True Enough For You

Check your thighs in the mirror, ma. I'm done.

Monday, April 25, 2005

(Reading) Terminal Illness

The problem with eating at the Reading Terminal Market is that there are other people there. The place is wonderful in theory: foods of every authentic ethnic variety imaginable brought together under one roof, a huge warehouse of authentic, culinary diversity. MLK, Jr. couldn’t make up better shit than this. Plus, there are Amish people! The Market is strategically placed in an area of town where there are a couple hotels and the Pennsylvania Convention Center. You don’t have to be an economics minor in college (like me!) to know that this is good for business. (My love affair with supply and demand curves is long over, sadly.) You also don’t have to be a sociologist to know that this kind of wonderland is going to attract any damn idiot who is in town for the conference du jour. They invade the Market every day, and from what I can gather they are mostly Southern.

Today’s adventure was my trying to enjoy a cheesesteak in peace. Yes, I know that it’s unbelievably trite to get a cheesesteak for lunch in Philadelphia. Credibility Points against me for that. And I know that they are severely unhealthy. I am acutely aware of things that are bad for me, and can’t enjoy life like normal people do because: 1. My family owns a funeral home and my Grandfather was nice enough to make every corpse’s cause of death a life lesson for the grandkids. For example, although it’s certainly not true, we would often hear about how someone died of a horrible drug overdose and if we were to even sit on the school bus next to some chump who merely thought about experimenting with drugs, we would die the same horrible death. 2. Whenever I would eat something that was borderline unhealthy or have some sort of fun that carried along with it a slight risk in the presence of my Stepmother, she would passive-aggressively remind me to, “Enjoy that while you can, Wilcha’s die early.” 3. I am the oldest child of divorced parents, which makes me feel guilty for doing anything. I seriously do a gut-check upon purchasing anything or enjoying anything too much. And that is why pleasure for me is a complicated business. That said, I am tons of fun at parties; ask your momma.

So, ordered my cheesesteak and put my headphones back on. I had an emergency where the song “1 Thing” by Amerie was in my head, and if I didn’t listen to it quickly, there would be problems for everyone around me. Also, the headphones serve as a shield from crazy people who want to talk to me and tell me how much they enjoy friendly Philadelphia. The headphones, though effective, are not an impenetrable shield, however, as the most resilient of crazy tourists will stop at nothing to talk to me. It’s the popularity I always dreamed of as a nerdy schoolboy, it’s just all the wrong people paying attention to me. I sat down in the “cheesesteak seating section” where the only prerequisite is that you have bought an item from Rick’s to sit there. Cheesesteak in tow, I was golden.

I sat and got ready to enjoy my sandwich (with Cheez Wiz, natch), and then before the first bite, like clockwork really, a man dropped a stool on my back. And didn’t apologize. I might be a prick, but I am polite to a fault, so I eruditely said, “Dude!” He said he was sorry and from out of town. His stonewashed jeans and John Deere baseball cap already told me he was from out of town, but I thanked him and he was on his way. I heard a foghorn. When I looked at the table in front of me, an elderly woman was blowing her nose in a napkin and then picking out the remainder that didn’t escape the long blast with a long pinky fingernail akin to one you would find on a cokewhore. Gross. There were overweight people hovering all around me, waiting for my table. (Supply and demand, y’all. See above). So, as a big old “fuck you” to the world, I ate my cheesesteak with the slow, deliberate rancor I normally would reserve for stealing and savoring the last piece of Godiva chocolate in front of a diabetic Republican (my mom excluded). My spiteful consumption was interrupted by the guy with the stool who tripped and fell on me on the way out of the seating area. Sigh.

The only good thing about bringing in tourists for lunch at the Market is that some of them are foreign! I love foreign people almost as much as I hate nose-picking grandma and overweight table-vultures. There is something so attractive about the effortless air of beauty of foreigners, Europeans in particular. The difference with most American, attractive, young people is that their effortless appearance is the result of tons of effort. I am rolling my eyes in your direction, faux-hipsters at Bump. A table of beautiful Europeans sat near me, and I admired them as they ate. (No, I am not sure where in Europe they were from, but does it really matter? Didn’t think so.) Not to mention, European music and sense of humor is almost always better as a general rule. I maintain a healthy level of patriotism in spite of these assertions and unfair stereotypes.

For this today’s version in the continuing saga of how much does Sandy the Secretary rule, my love for her grows exponentially:

*I teased her about being late to work today, as she usually rolls in about 9:30. Her response? “As they say in Princess Dairies II, ‘The Queen is never late. You just early.’” Who quotes Princess Diaries II? Sandy does. Word.

*She told me the story about how she found her then husband screwing his mistress in her car and she chased after him and her car (that he drove away with his bum leg) wearing a bathrobe while wielding a butcher knife. She said, accurately, that it would have made a great episode of the tv show “Cheaters.” Indeed.

Special shout-out to the Knudson sisters. Christine, you were by far the highlight of a brunch that included runny eggs, moody friends and a syrup attack. Cheers.

Oh, and someone fucked Ann Coulter in the ass, hard.


  • At 11:58 PM, Blogger xxx said…

    i would pay good money to see ann coulter get fucked in the ass. not because i think it'd be hot but because i'd want it to hurt her so bad. is that wrong?

  • At 9:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks for the special shout-out, Zach. I'm drinking a hot beverage and it made me think of you. :)


  • At 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Reading is not a terminal illness. It's how people make use of your blog.

    You should come to my institute of your opinion does not change.

    -Derek Z.


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