CHEAP EATS THE CHICKEN FARMER IS HOT. It took several tries to get the big block letters to stick, but finally I had stated my case — in homemade egg noodles inside the lid of an egg carton, where normally you might expect to read nutritional facts about eggs.
Where normally the eggs would go, I put 12 pretty stones.
The Chicken Farmer is not normal. One of her favorite things to do is to lie face down in the fog for hours at Sonoma beaches, the ones with tiny stones instead of sand, and sift through the pretty colors, taking home a handful of favorites. I’ve been doing this for years and years. Now I have someone sort of odd to give some to.
I was coming to the city to play soccer, and then I had a date with this new Nancy Drew I’ve been trying to tell you about. Instead of an apple or flower or poem or butt of a burrito, I was going to present her with this … piece? Well, Saturday morning arts and crafts project. Well … egg carton.
She would think they were eggs, because that’s what I usually give people instead of flowers, and then she would notice it was too light and kind of rattly, like beans or something, and with a quizzically delicious smile forming on her lips — it was all mapped out in my mind — she would slowly open the carton, know that I was hot, and have to take my clothes off.
I sure do love dating! You can go into a thing with no real expectations, in fact knowing — knowing — with like 99.9 percent accuracy, that that’s not going to happen, not tonight, no way. And yet still you will bathe more carefully, shave more closely, fantasize more prayerfully, and put on your prettiest panties, which you washed in the sink and dried over the wood stove just for the …
Uh-oh … or is this just me?
Anyway, for now I carefully load in to the passenger seat of my pick-up truck this precious cargo, this key to my new improved love life and future nudity, making a mental note not to drive as hard as usual. I consider buckling the carton in and even go so far as to wish I had a child’s safety seat for it.
Already running late for soccer, I linger, close the lid and open it. No damage — the homemade letters will hang on for the ride, I think. THE CHICKEN FARMER IS HOT.
Then, wait …
The chicken farmer is hot? The chicken farmer?
In the movie version of my life (starring Penelope Cruz or OK, Holly Hunter or OK, OK, Crispen Glover in drag), the soundtrack screeches to a stop and all of a sudden everything is wrong. It’s basics! It’s Dating 101! You can’t give someone something saying, explicitly, that you’re hot. It has to say that they’re hot.
She knows I’m hot. She already said so weeks ago when she first found out I made my own pasta. “That’s so hot,” she said. It’s like I was answering, albeit in fettucini, with, “You’re so right. I’m hot.” Instead of “Baby, you. You’re hot! I’m just Crispen Glover. In drag.”
In real life I ran back into my shack and fumbled for the phone. There was no time for a revision, and the actual eggs in the actual carton tangled with my cleats in the back of the truck were already earmarked for another friend whose birthday was on Sunday. “Pick up pick up be home be home,” I chanted into the receiver.
“Hello?” said Moonpie, my oldest girlfriend in the world and most trusted romantic adviser.
In 10 seconds and 1,250 words I stated (or spat) the dilemma of my nature (or vice versa) and asked more slowly, in conclusion, “Can I give this egg carton to her? What do you think?”
“I think it’s funny,” she said.
“Yes.” Right: funny. I knew that and took a breath. “But,” I asked, “at my expense?”
“Excellent,” I said, and I gave it to her. I did.
Well … back to the drawing board, or rolling pin, for the chicken farmer. Nobody took any clothes off, let alone mine, but it was a wonderful date! Sean Dorsey’s Outsider Chronicles was one of the most beautiful things I ever saw. (He dances for the most part to words!) And, oh yeah, Ms. Drew and I have a new favorite restaurant. SFBG
Sun.–Thurs., 9 a.m.–10 p.m.; Fri.–Sat., 9 a.m.–midnight
2193 Mission, SF