some reason I picked up a meat mallet and Sammy picked up a cleaver. We stood by the kitchen doors looking at the guy while Doug talked to him. Doug took the guy towards the kitchen under the aegis of “Let’s talk this over”. He points to us and says “Look at those guys behind the doors, they’re gonna beat the shit out of you and throw you into the dumpster, if you don’t stop acting like an asshole, I know the cops and they won’t do shit. I know you’re fucking lying about the nail. Now shut the fuck up take your free drinks and consider yourself lucky” And he did just that.  I am so goddamned glad he didn’t come through the door.

Spooning with de Kooning

DVD Corner:
The Criterion DVD Collection has just released the entire television series of the groundbreaking show “Spooning with de Kooning”. A short lived weekly interview program on the old Dumant Network in 1957. The show featured famed artist Willem de Kooning interviewing celebrities and newsworthy figures of the day while spooning them in an oversized bed. Shocking and controversial at the time it only lasted for 18 weeks. Disc one of the DVD features all 18 interviews, including those with Marlon Brando, Peggy Lee, Douglas MacArthur, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Robert Frost. Disc two which has bonus features including the complete uncensored interview between De Kooning and The Kingston Trio and a recent interview with pianist Dave Brubeck who wrote the theme music. The double disc also includes an extensive booklet with many recently unearthed photos and a New Yorker interview with de Kooning that was conducted right after the show was canceled.

dekooning

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