Saturday, August 25, 2012

Dear Food Service Industry

The United States of America has won two World Wars and sent the British packing as many times to ensure that we didn't fall victim to the barbarous metric system.  We have our own system of weights and measures, and until recently, it has worked just fine.  I am not sure how it has changed.  We as a people are fairly averse to change, in fact, and we like things as easy as possible.  That's why we have rascal scooters and those grabber things fat people use so they don't have to get off their rascal scooters. 

I recently called a local pizzeria and asked what specials they were running.  The mouth breather on the phone told me that they were selling large pizzas for $8.99 and I was really surprised at how cheap they were.  In fact, it made me question why I had stopped ordering from them a few years back.  Doubt crept into my mind, and I, being a brilliant tactician and belligerent pessimist, questioned the chain's sizing options.  Sure enough, wise beyond his years Greg from 2008 had stopped buying this pizza because of an ill fated incident where he realized that instead of small, medium, and large, this pizza shop had large, extra large, and extra extra large.  The phone monkey at the shop confirmed that this was still the case. $8.99 is a very nice price for a true "large" pizza.  However, when your large is a small, that price is awful and you are the devil.

You cannot call a pizza a large pizza if it is not the largest size you sell.  In the same vein, the smallest pizza you sell is a small.  There is no discussion on this matter.  There was no wonderfully quirky 1980's sitcom called "Large Wonder" about a deadpanning robot.  It was "Small Wonder", because she was a dainty kid robot, and it was also delicious play on words.  Calling a small anything else is a mockery of nature, and I will have no part in your blasphemy. 

Coffee shops are even worse.  They are not content simply defying the natural order by reordering the sizes.  They, as true agents of chaos, have decided to simply re-purpose words or simply invent them to denote different sizes.  If you can call a large a venti, I am going to pay you for that venti with eyelashes, because we've obviously entered a magical pixie world where we make up all the rules as we go along. 


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dear Niagara Falls Gift Shops

I knew this wasn't going to be like Wonderfalls.  I will point that out right now.  There would be no painfully cute Caroline Dhavernas sulking behind the counter, and no melty faced lion cracking wise and giving out sage advice.  I am not completely delusional.  The only thing I expect is for you to have chintzy doodads and sparkly baubles that cost just enough that we know it a souvenier, but not enough that we won't buy it.  I expected to find something I could give to people, or at very least thrust into their faces and proclaim with gusto that I indeed saw water dropping at an alarming rate and from an awe inspiring height.  What I failed to take into account was that the 8 hour drive to get to Niagara had turned me into a crazy person that forgets that everyone and everything is out to try to prove me wrong.

Things started innocently enough.  My friend Kentucky Jim and I enjoyed some fine John Hay cigars while looking at the Falls.  We marveled at nature, pondered life's big questions, and I almost stepped on a small Asian child that wandered into my "You are too small and I cannot see you down there" radius like so many squirrels and sandcastles have done before it.  As the child's mother either thanked me for sparing her child, or put a pox upon my family for generations to come, Kentucky Jim used his keen powers of observation to notice the giant "Gift Shop" sign roughly twelve feet away, and dragged me inside.

As previously stated, I know souveniers are overpriced.  Apparently, since this particular gift shop overlooks the actual Falls, exactly $43 dollars is added to every item, either for some symbolic reason, or because at that price the owners can afford to buy lawyers whenever they decide to track and hunt homeless people for sport.  As I had a small tantrum over a $19 bottle maple syrup that could only be assuaged with a $4 piece of maple fudge, we decided to find a gift shop further from the Falls and hopefully cheaper.

We returned to my car and looked up "gift shop" in the GPS.  Choosing the most promising name, we drove three miles through a godless wasteland to find that there was no gift shop at that address, only a man vigorously peeing onto an abandoned building.  We crossed back to the other side of Niagara to find yet another closed shop.  Our third try found a shop roughly the size of a shack, and about as hospitable, and the fourth was a gas station.

We decided at this point to stop for dinner at a Polish restaurant I had read about, only to find out that when we got there, the street in front of it was ripped apart, and the restaurant had closed at 2PM, since that is when things close in Mad Max Waterfalls town.  As we wept at the absurdity in the car, we saw a miraculous sign.  "Niagara Falls Daredevil Museum- Free Admission.  TShirts, Souveniers, Film".  Finally, our prayers had been answered.  We could buy off the envy of our loved ones that did not come on the trip.

We were not careful what we wished for, which become abundantly clear upon entering the shop.  We were greeted with the smells of chlorine and mildew as we scanned the lifevests, barrels, and jetskis that people had ridden to their deaths or glory down the Falls.  Yes, the gifts were much more modestly priced than the other shop, however, most were apparently cobbled together by a dyslexic madman.  The "Nigra Falls" mugs were tempting, as were the roughly 6,000 different photos of daredevil Nik Wallenda that were for sale.  The already threadbare shirts were less tempting, and I decided to leave as I noticed the mostly Russian language tourist DVD's that lined the walls. 

Please find some happy middle ground for your shops where I am not spending $20 for a pint glass or $40 for a tshirt, and also not shopping in a museum of death and lunacy.  You could take a business lesson from Tiffany's Cabaret and Steakhouse in nearby Buffalo.  Their gift shop was amply stocked with reasonable items, the beef tip was tender and a perfect balance between salty and savory, and Amber Lynne was a very talented dancer, and I hope that dental school goes well for her. 




Sunday, August 12, 2012

Dear Girl that works at Panera

I ordered a baker's dozen of bagels: 2 chocolate chip, 5 asiago, 5 cinnamon crunch, and 1 French Toast.  I also then guiltily whispered that I wanted a carrot cake cup cake, then I hung my head with shame and stared at the floor.

What I did not order was a monologue about how if it weren't for how much Panera pays, you would so totally be working, like, somewhere different.  This place is like, really lame, and like, they didn't even give you off last Friday when you were totally going to the beach.


I also did not order the series of questions you asked me, which I answered in monosyllabic pleasantries and non committal sighs.   I will now answer in more detail, since there is no way that you can harm my cup cake as retribution.

1)  Yes, where I work is hiring. 
2) I have no idea if you would like working at my place of business.  I have a very strong hunch that I would strongly dislike you working there, though.
3)  I don't know very much about different types of women's swimwear, and I refuse to comment on whether or not I think the one you described would be "totally hot" on you.  I have no idea how old you are.
4)  The weather is very nice outside today.  Yes, I wish you were out there too, because that means the other girl taking orders would be helping me.  She doesn't smile, but she also barely talks.
5) No, I do not need a receipt.  I do not see a circumstance where I need proof I bought these bagels, and there is not an instance where you would allow me to return them.

Just know that I don't blame you for this.  I blame myself for not simply walking out, and I blame the cupcake for being too delicious for me to leave without it.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Dear Faux Hawk Wearers

I sincerely hope you understand that you are sporting this decade's version of the Flock of Seagulls haircut.  Remember that jheri curls were in at one point too, and Achey Breaky hair burned too brightly and died out far too soon. Faux Hawks are like every Green Day album after Nimrod.  They want to be punk, but are terrified of going too extreme so they become some generic hodgepodge of awful banality. 

In college, I had an honest to God, razor to the sides of my head mohawk.  I had it for a week and it looked almost as terrible as that hot mess you have sculpted from your highlighted grease nest.  I feel like you just put up a giant sign on your head saying "Hit me with a shovel.  I may not even feel it."

Please understand that what you are doing could easily just be called a "Top Mullet".  Feel tough now, hotshot?  Know what is even tougher?  Not spending you money on "hair product" and taking precious time to style your hair into that eyesore.

I am not advocating poor personal grooming.  I am simply saying there is no reason to do anything more than run a comb through your hair.  Anything more and you are just masturbating your vanity.

Wanna throw it back at me?  I take some time in the morning to shave my head.  Sure, that is for vanity reasons.  I started going bald at 21 and grey at 27.   I got dealt a bad hand, and did something about it.

Here's a list of people that shave their heads- Yul Brenner, Dwight Eisenhower, Bruce Willis, Jason Statham, Ghandi, Patrick Stewart, Michael Chiklis, and Bryan Cranston.

Here's a list of people with Faux Hawks- Clay Aiken.

Checkmate, douchebag.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012