CaptCliff is pretty cheap. Also I’m kind of a food whore. Put those together and what do ya have?
Here’s a good example. Lately I’ve had chinese food on the brain. Sometimes I go on food “rolls” in which all I can think about is a certain food item like hamburgers, baked potato chips, Pad Thai, vanilla cupcakes…or basically whatever enters my head randomly and gets stuck there.
Yesterday I worked out at LA fitness around 3PM. Keep in mind that “working out” for me includes about 40 minutes on a treadmill while watching Law and Order and another 20 minutes walking around the gym repeatedly dousing my hands in antibacterial gel, people watching, and doing phony stretches in front of impressive weight machines that I never use. Watching other people use them starts to make my shoulders sore. Better not to aggravate the arthritis….
Then I did what my son Eli the personal trainer instructed me NOT to ever do. I walked directly from the gym to the Chinese restaurant two doors down. It said it was OPEN, so I couldn’t help myself. It had a large red neon sign. Also, there were very few patrons inside so I felt sorry for the owner. Somehow I was able to associate my ordering Chinese food right at that moment with contributing to the global economy as well as helping all the people currently starving in China…..and Staten Island.
Long story short. I convinced myself to be “good” and instead of ordering 5 deep fried entrees and three greasy appetizers, I ordered vegetable lomein and chicken fried rice. I also bargained with my “inner (obese) child” and agreed not to fall for the highly effective advertising gimmick on the door announcing a 2-for-1 Lobster in garlic sauce special. Sure I wanted it, but the “special” wasn’t so cheap even at double the crustacean. I sat in the back of the restaurant and waited patiently for my takeout while plate after plate of Lobster dripping in garlic, ginger, and green onions whizzed by my head. Unlike PETA, I did not feel sorry for the lobsters in the two giant fish tanks who kept looking my way as if to say, “Yo, I may have a skin problem. Pick my chubby friend, Harold. Far end of the tank. Very sweet guy, unusually large hands…”
When my takeout order finally came (it may have been 15 minutes but felt like 4 hours) I pretended to be polite and calmly accepted the neatly tied plastic bag in hand and smiled warmly at the owner like a normal human being. Inside the car and on the way home (only 5 minutes) I actually felt more like Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs and/or the 1000 lb. woman in the trailer who sat on her cellphone and couldn’t reach her refrigerator for three days. You know that certain intoxicating smell of chinese food in the car? What is that, some aromatic form of garlic infused opium or MSG laced heroin??
In the safety of my own kitchen I took a sharp knife and slashed open the plastic bag like a wild animal and/or starving serial killer. In the folding boxes I found NO lomein and NOTHING resembling chicken fried rice. It was the dreaded “mistaken” order, something that happens regularly at Wendy’s or Burger King, but rarely at Chinese restaurants. What do normal people do? They take the mistaken order back and politely request the correct meal. Did I do that? Hell no. I ate every mis-ordered order in the bag and slurped up the leftovers until the clock struck the magic hour and I changed back from a ravenous werewolf into a normal man, albeit one with distinctive brown gravy stains on his shirt.
So, where’s the “hook” you ask? Guess what I’m having for dinner tonite? Me and the dark-haired woman are having the Lobster 2-for-1 special free of charge, thanks to the apologetic owner who politely fielded my strategically placed “complaint call”….the one I made right after I finished the whole damn thing.