There are a couple of things in life, which haunt me, and probably always will.
Laundry, for example. I've done laundry, I know how. Matter of fact, when pressed into service, I approach it like the project that it is, and zip through it in surprising speed, with good results and a paycheck at the end. There isn't an element of fear in it for me. An element of loathing, yes, but I don't fear it.
Food is quite the other. I could, and undoubtedly have, rolled around in clothes that suggest Dust Bowl origins, and for several days. Laundry has no bearing on general sustenance. Food is the great and almighty equalizer in the race toward whatever end you perchance call nirvana.
The other night, I was called by means of cellular phone and told that dinner would consist of hot dogs at nine pm. Now, I won't even go back and bring up previous ranting about hot dogs, I've talked about them before and my position is quite clear.
Hot dogs suck, okay? Particularly after some 4 odd decades of them.
So I rebelled. Normally getting me out of my recliner or computer chair or straight jacket after 12 hours of hammering (delightful term, that) out a living is a task best reserved for members of the military. But this was too much.
I got in the truck and drove straight to Burger King. Haven of the hot dog weary.
Burger King is a delight to me. You go in with no reservations about what you're going to get, assuming you have no issues with heartburn. Whopper with cheese, a cheeseburger (as a warm up, of course) and onion rings. Thanks, no drink, I'll be handling that part on my own. And yes, you may happily make that to go. I'm not going to stay here and watch other husbands stumble in from the night croaking out their desperate pleas for nourishment. Too much like home, it is.
In exceedingly rare cases, I will venture out for lunch. A meal at noon does me little good in the job I do, it basically slows me down either by the loss of an hour away from the fray or the coma-like effect that shrimp fried rice can induce during an afternoon.
Today I went out for lunch. Fortunately, we had finished for the day. To forestall the inevitable, we headed directly to the Watering Hole for a little snack. At 1:30, the place had its' usual four customers and the barmaid. And The Greek, owner and maniacal bar improvement contractor.
The Greek always has a project going on. New bar stools plucked from a salvage yard needing only his loving touch and new upholstery. Wall paneling. Bathroom doors. Ceiling tile. Trouble is, he never seems to finish one task before moving on to the next. Consequently, the place looks half done. Forever and always, it does.
When the afternoons are warm and the action slow, The Greek will abandon his kitchen duties and dart forth to pursue what he really enjoys, the further destruction of one portion of his restaurant for the purpose of starting another project doomed to the ugliness of incompletion. Today, it was re-staining some of the booths in the eating area. And The Greek was into it. Mopping on stain by hand, with prophylactic looking gloves on each hand.
Outfoxed eased onto a stool and ordered the special. Cheese quesadillas with chicken. Stu opted for the grilled tuna steak.
Seeing as The Greek was the only cook on hand, he was nominated to fill the order. Upon taking the slip of paper from the barmaid, he peered in a peevish and annoyed way at us from his paint booth. Shaking his head, he asked just why I was interrupting his tasks with something as mundane as food, and did I like the new stain color.
"I'm hungry and no, the stain looks only slightly darker than the spilled beer finish which was its' predicessor"
The Greek glared, whirled and stomped for the Kitchen. A general muttering from the crew on hand about what I had ordered outweighed any concerns I had about a man with wood-stain on his gloves, cooking my lunch.
"Hey Outfoxed, you know he's had those chicken quesadillas on special for about two months now, don't you?"
I tend to have a very healthy dose of faith in my fellow man. Surely, something as simple as chicken quesadillas would present no problem to The Greek. And even if he'd had them on special for that long, it merely indicated that he ought to be pretty darn good at making them by now. I said as much to the barmaid.
She shook her head. "I don't know about all that. I haven't seen any chicken back there this week. He got in some tuna steaks today, but other than that all I've seen in the freezer is that goat he lassoed and brought in."
Stu's tuna steak arrived and he chomped away with relish, nodding his head and mumbling "Hey, The Greek did me right on this."
Finally emerging with my plate, The Greek grinned as he passed me a beautifully quartered quesadilla, with a sprig of parsley thoughtfully propped in the middle. He retreated to his cans of stain, and I could swear I heard him giggling.
And for the first time in recorded history, Outfoxed knifed his way into a steaming plate of Goat Quesadillas. Call me a glutton, I actually ate half of it.
Can't say for sure, but I don't think this is what the Mexican people had in mind for this dish. I do know that none of them would ever eat twice at the Watering Hole.
You know how people are. I've heard it said that rattlesnake meat tastes "just like chicken."
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