CHEAP EATS The Craigslist ad said "blood-soaked carnivore." And I wish I could remember the rest of it, because it was unusual and well written, but all I needed to know, really, was "blood-soaked carnivore."
By the letter, it wasn’t even what I was looking for; it wasn’t M or FTM or F (w/a SOD)…. It was BSC. Blood-soaked carnivore.
That’s my favorite kind of carnivore!
Talk about a hook with my lip written all over it…. It’s almost not even fair. It’s almost cheating. It’s like deer hunting with land mines, or something. I didn’t need to see no pictures or nothing. I was stacked steaks in white paper, brown tape; and I wrote back immediately and was all, like, "WheRE do you wAnt to EAt?!?!"
She mentioned some places, and we ate at all of them. We ate bacon burgers, chili burgers, barbecue, and Filipino food. Her name is Twinkle Wonderkid, and she lives in Cowgirl City, which looks a lot like the Tenderloin to me. And I know that’s a foofy-sounding name, Twinkle Wonderkid, but this BSC used to be in the Navy and the Merchant Marines, and I think she used to be a cow puncher too.
What else she used to be was a dude. The one thing I said I wouldn’t do!
Three words: Blood. Soaked. Carnivore. And you can ask her yourself if I ain’t the cuddliest, snuggliest, heat-producingest little campfire she ever poked.
So: thus endeth my 2 1/2-year drought, the longest length of itlessness I’ve had to endure (in case anyone was wondering) since the 19 years it took me to lose my male virginity.
Speaking of which, it’s kind of ironic, probably, that I got axed to the prom for the first time ever on the same day I got made into meat. It wasn’t a pimply, awkward high school boy who asked me, either. It was an all-growed-up and entirely cool chickenscaping client of mine named Aunt Stink. We were having kind of a business meeting. In exchange for dinner, I was going to help her conceptualize her budding Pacifica backyard chicken farm.
So that was what we talked about, chicken farming this and chicken farming that, over a vegetarian burrito for her and a big huge bowl of fishy soup for me.
Then she invited me to the prom. (I love my life!) Well, it wasn’t like that exactly. I mean, she did invite me to a party, and it was a prom-themed thing, but she already had herself a partner. And I didn’t know if I wanted to third-wheel it with them or go alone or go at all. Or … I mean, the thing was that I didn’t have anything to wear. I’ll be damned if I’m going to finally go to the prom, in my 40s, and not wear a prom dress.
And I don’t even know what that is, so … maybe in my 50s.
But this soup! The name of the place is El Toro Loco, or crazy fuckin’ bullshit, and it’s my new favorite restaurant. Best place to eat in Pacifica, anyway, according to two different people and now me. The sopa siete mares, or seven-horse soup, is just fish fish fish, mostly tentacles, which I love love love.
And I’m in my element, right, advising Aunt Stink on all the philosophical intricacies of chicken farming, like hawks and raccoons and shit, with calamari tentacles dangling out of the corners of my mouth most of the time, when all of a sudden it occurs to me that I’m famous. In my own small, farmerly way.
People contact me when they want to know about chickens. They see me in a bar and go, "Chicken Farmer!" And in one case, recently, I was paid $25 and two free drinks to stand up in front of a couple hundred people and talk about chickens. People want to eat with me, on them, and if that ain’t making it …
Well, it’s not the kind of making it I been looking for. And that’s why as soon as I got back to the city I started calling everyone I know and asking, "You got a prom dress I could borrow?"
First one to actually pick up the phone was the Wonderkid, and she’d just lost her job and had cried herself to sleep. Didn’t feel like going out, but if I wanted to come over and watch a movie …
She had popcorn, she said, and a bottle of wine.
I got the movie. I got the flowers. *
EL TORO LOCO
Tues.Sat., 128 p.m.; Sun., 10:30 a.m.5 p.m.
1624 Francisco Blvd., Pacifica
Beer and wine