Eatery / Watering Hole

It’s that time of year again, Linda! All the kids have been plunking themselves down in front of their TVs this evening for one reason and one reason only: The 46th Annual BacArthur Restaurant Industry Genius Grant Conferment Ceremony, brought to you by Susan and Thomas Q. BacArthur, The Gene F. and Billy D. McGillicuddy Foundation, viewers like you, and several billionaires. The festivities kicked off a few hours early this year, with a charming cocktail reception that appears primed to become a yearly tradition, should the food and beverage industry continue enjoying unprecedented growth–our economic experts unanimously agree to this trend’s sustainability as we close out 2019.

Several of the past year’s top emerging bartenders have been hired to wet the whistles of the greatest eatery / watering hole luminaries in our tri-state region. If you look carefully, you might just see the glimmering looks of magnanimity in the eyes of all these foodservice professionals as they wait with bated breath to find out who’s the lucky recipient of the prize that will allow them to explore their more scholarly pursuits for at least a week–perhaps a fortnight, depending on their current cost/s of living–without having to pick up a desperation shift at the last minute next Friday night.

Truly the American Dream, Linda.

Anyhow

The gratitude of my temporary inmates seems only to ring truer with each passing circumstance. I suppose I may have acquired a skill or two over the years where it pertains to the custodial caretaking that so many in this throwaway culture would prefer to ignore.

It’s not Stockholm Syndrome that these folks have come down with, since I’m not the one responsible for my subjects’ captivity, but it is definitely a similar phenomenon (a guy sure could get used to all the attention, anyhow). My wards do actually receive that kind of no-strings care that the medical insurance industry forgot about as soon as private concerns got their hooks into it (even though their advertising tries to sell a different story).

Perhaps because of this comfort, every single one of our emerging beer-krausening technologies has been behind schedule under my watch. Maybe it was a mistake to combine a halfway house with a chemistry lab. Our three chemists-in-captivity are functioning alcoholics who just use this particular project to get tanked on the job all day–with my tacit blessing, I suppose. Last Thursday, Ernie–the least-tactful of the three–decided to not look both ways before crossing the street on his lunch break (I do give them at least a little time in each week to get out and smell the flowers). Long story short, Ernie got hit by a shipment of cabbages (with a truck attached), survived, and is now suing the city for not putting a stop sign in a 40 MPH zone. As soon as he got back from the hospital, you’d better believe I gave him quite the lecture on roadside awareness!

Aye]

This is a bit of a cottage industry
we’re dealing with here yet,
so I can’t be arsed
to get off my keister
and support this unproven mission statement
without some kind of connection
to the local movers and shakers.

I’ll be blunt. Pudding supplies
have run rather short, I’m afraid.
I’ve simply no use for a companywide pudding shortage–
think of the optics.

We’re sitting at a juncture
crucial to the reckoning
of our very civility as we know it.
If I’m to be contracted for my time,
I must receive the personal assurance
that the pudding supply will be bolstered
at the beginning of each working week–
or I walk.

I’m not doing this to be the unfair guy here.
I’ve seen these pudding shortages happen in the past
[oh, about four or five times, aye].

Don’t you ever find it odd
that the companies with the most influential
leaders and donors are never asking their competitors
for their gamgams’ closely-held secret recipes?
We need to get there, people.

Far-Fetched

Stern army fandanglers initiate the bizarrest of letterbox rituals as a way to compensate for their minimal internal squawking about where in the hell to buy a caramel macchiato during a Thursday afternoon rush hour—it’s definitely the most congested freeway seen around these parts in quite some time, the rubbernecks all out in force and jamming up the left lane to catch glimpses of a minor fender bender where the only detail of note would be the involvement of a clown car. Fortunately, no actual clowns happened to be in or, indeed, even around said automobile, or traffic would surely would be at a complete standstill.

The question remains: why is there a clownless clown car on the road? A rational observer would surmise that it’s headed to the shop, getting an oil change or tire rotation, or perhaps being treated to the periodic hand car wash and wax (one of Flopsy® the Clown’s numerous contract stipulations). Suffice it to say that none of these scenarios would benefit from the presence of a real live clown, unless some sort of clowning industry discount were to apply to these local auto-maintenance establishments, which seems utterly far-fetched (yet plausible if our society only knew who pulled the strings).

Never gonna get that got damn macchiato…

CVI

The freeloading, lance tossing, hand jiving, bank robbing, heavy lifting, double dipping, chain smoking, dry heaving and life-living individual spent his time in the service of other people, content to take a backseat to the callous know-it-alls who tossed their rhetoric around the block in bite-sized snippets designed to appease the masses and challenge nobody while making a big stink about absolutely nothing.

Our hero (of little merit other than existing and rubbing noses in their various messes) felt that no awkward position could upend his potential as a beacon for human improvement in the face of an ever-widening fissure that threatened to wreak havoc on the lives of those who’d become uncomfortable in their mundane rituals, and his efforts would pay off sooner than later, believe it or not. Monetary compensation would be nice, but he understood that his reward would be more significant in the grand scheme of creative endeavors, a lasting mark on the face of what would soon be called the Canon of Collective Creation, curated by none other than the forlorn dish jockey who spins yarns to pass the time while he hardens his hands under scalding water in the kitchen of a high-volume restaurant on a Saturday afternoon just after the brunch rush but right before the dinner rush, where there’s still a decent contingency of people streaming in but even more making their way out because it’s no longer fashionable to sit at a dirty table twenty minutes after the server dropped the check.