Play it again

Pub date May 23, 2006
WriterL.E. Leone
SectionCheap EatsSectionFood & Drink


CHEAP EATS I was sitting outside in the bathtub with a barbecued pork rib in one hand and a jar of wine in the other, watching the sun go down through apple blossoms and redwood branches when the thought occurred to me: If Albert Einstein, our smartest example of a human being, a cat so smart his name has come to mean smart, is capable of saying something as profoundly stupid as "God does not play dice," then might not the chicken farmer, the clown, the fool, the imbecile, one day, by accident, say something completely fucking wise?

Is that a Shakespearean thought?

I don’t know, but it’s a long sentence. To make up for it, here are a bunch of short ones:

Shirts are so anal.

It’s a beautiful day in hell.

There were other dreams.

Oh, great, now my house is haunted.

This is the part of the poem where punctuation does all the work.

Touch me, or I will cry.

Building blocks, broken pieces, shards of tinkling colors . . .

Thank you, thank you. The above poem is not a poem, or wasn’t intended to be. I randomly picked one of my several thousand little pocket memo books and randomly chose a handful of out-of-context scribblings of mine from seven random pages, in search of hidden wisdom. Not there. Not yet. I think it makes a decent accidental poem, but none of the thoughts, in and of themselves, I don’t think, are smart enough (or dumb enough) to do Einstein’s justice. I’ll keep looking, and I’ll keep filling up little notebooks, I promise but not on your time.

Al, you übereyebrowed genius you, you were all over your e‘s and mc‘s, but (a) god? And (b) even assuming god, god most certainly would play dice, dude. And did, according to Darwin. And cards, according to me, and basketball, I believe, until that thing with His ankle.

That’s it. I’m done studying physics, and even doner with metaphysics. I’m moving on to karaoke. Encore Karaoke Bar, to be exact, on California near Polk. It’s my new favorite restaurant, and it’s not even a restaurant! They just happened to have a table full of free, help-yourself chicken wings, Einstein, and meatballs and duck bones. Lasagna. Other stuff. I think it was someone’s birthday. Not mine.

I was all dolled up for dancing, because that’s what I thought I was doing last Saturday night. Now this. Earl Butter and me had already eaten even, at Memphis Minnie’s again. I can’t seem to stay away from that place all of a sudden. Reason being they make fried barbecued chicken wings now, just like me and Wayway only Minnie smokes hers first, then fries them, then serves them drenched in this special zingy sweet hot barbecue sauce that’s better than any of their tabletop sauces.

And they have sweet tea.

And afterwards we were supposed to meet up with Yo-Yo and Georgie Bundle and some of their friends and shake our booties or groove thangs or some such. Except they all decided to go to this karaoke bar first, and we agreed to meet them there.

I might have sang, or sung, an Elton John song, or two, except my mouth was too full of free chicken wings, free meatballs, and free duck bones, etc., the whole time we were there. Had we known, we wouldn’t have gone to Memphis Minnie’s first, and then the wings, at any rate, would have tasted a lot better than they did. But the ducks were great, and the lasagna had meat in it, and it sure was cheap eats, and the bar was great and there were lots of colorful people there, including drag queens, and some really good bad singers, and even some good good ones.

I meant to ask someone where all the food had come from. If I had, my reviewing it might actually make some sense. But that didn’t happen, and neither did dancing. Yo-Yo and Bundle and their friends sang their songs, got bored, and left.

Me and Earl ate too much, and left.

What do you think? I can give you the scoop on Memphis Minnie’s, but technically I already reviewed it, nine years ago when it was in the Mission. Now it’s on Haight Street, everybody knows, and the three-way taster is almost exactly twice what it cost then ($16.95). Is that bullshit?

I don’t know, but just in case … SFBG

Encore Karaoke Lounge

Daily, 6 p.m.–2 a.m.

1550 California, SF

(415) 775-0442

Full bar

Not quiet

Not wheelchair accessible