CHEAP EATS Arrgh, the best laid plans of hedgehogs and chicken farmers!
I was so homesick I eventually convinced my love to leave her besoddened home town in the capable (snicker snicker) hands of FEMA and commence via Hyundai toward San Francisco. Mostly I cried. But also I promised to eat her pussy once for every state line we crossed.
So our route home, which was routed by Hedgehog, would best be described as zany. On the first day, for example, we crossed from Pennsylvania to West Virginia to Ohio to West Virginia to Ohio to Indiana and then back into Ohio, for gas. As if Indiana doesn’t have gas stations!
But that ain’t what I’m aarghing about. I’m aarghing because a few days later in Colorado (and I’m pretty sure I’m the first person ever to enter Colorado via both Florida and Montana) word came down from Bloomsburg that the fair was back on. Or not on; it was just that the vendors, denied their yearly chicken and waffle profits, were setting up in parking lots and on the side of the road, trying to sell off their wares. Their chickens, that is. And their waffles.
And now it was Hedgehog’s turn to cry.
“There there,” I said, eating her pussy.
Hedgehog lives for the Bloomsburg Fair, and this was a twisted sort of triple-edged stab in the back, to her. The fair had been cancelled, so she left, and now it was being kind of uncancelled, happening behind her, spontaneously and in spite of itself — like A Year Without a Santa Claus, only she was missing it. Her hometown friends very very helpfully were posting pictures on Facebook of hot sausage stands along the side of the road, and discussing where they went for lunch and where they were going to go for dinner.
“It’s like a whole town of food trucks!” she said, looking forlorner than I had ever seen her. A town of food trucks being Hedgehog’s dream town.
And where were we? Grand Junction.
Grand Junction isn’t anyone’s dream town. It’s a dismal place with nothing to eat in it. Nothing that’s food, at least.
“Hmm, we could forego all this incessant circuitousness and just beeline for John’s Snack and Deli, or San Tung, or …” And here I named a number of Hedgehog’s favorite San Francisco restaurants, but didn’t say anything at all about Burlingame. So how did we wind up there?
Long story, with a mosquito named Mozart in it, and an oil change. Now, normally I’d of told you that one, but I seen when I got back home that the real writer for this paper’s food section had packed it in.
Technically Hedgehog saw this, and told me, and then I read the same thing for myself and with tears running down my cheeks. Because now I was going to have to step up and at least try and say something intelligent about a restaurant now and then, to maintain the Bee Gee’s food section’s reputation.
If not the reputation of all of print media.
That’s a lot of pressure to put on the shoulders of one li’l chicken farmer whose eyes glaze over and whose brain goes blank every time she bites into something with butter on it. Not to mention tea leaf salad, curry chicken, and spicy fish with asparagus. Mango salad.
I think I was thinking about what would happen if you mushed all these zingy things together and froze them into Popsicles when my cell phone ba-boop-a-doop-a-dooped. Which I would normally have ignored except that Hedgehog was smart-phoning away across the table from me, all this while, either writing a book or maintaining 10 Facebook friendships simultaneously.
So fuck it, I looked. It was an email. From Hedgehog!! In it, she’d diligently recorded the name of the restaurant we were eating at, which was Mingalaba, the type of food that it was, Burmese and Mandarin, and get this: how much everything cost! Hold on a sec: $4.95, $8.95, and $11.50.
Alls I had to remember was that the asparagus was tough, the potatoes were undercooked, but the chickens and fishes they accompanied were excellent. And the mango salad! Yum!
“You could mention the mango-green pepper thing,” Hedgehog’s email concluded. No I can’t, though. I’m out of space.
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