Entry: Thurs., Nov. 11, 2010 Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Jack O'Brien and the jokester chicken sammy

It is Wednesday night here in the brown and holy east and that can only mean one thing. Well two things. First it means that it is rehearsal night for the church band. Check. Some decent and heartfelt songs will be played to the glory of G*d on Sunday at the ol' Grace Evangelical Lutheran church on Carroll Street in Westminnie. Second, it means I am sitting here eating a chicken sammy from Chik-Fil-A. I do this every week. I am so boring. But hear me out on this one. First of all, for those of you who do not have access to the fabulous foodie of Chik-Fil-A  you cannot begin to understand the remarkable goodness of this comfort food. Chi-Fil-A, which I think is only on the east coast but don't quote me on that since I have not read their annual report, uses actual chicken in their sammies. At least I think they do. It looks like chicken anyway, not like oatmeal smashed into a circular shape. This makes their food worth eating right there. Plus they have waffle fries. Does anyone not pine for waffle fries?  So as you know from our story I have a very limited palette. Seriously, there are a handful of foods I will eat. There are many more I will not touch.  I am now past 50 years of age, for instance, and I have never, ever eaten a salad. Ever. Can't stand the thought of it.  People quite often remark on the fact that I am a complete freak when I say to waiters at restaurants, that no, I don't want a salad because I do not eat a salad because the thought of eating such a thing makes warm liquid rise in my throat. To quote an old family saying "I wouldn't put it in my mouth." And I wouldn't.  So with a very limited menu available to me I often hit on something I like and then eat it like I am the company spokesperson. Chik Fil-A chicken sammies fall into this category. I take 'em to the house. Every Wednesday at a minimum. Delish. Anyway I bother to mention all this only because tonight I had to change my routine a bit. See for the past year or so every Wednesday night after band rehearsal I have eaten not just a chicken sammy from the Fil-A but a SPICY chicken sammy, which is a chicken sammy basted in a little Tabasco. Yummy. The first time I ate one of these I believe I moaned in sheer ecstasy and may have even thrust my pelvis in a forward motion. That good. But the problem is that these spicy slices of heaven between bread have lately been, shall we say, reminding me of their presence the following day. On recent Thursdays I will be driving to work in the white Accord when suddenly I will get this feeling in my stomach that if I were to put a sound to it I would say it would be a single strike on a kettle drum bawum! Deep and resonant. And I will think, aw man, I have to drive all the way to the train station and then take the subway 13 stops and then walk to the office and take the elevator to the only floor in the building that has a bathroom I will use and then pray no one is in the one and only stall I will actually sit in and then do Chik Fila-A business. It is all too much. So tonight under great duress I made a life-changing decision. I got the regular chicken sammy and not the spicy one. So I just reduced my life menu by one, so now there are probably only 19 items in the world I will let pass my lips. But waffle fries are still on there. They don't make me go poo poos.

So listen I have to mention this because it annoys me. Little Kev, who is trooping through his first semester in college at Syracuse University, home of the Orangemen, was the victim of a practical joke today. How I hate practical jokes. They are neither practical nor funny. Also, how I loathe practical jokers. Yesterday, I believe, someone left a note the door of Kev's dorm room while he was away no doubt studiously attending a class. Upon his return he discovered said note which was written in girlie handwriting and contained hearts for the dots over I's and all that. The note said that Kev was a hunka hunka burning love and that the writer, a mystery hot girl, would reveal her identity if Kev would meet her at the bike rack in front of a certain dorm today at a specified hour. To his credit Kev suspected from the start that this was a ruse and said as much, but, of course the whole thing was intriguing enough that he wondered what was up. Also to his credit he did not necessarily plan to show up like a dupe to the bike rack with a boquet of flowers but asked a friend to go there beforehand and scope things out so that Kev would not end up on You Tube playing the fool. Anyway someone told him before the appointed hour that it was a joke and spared him further embarrassment, but let me say that as the father of the butt of the intended joke it still pisses me off, even if Kev just seemed to shrug it off as no biggie. I have no tolerance for practical jokes. It is, in a way, emotional bullying, I suppose at the worst but at the least it's putting someone in a potentially embarrassing or humiliating situation and that is just not right. Anyone who plays a practical joke has some intent in his heart. This is my theory. I mean, who the hell wants to be played for a chump? Not me. Once in college I was at a bar with some guys I worked with at the college newspaper and when I went off to take a wee wee, one of the guys thought he would play a great practical joke on me and he put some exploding thing that he must have bought at a joke shop into one of my cigarettes. Of course eventually I lit the cig and the damn thing exploded right in my face and scared me three quarters of the way to death. My immediate reaction was to dive over the little bar table and knock the guy who was laughing loudest over the back of his chair onto the floor and then I pounced on him like a snapped psychotic. Took two guys to pull me off the jokester. Hardee har har. As Daughter Shannon would say Laugh it up Chuckles.  Anyway, I know it was no big deal but I personally have a hang-up about being played. There are few things in life I hate more than that. I think it's a sore spot for me, a hangover from a childhood of being continually told I was nobody and would amount to nothing. What I learned eventually was to fight back, you know, push back on anyone who thought I was weak or gullible. Protect myself. Kev, of course, does not have such a history and so hopefully doesn't take such things as seriously as I would. He's a great kid with a ton of talent and as far as I know not a person who would go out of their way to be mean. Kev wouldn't write phony love letters to anyone and leave them on their door. Only an asshole does that. Plus who has time for such childishness? I personally have better things to do, like eating Chik-Fil-A sammys, and wondering if would get arrested for rocking a college kid.

Oh one more thing I wanted to mention. Today I was leaving the parking garage at the subway and some guy cut me off with his car and instinctively (there's that word for the second time tonight) I said out loud "Douchebag!" I love this word. It reminded me of when I was a kid, maybe 10 and I first heard the term douchebag from my Italian buddy Emil Coiro who got it from his older brother Anthony who added the qualifier "typical" so that it became a phrase "typical Douchebag." I immediately fell in love with the whole thing because it sounded both dirty and funny, a combination I could never resist. Anyway, as with anything brand new I immediately had to take it out for a spin and the first person I happened to see was a friend of my father's, a guy in his mid-20s named Jack O'Brien who was an Irish guy with a wife and baby and a nice head of blonde hair, who lived in our apartment building. So I simply strode up to up to Jack and for some reason I assumed an Irish brogue that made me sound like the Lucky Charms leprechaun and I said in my 10-year old voice -  "Jack O'Brien, you typical douchebag."  Jack was not amused. Jack was also apparently a pussy, because while he did not respond to me and my terrific brogue, within an hour I was being called home and severely punished by my mother, who couldn't stand me anyway, for calling an adult a typical Douchebag. Jack sold me out. Really, though, I'm not sure I should have been punished so badly. I mean, I didn't even know what it meant. Still don't, really.  Well I know now, thanks to the trusty Internet, that douchebag is a pejorative term that means "a person, usually male, with a variety of negative qualities, specifically arrogance and engaging in obnoxious and/or irritating actions." Oh, now I get it. A douchebag is a kid at Syracuse University who plays practical jokes on terrific kids who do not deserve it. Typical. Jack O'Brien would be proud.


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November 11, 2010   03:38 AM PST
Here in "Broken Britain" (David Cameron, PM), Wednesday night is Cotton Street Big Band night. It's a rehearsal band I play trombone in (although we've actually got a rare gig in 4 weeks time), and last night I arrived to find there's been a purge and a defection. One of the tenor saxes had left in a huff because someone had looked at him the wrong way during a run-through of Tater Patch, and then the drummer wrote to say he felt he was letting the band down because he never practised and never turned up with a full kit. But I think it was something someone said to him. Oh boy. These guys are all average age 60, and for most of us, it's just our weekly unholy therapy.

I'm with you on the practical jokes: they are usually never very amusing, even to the innocent bystander. Anyhow, I promise never ever to emotionally bully you by recommending books I secretly hate!

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