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Welcome to The blog of whall

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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

December
29
2014
7:48 pm
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I realized recently that it’s been 2 years since I last blogged.  There is a distinct feeling of “lack” – I sorely miss the blogging atmosphere, the community and the closeness I experienced when I was active. Much of what I got out of blogging was replaced by Facebook due to how easy it was to use, along with the “quick post” option, linking to stories, and catching up with people who don’t regularly visit blog sites.

Facebook made connecting with others brain-dead easy.

But the more I use Facebook, the more I recognize some major downsides – the polarity of the “like” button, the mounting privacy concerns, the ineffectiveness of “text-only” arguments, the outright assumptions made by strangers, and more.  The persona that people put forth is but a mere facsimile of the real person underneath.  I believe peer pressure and the allure of attention influences way more than it should.

Facebook made being seen by others a priority over actually connecting.

I don’t think people can be “real” online and this relevation didn’t hit me very much until this last year (2014).  People will spit venom online that they wouldn’t dare utter (or even think) if they were talking to you in person.  There’s a false confidence and a bullying tendancy for some when they can hide behind a pseudo-rally on someone else’s post.  The name calling is intense.  The strawman arguments are pervasive. The cherry-picking of other’s words to formulate a battering ram of responses is amazing to watch.

Facebook made some people meaner.

In many ways, 2014 was a year of major division points in the nation.  Pick a topic, and there’s a bunch of people on one side of the fence eager to burn and rip to shreds anyone who dares to be on the other side of the fence.  It doesn’t really matter if there’s any fence at all, or if the fence was constructed piece by piece by conflict-peddlers who sell tickets to people to watch the fights at the fence.  The polarity is staggering – the enemies that people have crafted in their mind are diabolical, and the need to fit “the other side” into that idea of an enemy is equally diabolical.   Person #1 states something and unless Person #2 completely agrees, Person #1 has a handy list of boxes to put Person #2 in until they conform.

Facebook made people take sides.

As the arguments heated up, people upped their game. They had to not only cherry-pick something to fight with, but they also researched online any evidence whatsoever that supported their side.  It doesn’t matter that “researching online” can be an oxymoron.   Simply because they could sit and compose the perfect reply without interaction, feedback or fact-checking, they sat contentedly in their own juices, marinating in their hatred.   With people’s news feeds filled with only the things that confirm their own world view, their own self-confidence grows to enormous proportions.  The typical information diet is sorely lacking in some basic essentials.

Facebook made people instant experts in absolutely nothing but their own opinions.

I frequently found myself checking my phone here and there since the mobile app is so easy.  Status update notification!  Someone liked this post!  Here’s a video you gotta see!  17 Reasons To Write A Headline That Pops and You Won’t Believe What Happened Next!  Everything is vying for your attention and competing for your clicks and likes.  When I wondered what my employer would think or would want to track regarding my social media use, I decided to severely limit any Facebook use during work hours.  But then when I’d check in while on the road, at the airport, or at night, I’d see a lot of people posting all day long.  I then wondered – do they work?  Are they getting paid to Facebook all day?  What if everyone’s Facebook profile showed a handy chart of “Time Spent Per Day” and their employer could see it?

Facebook made me wonder about my friends.

And that is not a good place to be.  Who am I to judge or understand what someone does with their time?  Maybe they’re in a waiting room at the doctors, or maybe it’s their day off.  Maybe they’re more efficient than me at working and can throw in a few updates here and there.  Maybe they ARE retired, unemployed, or otherwise not beholden to a supervisor to answer to. Either way, if I’m wondering at someone else’s usage of Facebook, what am I really concerned about?  What should I be reviewing about myself that I’m so concerned what other people do with their time?

Speaking of judging, I frequently lament the lack of filters on Facebook.  I am someone who highly prefers a lack of profanity in business, casual or public settings.  Although the age limit is 13 years old, that’s still a very young age.  Facebook doesn’t let me put a filter on that says “don’t show me posts with bad words”, at least not that I’ve found.  Then there’s the IFL science pictures and posts that make profanity a house-hold word for everyone.  It’s like over the last five years, the whole world got *real* comfortable with vulgarity.  I feel like I’m the only person left of my peers that doesn’t REGULARLY cuss as part of their postings.  Are they like that in person?  Do they talk like that with their kids or other people’s kids around?  Is this how they really are, or is this the persona they are pushing outward?

Facebook made people into potty-mouths and me into an apparent goody-two-shoes.

As these things weighed on me, I constantly was reminded of the “good old days” of blogging.  Am I mis-remembering blogging somehow, and forgetting the bad things?  Did I unfairly abandon blogging because it wasn’t doled out piecemeal like Facebook?  With blogging, I had to actually set aside some time to compose an entry, and then some other time to read other people’s compositions.  Compare that to Facebook where I can literally spend anywhere from 20 seconds with a quick check and a “Like” button to hours of scrolling, watching videos, researching and composing responses that get ignored… and it’s no wonder blogging took a back seat to the convenience that Facebook offered.

At the very least, Facebook made me write this blog entry.

 

February
3
2012
6:30 pm
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With the (not-so) new job, I travel a lot more. As with any change life throws at you, the choice is completely yours as to how you respond and react. You can either resist or rejoice. You can either relapse or rebound. You can either rejuvenate or reverse.

There are two contradictory phrases I adhere to.

1. You make your own destiny
2. You can’t control what happens to you

Maxim #1 embodies my zealous pursuit of excellence. If I want something to happen, I need to go *make* it happen. I shouldn’t expect a job; I need to earn one. If I want a better job, I don’t wait around for a promotion or some lucky break, it’s up to me to work harder. I don’t need to find a better partner in life, I need to *be* a better partner in life.

Maxim #2 sounds like it conflicts with the first one, but in reality it completes it. The “destiny you make” takes into account the things that “happen to you.” It is the choice of how you react that puts the control squarely in your hands.  The phrase “mind like water” seems appropriate to mention here.

I could complain about the travel… I could be all “woe is me, look at me, I have to stay up late to catch this flight” or focus on all the many seemingly bad things that can happen. I still do it sometimes, of course, but if I catch myself I try to stop. I don’t like it when people continually focus on the negatives, because eventually, it’s that negativity that defines them. I don’t want to descend into someone who’s always seeing the negative of any given situation.  Because you don’t just see the negative – you be the negative.

So what are some good things about the travel?  The frequent flyer miles are awesome.  It helps fund a quality family vacation.  I get to meet fantastic people and see neat places.  I broaden my horizons with new experiences, weird foods, different cultures and did I mention the food?  My family misses me, and I them, but that makes our reunion that much better.  I find myself more available to do things on “me time” like see a movie by myself.

But what I’ve found is the more I concentrate on the positives that are all around me… my life is just plain better. The same circumstances have happened, but in one situation, I’m down, gloomy and upset, but in the other I’m happy, upbeat and ready for more opportunities.

The other revelation is that as I’m sitting there noticing the positive things, not only am I happier, but it seems more positive things happen. It’s almost like the Universe is watching when it sends things people’s way.

Example: Let’s say I’m sitting at a blackjack table. I’m having fun, maybe losing, maybe winning. Someone comes up and watches a little bit and comments “I never do well at these table games – the odds are all wrong.” He sits down next to me anyway. We chat it up, he starts to play and soon we’re talking about work, a local show, having some fun with the dealer.

As we play, I get a blackjack. Huge win! The guy next to me sees it and says “See what I mean? I never get those.” We continue playing and I get a few others in the course of about 45 minutes. In fact, I had an extremely good run of the cards in that amount of time.

The guy gets ready to cash in and is still negative about the experience. He saw me take $100 and it turned into about $350 in that hour. He comments about that, too, and says he’s never that lucky. “These table games are a total ripoff, you know?  I can’t believe I wasted my time.  But look at you, seems that’s always the way with me – the guy next to me gets all the luck.

I ask him how he did as he’s cashing out. He had turned $100 into $200 in that same time frame. I said “you did great! You doubled your money!” His response is a pointed finger at my winnings and said “yeah, but look at you. These table games suck. I never win at them.

Here’s what I think about that situation. I envision the Universe sitting around having a drink with the Sun, the Earth and the Moon, just shooting the breeze. The Universe says “watch this – see that guy down there? I’m going to send some good vibes his way, double his money, and see how he reacts.” So the Universe sends some good luck to the guy and he sees the reaction from the man, and wonders why he even bothered in the first place.

But the Universe sees MY reaction and says “now, there’s a grateful guy. I think I’ll send some more good stuff his way – he’s at least thankful, even when what I send isn’t that great.  He’s a member of my Frequent Smiler program and gets Elite status.

Universe — thank you. I’m always looking for the things you send my way, no matter how small. I think it’s my job to find them.

The better I get at that job, the happier my life becomes.

Now that today’s life lesson is out of the way, I should do what every good blogger does – add pictures to your blog posts. So here are some pictures from my airport wifi experiences.

 

and

Ha!  There’s positive things even in the very air that surrounds you!

November
17
2011
7:00 am
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Dear Hampton Inn,

I’m not one to write a letter such as this.  I’m a calm, cool-headed consumer who goes about his business with little fanfare.   But your actions have compelled me to respond. 

I’ll put it simply: You have impressed me for the last time.

I am sick and tired of you exceeding my expectations.  I know letters like this come across your corporate desk every day, but please bear with me and take the time to read mine.  Don’t just throw it away.  This incident means something to me, so I’d appreciate my story meaning something to you. 

Traveling is a constant way of living for me.  Airplane, rental cars and hotel rooms are like second homes.  I usually know where I’ll be ahead of time, and there are several cities I frequent.  In those areas, I have found my “favorite spots” to stay and try to give those hotels my repeat business.  However, this time around I was in a relatively new area and I had neglected to pre-book my lodging.

So there I was… 6pm.  Alone.   No place to stay.

Let’s begin with how easy you were to find.  I cannot believe I had to completely change my plans because of how little time it took to locate you.  I had expected to have to look online, call around, drive aimlessly, or otherwise figure out where to stay and how much it would cost.  But NO.  It took me less than five minutes to find you,see a price AND BOOK MY ROOM from my iPhone.

Do you understand what that does to me?  My entire evening’s plans of procuring adequate lodging… completely shot!  I didn’t get to talk to anyone.  I wasn’t put on hold or lost in some dialing tree hell.  I wasn’t hung up on… NOT EVEN ONCE.  I wasn’t even able to get obscure web browser errors trying to make a reservation with my credit card.  It. Just. Worked.

How do you think I felt, having completed what I had budgeted a significant portion of my precious time to this process, only to be abruptly slapped in the face with a short 5 minute procedure?  To add insult to injury, I was rendered speechless as I stared at my phone, trying to come to grips with the lowest price I’d paid for a hotel in years.

YEARS.

How could I explain this to my kids?  How can I prepare them for a world such as this, where companies like you can get away with charging such a measly price?

I thought I was done with the shock. 

Sadly, no.  It gets worse.  A LOT worse.

I drove up and there wasn’t anyone blocking the main entrance.  I couldn’t detect a single trace of any trash anywhere, and believe me, I looked.  My sensibilities were visibly shaken by the creative “hello” sign etched into the automatic glass doors at the front of the building.  Do you really think I expected that? 

As I walked in, my olfactory senses were accosted. Scents of way-too-pleasant odors wafted my way and permeated my being.  It’s like my nostrils were being groped by an angel. 

Admittedly, I was a little bewildered by the experience.  However, I quickly gained composure and strode up to the registration desk, which was a little too close to the front door if you ask me.  I’m used to walking much longer distances and being a little confused as to which desk to approach — do I go to the normal counter?  Do I use the VIP counter?  What if I’m bothering the person behind the computer?  What will I encounter when I finally get there?

Alex.

Alex.

Alex is what I encountered.

Let me ask you something.  Do have some manufacturing plant somewhere that cranks out service personnel who are neither too helpful nor too unhelpful, resulting in the perfect amount of helptitude?  You know what I’m talking about – people who have a positive attitude and will do basically anything to ensure your stay is a good one, but doesn’t go overboard?  And when you fabricated this apparent unnatural person, why did you apply the “make banter and side talk that is actually interesting and doesn’t feel fake or superficial” add-on?  Don’t you think you could leave well-enough alone?

No, you didn’t leave well enough alone. 

He gave me free wifi.  The nerve! 

Let’s see, what else happened. Oh, I was asked what floor I preferred.  Alex wanted to verify that I was just staying the one night.  He inquired into my personal business to ask if I was enjoying the area.  AND THEN HE STARTED TO TELL ME ALL ABOUT THE BREAKFAST PLANS for the morning, and that it’d be available from 6-10. 

Don’t you realize that you’re making me miss the morning hunt for information while I’m running late to a client, ironing my shirt and trying to check out?

When he noticed how uncomfortable I was with his constant and reliable service, he did the unthinkable.  It’s like he wanted to throw me off guard and savored every moment.  I’m sure he’s still smiling about it.

He offered me a free bottled water.

I panicked, and ran out.

Finally rid of the hotel manager who clearly didn’t have anything better to do than make my day much more fantastic than I could hope for, I went back to park my car.  You’d think I’d expect what happened next, given the ample foreshadowing, but I guess I’ll never learn.

There was a parking space open RIGHT NEXT to the side entrance.  I know!  I can’t believe it either.  And not only that, but there was plenty of available parking all around the entrance, so it’s like you’re TRYING to save me time and energy. 

So I get up to my floor, open the hotel door (which, incidentally, didn’t cause me any problems whatsoever… another rarity that I’m sad to report to you) and immediately stopped in my tracks.

The furniture.  It was way too nice.

The temperature.  It wasn’t anywhere near too hot or too cold for me.  In fact, I’m shaking as I type this — the temperature was downright perfect.  Do you think that is forgivable?

The bed had a lapdesk sitting on it, just out in the open.  It had a remote, an HBO guide and a hand-written note from Teresita in housekeeping welcoming me.  Do you really think I would want this kind of intrusion into my life?  What am I supposed to do with THAT?

There were (get this) 8 pillows.  EIGHT.  And they were (*shudder*) full and fluffy.  If anyone knows anything about me, it’s my addiction to a high quantity of full, fluffy pillows.  And here you are, feeding my addiction like a drug dealer.  I hope you’re satisfied with yourself.

The desk wasn’t an awkward height like I’m used to, and you seem to have gone out of your way to place the power plugs right on the top instead of hidden down behind the TV where it’s supposed to be.  Oh, and the desk chair?  Where’d you get it, The Expensive Store?  It was all padded, comfortable, adjustable and attractive.

OMG the kleenex.  SOMEBODY (I’m not naming names, but I suspect Teresita, frankly) had formed a little tissue rose out of three or four kleenex’s and placed it top of the tissue box.

Did I mention there was a tall refrigerator?  and a MICROWAVE! and a big flat screen TV?  And an attractive bureau where I could hang my business clothes?  AND FLOWERS?!?!?!?

I hope you’re listening to what I had to endure.

Oh, another thing.  I haven’t heard a single neighbor make those familiar noises.  Not in the adjoining rooms.  Not in the hallway.  Nothing.

The bed was one of the most comfortable things I’ve slept on in my life.  If you think I’m going to forget that, you’re wrong.  You’ve effectively ruined most all other beds in this world for me, and YOU have to live with that.

One last thing – the wifi.  It turned out that I didn’t even get to use your free wifi, because the room I was given just happened to be right at the far corner of the building.  It overlooked a Fedex office that just happened to have very fast free wifi that no-one else was using, since it was in the evening and they were either closed or just not busy.  So I had one of the best Internet experiences of my life.   oh thank you so very much (shrug).

I started off the letter with a summary.  “You’ve impressed me for the last time.”  I mean that – you’ve forever ruined me and my hotel shopping, for now my expectations are irreversibly set.

My hopes are that you become  prepared for my ongoing and relentless response.  I will not rest until I’ve slept in one of your Cloud Nine beds again.  I won’t eat until I’ve encountered the On the House hot breakfast.  I will continue to patronize your business again and again until you get it through your heads that I am not someone to be trifled with, and until you provide the service I expect for such a low price.

You had it coming.  You know you did.

I’m looking forward to your continued improvement.

Sincerely,

 

whall,
the blog of whall

November
11
2011
9:09 am
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I first posted this back in 2008 and thought it deserved a re-post today.

A Lesson That Should Be Taught In All Schools

Back in September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a social studies school teacher at Robinson High School in Little Rock, did something not to be forgotten.

On the first day of school, with the permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she removed all of the desks out of her classroom. When the 1st period kids entered the room they discovered that there were no desks.

Looking around, confused, they asked, “Ms. Cothren , where’re our desks?

She replied, “You can’t have a desk until you tell me what you have done to earn the right to sit at a desk.

They thought, “Well, maybe it’s our grades.

No,” she said.

Maybe it’s our behavior.” She told them, “No, it’s not even your behavior.

And so, they came and went, the first period, second period, third period. Still no desks in the classroom.

By early afternoon television news crews had started gathering in Ms. Cothren’s classroom to report about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of her room.

The final period of the day came and as the puzzled students found seats on the floor of the deskless classroom.
Martha Cothren said, “Throughout the day no one has been able to tell me just what he/she has done to earn the right to sit at the desks that are ordinarily found in this classroom. Now I am going to tell you.

At this point, Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it.

Twenty-seven (27) U.S. Veterans, all in uniforms, walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk.

The Vets began placing the school desks in rows, and then they would walk over and stand alongside the wall.  By the time the last soldier had set the final desk in place those kids started to understand, perhaps for the first time in their lives, just how the right to sit at those desks had been earned.

Martha said, “You didn’t earn the right to sit at these desks. These heroes did it for you. They placed the desks here for you. Now, it’s up to you to sit in them. It is your responsibility to learn, to be good students, to be good citizens. They paid the price so that you could have the freedom to get an education. Don’t ever forget it.

Follow-up  What Is A Veteran?

A ‘Veteran‘ — whether active duty, discharged, retired, or reserve — is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America,” for an amount of “up to, and including his life.”

That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country today who no longer understand that fact.

Now for the question you knew was coming:

What would YOU write a blank check for?

I have an idea for a killer new TV show sure to sweep all the Grammys, Emmys, Tonys, Awardies and Buzzies.

It’s called

So You Think You Can Survive Watching American Idol With the Stars of Jersey Shore?

It’s new!

It’s exciting!

It does the same thing every other mass-produced show or movie does — plagiarizes someone else’s idea while adding something 1% unique.

But this time, it’s different.  THIS show is at least 4.5% unique.

The idea:

Six random contestants are selected each week.  They are placed in a decked out TV media room with plush recliners – you know, the ones with drink holders and power recliner footrests – and are provided unlimited drinks and superb catering.  The electronics are insane – a massive  HD TV, immersive 7.1 digital sound and a button in their chair to get a refill on their tasty beverage of choice.  The chairs even have mini subwoofers embedded in them for even more skin-grabbing bass.

The challenge?  Each contestant must endure watching American Idol each week with a different cast member from Jersey Shore.  One week it’s Snooki, then Pauly D, then JWoww… and maybe throw in one of the people “behind” the camera, like a grip or producer or something.

Sound simple?  Sound easy?  OF COURSE IT’S NOT SIMPLE OR EASY.  The contestants and the Jersey Shore cast member must actually spend THE ENTIRE WEEK in the same room, with the previous week’s American Idol episode on CONSTANT REPEAT.  There’s only unlimited drinks, unlimited food, a restroom, a treadmill, and 24×7 cameras.

No phones, no computers, no outside communication whatsoever.

The TV screen is actually embedded into the wall, is bullet-proof and completely protected.  It cannot be turned off.  It cannot be turned down.  It cannot be covered up.

The food is chef-prepared, succulent and probably the best food the contestants have ever had.

At the end of each day, contestants are given a 10-question test.  The questions come from three areas: the American Idol show, commercials, and what they know of each of the other candidates.  Each correct answer gives them one additional “vote”.  At the end of the test they’re able to apply each of their votes to “vote off” another contestant.  They can apply all votes to one person or distribute them however they wish.  The contestant with the most votes against them doesn’t return the next day.

There will be many surprises each day.  Contestants may be granted extra votes for various reasons.  There may be a bonus question worth extra votes.  At random times through the week, mini-challenges may show up on the TV that grant votes (who can be quiet the longest, who can do the most pushups, who has used the treadmill the longest, who can go the longest without eating).  The challenges that come up won’t be announced with any sound but will just appear on the TV.

There are no showers.  The contestants are allowed to bring toothbrush, toothpaste and one change of clothes.

The prize for the last remaining contestant will be a similar setup for their home – an ultimate multimedia room with onsite maid, butler and chef for one year, and one of each item advertised in the commercials.

Now it’s your turn — what else would you add or modify to this up and coming reality show hit?

Honestly, I think it’s the best idea since Star Wars Search with Ed McLightsaberPants(In my opinion, that show got a LOT better when Mace Windu took over and always started the show bringing down a Sith Assassin and crying out “I’m TIRED of all these motherfracking Sith in the motherfracking Senate!”)

July
13
2011
8:09 am
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Sen. Barack Obama’s Floor Speech, March 20, 2006 –

“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies.  Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally.  Leadership means that “the buck stops here.” Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”

Source link.

Question of the day: what’s the point of a debt LIMIT if it can just be raised each time the people who spend our money want to spend more?  Shouldn’t increasing the debt limit be put to a vote for all the taxpayers?  Isn’t it our money?

July
2
2011
9:04 am
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I received this as an email forward recently and thought it belonged here instead.

One day a florist went to a barber for a haircut. After the cut, he asked about his bill, and the barber replied, “I cannot accept money from you; I’m doing community service this week.” The florist was pleased and left the shop. When the barber went to open his shop the next morning, there was a ‘thank you’ card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door.

Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to pay his bill, the barber again replied, “I cannot accept money from you; I’m doing community service this week.”  The cop was happy and left the shop. The next morning when the barber went to open up, there was a ‘thank you’ card and a dozen donuts waiting for him at his door.

Then a Congressman came in for a haircut, and when he went to pay his bill, the barber again replied, “I cannot accept money from you; I’m doing community service this week.”  The Congressman was very happy and left the shop.  The next morning, when the barber went to open up, there were a dozen Congressmen lined up waiting for a free haircut. 

And that, my friends, illustrates the fundamental difference between the citizens of our country and the politicians who run it.

June
21
2011
6:00 am
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Showing love for NYCWD.  Cereal Kisses, Dawg.
(for more info, read this post or this post)

 

Hello.

My name is Wayne.

 

And I’m a bbqaholic.

That right there is 1.5 lbs of extra moist brisket, 4 St. Louis pork ribs, a cup of potato salad and a bottle of coca-cola from a local BBQ place called Rudy’s BBQ.  Add it all up and you get one happy Texan.

My relationship with BBQ started back in 1994.  Most people who knew me, knew me as a picky eater.  Heck, most people who know me NOW would say I’m still quite the picky eater.  No chinese food, very few veggies, eat the same four or five basic kinds of meal every week… you get the idea.

Back then, I “didn’t like” BBQ.  I would see people order it, or crave it, or just eat it every once in a while and I always passed.  I would say “no thanks” and smile all the way to my tasty cheeseburger, pizza or lasagna.  I guess I just didn’t like the smell; I didn’t understand why there was so much sauce (ketchup is all *I* needed to make food better).

Our first born, Caitlin, came about in 1994.  With a new mouth to feed came a dwindling checking account, and I could no longer afford to eat out so much during lunch.  Sometimes I brought my lunch, but mostly I looked for cheap food.  I was working downtown at the time, and it wasn’t easy to find cheap food downtown.

One day, I noticed my windshield had an advertisement stuck to it.  This was common practice back then… probably still is now, but I frequently became annoyed at the intrusive manner.  A white flapping piece of paper, it looked to be hand-drawn and copied over and over too many times, so much that it lost some of it’s detail.

I picked it up as I always did, despite the underlying annoyance factor.  It advertised something called a “Chopped Beef Sandwich” for $0.99 at a place called House Park.

Now, at the time, I didn’t know that “chopped beef” was some sort of code for BBQ – all I saw was “sandwich”, “$0.99” and “some place called something something that had $1 sandwiches”.  It’s not like I had a choice.

I took the address into my mind and knew that it was within walking distance, so I decided to trek it on over, gleeful that I had found a lunch place with $1 sandwiches.  Heck, maybe I’d get TWO.

Once I found the place, my heart sank a little.  As my eyes breathed in the sight, I noticed the full name of the place — it’s name wasn’t just House Park.  It was House Park BBQ.  Ugh.  BBQ.  It was a little podunk hole in the wall that looked ancient.  I soon found out it had been there since the 40’s.   It had a few picnic tables out front and was tiny.  I thought more than twice about forgetting the $1 sandwiches and turning back, but it was hot and I was hungry.

Who knows? maybe they had something else for $1.

After going in I noticed one long ordering counter, behind which were two guys – one working the customers, condiments, orders, etc and one working a huge oven or smoker or whatever BBQ is made in.  The smell, I realized as I became more and more hungry, wasn’t all that bad.  If fact, it was quite enticing.

I went up, showed my coupon thingy and the guy spoke backward “chop beef!’.  He took the paper and asked if I wanted anything else.  I asked for a coke, paid less than $2 total and got my plate with this new huge alien sandwich and an empty styrofoam cup for the fountain drink.

Since I love me some coke, I knew at least I’d be satiated by a bunch of refills.  I took a seat inside and inspected this foreign food sitting in front of me.  I wondered if it was inspecting me, too.  Was I worthy to be it’s consumer?

The whole thing was warm… borderline hot, even.  The chopped beef had sent it’s heat through both buns, which were soft and gave into my fingers.  I was a sucker for soft bread so I was beginning to like the experience.

I took a bite.

January
12
2011
7:25 am
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