Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Waiting in Memphis

I recently found myself in Memphis, in front of a cash register in Krystals, waiting to be served. Krystals is basically White Castle south. And much like White Castle, you would have no good reason to go there before 10pm. I was on a late night run with my cousins. We simply needed some sustenance before bedding down for the night. They opted to go to the Mcdonald's on the other side of the parking lot. I wanted those sweet White Castle indulgences they call burgers, but Krystals would have to do.

The vibe was extra ghetto. So much that the lime green Cadillac in the parking lot barely stood out. Separating from my two female cousins, even if though we were only a small parking lot away, seemed like a major risk. And the cop car parked two spots away from the Sprite can Caddy produced from me a smirk but not sigh of relief.

So I wanted to quickly make my tiny burgers run and get back to my kin. There was no line in Krystals but I quickly could tell that getting out of there quickly was unlikely. A woman stood at the register counting money. It was a minute before she looked up. I thought, “okay, she didn't want to lose count but now that that's done...”

The thought was cut off by her barking an order to Keisha somewhere in the back to clock in and man the register. Mind you there were 3 other girls visible and not working. Well, To be accurate one was kind of sweeping but I wouldn't look for her on the 2012 curling team. Fine maybe these other girls aren't train on the register... So another few minutes passed while I waited for Keisha to clock in while me and four idle workers looked at each other like we were all stupid.

Finally Keisha emerges to take my order. The catch? She's wet! I'm serious. Her face and hands are wet. Oh Hell no! Like maybe she came straight from her job at Water World. I've been waiting almost 5 minutes to order, you might as well take an extra 20 seconds and towel off. The health inspection implications are endless.

I know some of you doubted me that the vibe was ghetto. Still doubt me? The burgers were pretty good by the way. Can't let a little condensation and trifling ways come between me and my bite sized pieces of heaven.

Monday, August 16, 2010

What Up Oprah!

I have long since been through with rappers talking about how they charter planes. Really? And not only do they charter planes it's usually a G4 that your favorite rapper brags about hoping on with the same impunity that you display when you jump on the Manhattan bound R train. (Picadilly Line for my London crew :-) The money talk is a real drag.

But along comes a song about money, so catchy and so campy that you have no choice but to like it. I love the 'billionaire' song so much because it captures people's rich ambitions...but not really. Even when I sing it my mouth defaults to saying millionaire. Wanting to be a billionaire is like wanting to be a superhero. It's okay to dream about but too far fetched to stress about when you absolutely never become one.

The fact that the singer wants to be a billionaire so “freakin” bad suggests the singer knows the whole thing is a little silly. And that's enough for me to give him a pass. It's almost like he's singing about being a gazillionaire. Just a guy with a few free minutes playing the “what-if” game. No harm in that as long as he dusts himself off at some point and goes about his daily chores. Lawns don't cut themselves.

Every time he says “What Up Oprah!”, I giggle. It's pitch perfect irreverence. Imagine being so rich that you can shout out Oprah like she's your local skateboarder. It would be like meeting Jesus and giving him a pound while saying “What you tryin' to get in to Lord?”

The main reason for being cool with it all is the fact that Travis McCoy raps about giving the money away as opposed to making haters nauseous. (Haters must have the weakest stomachs)

I just hope the album version doesn't have “effin bad” instead of “freakin' bad” That would tarnish the whole listening experience.

What would yo do with a billion freakin' dollars?

My friend Hasan has a different opinion of my latest guilty pleasure:

Btw: the greatest hip-hop entertainer of all time flys coach...sort of.

Billionaire song By Bruno Mars and Travis McCoy

Thursday, August 05, 2010

The 1st Apple

I was on a train from Edinburgh, Scotland to London. We stopped in York, same York whose namesake is my hometown. I was tempted to get off and tour Old York but time and the cost of same day train tickets stopped me from disembarking in the York old.

From the looks of it, from my seat on the train, New York is quite a departure from Old York. The sequel is usually not as good but I think York Part II is a better watch. I think it's fair to say that New York could be called New and Improved York. I wonder if the people of York derive any pride from the fact that they're name spawned, arguably, the best city in the world. Or maybe they're bummed by the fact that New York has taken their name and really really ran with it. I think I would kinda root for a guy named New Dwayne, even if there was no relation. Then again if New Dwayne found the cure for Cancer or something, I could see it getting annoying having people ask me if New Dwayne was named after me.

ME: Yes, New Dwayne was named after me. Yes he cured Cancer. Yes that is amazing...but I write a blog damnit!

New York used to be called New Amsterdam...(down at the new Amsterdam. Staring at this yellow haired girl. Mr Jones Strikes up a conversation..*) A few years ago I found myself in Amsterdam and I was able to go through the original Harlem and the original Brooklyn. I definitely put my mental lighters up.

Perhaps we will discover new planets and build new cities and one of those cities could be named after my city. “Welcome To New New York.” And if we name a city after that city it could be New New New York. Good times. Do people in Mexico have a special place in their hearts for New Mexico?

An argument for York over New York from the York tourist board. How cute. Plus a little New York/York history lesson.

* Lyric from Counting Crows song “Mr Jones”, one of my top 3 pop songs of the nineties.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Can't Spell South Without The "Tea"

I recently wrote a blog about the ubiquitousness of Tea in England. Not that I tested this, but I wouldn't be surprised if one could order a cup of tea at a chicken fight in England. The hard part would be finding the chicken fight. Once found however, no one would blink as you put 20 on the fowl in red and ordered an English Breakfast, heavy on the sugar.

I was initially comparing the acquisition of tea in England to the same conquest in New York or Los Angeles. Tea time in the South though is about as frequent as Haley's Comet sightings. I never knew how good I had it in La La Land. I was in Oklahoma and almost all of my tea requests were met with a confused look. As if I had actually inquired about a chicken fight.

I could not even get tea in Mcdonalds...during breakfast! I found them not carrying tea to be egregious. I found them acting like I was the weird one to expect them to carry tea to be down right silly. You serve coffee so the ability to heat water is in place. Now dip some leaves in that hot water instead of coffee beans. See Mcdonalds in Oklahoma, That wasn't hard now was it?

The profit margin on tea must be astronomical. Up to 2 dollars a cup?! I can buy a garbage bag full of tea bags for a dollar. Every cup they would sell would basically pay for all their tea inventory. I think that math precipitates all food establishments keeping a box of tea around for the occasional non-coffee warm beverage seeker.

After some thought, a more sinister explanation for my tea woes came into focus. Maybe the places carry tea but my servers were either too lazy or judgmental to whip me up a cup. Whatever the case I know I'm not weird or difficult when a country with a currency way stronger than ours chooses tea as their national drink. Cheers mate...sip...sip.