My comfy seat afforded me an unobstructed view through the restaurant’s big bay window to the neighboring KFC parking lot where the shirtless crystal meth addict was putting on a grand performance: pacing, gesticulating wildly, muttering to himself. “What are you looking at?”asked Fondy, craning her neck to peer out the window, no doubt suspecting I was checking out the passing hotties. “Ah, nothing,”I lied and redirected my gaze back down to the menu.
We were at White Spot, one of Vancouver’s best-known hamburger (etc.) franchises. For the first two years I lived in the city, I drove by their various locations countless times, never suspecting they served food. For some reason, I assumed they were a dry cleaning operation. In time, however, I was enlightened and even delighted by their tasty chicken sandwiches and atypically tasty veggie burgers. That lasted a good solid year until I discovered the virtues of Vera’s Burger Shack and Moderne Burger. Still, as far as fast food joints go, White Spot ain’t bad. And, if you actually eat in, you have an even larger menu to choose from. Granted, most of it uninspired, but still. Who can say no to a butterscotch milkshake?
Well, me on this night. In fact, I found myself saying no to a lot as I looked over the menu once, a second time, and, finally, a third time. Figuring my choices weren’t going to be any different on my fourth go-around, I decided on something called Puerto Vallarta Salad. I know, I know. I was asking for it. But if you had been in my place and seen what I had to work with, you’d have been hard-pressed to make a better selection. Fondy, meanwhile, went with the beef dip and a side salad.
As I awaited my meal, I kicked back and watched the show. Outside, the drug-addled fellow poured an entire carton of milk over his head and waved his arms. A family heading back to their car left the restaurant through the back entrance, did an about-face, cut back through the establishment and left through the front instead. By the time the police pulled up, our meals were on their way.
“Oh, crap, I hope that’s not mine,”I murmured, catching sight of the enormous football-size salad nestled in a yawning tortilla shell headed in our general direction. Alas, it was. And so, while Fondy enjoyed her beef dip, I picked through my overdressed salad, avoiding the wilted leaves in favor of the perfectly processed chicken strips, the cherry tomatoes, and the corn and black bean medley.
By the time dessert rolled around, the show was over. The cops and the erstwhile young parking lot performer had called it a night. Fondy savored her Mountain Madness, a cream puff, whipped cream, chocolate and butterscotch monstrosity, and I suffered a middling hot fudge brownie with ice cream that had been served to me with a fork. Seriously. Who eats ice cream with a fork?
So, junkie theatrics aside, a mighty forgettable meal, but if my trip to White Spot taught me anything, it was this: If you’re visiting a burger joint, don’t order the salad. A powerful lesson learned.
I am touched beyond words. Lately, I’ve been losing prospective pen pals at an alarming rate, responding once to their business proposals and then never hearing from them again. So imagine my surprise and delight when I checked my yahoo inbox and discovered a response to my response to Patrick Chan. If you read yesterday’s blog entry (and if you didn’t, what are you waiting for?), you’ll remember Patrick as the industrious fellow seeking out a business partner to help him free up the $24 million dollars left behind by a long-dead Iraqi General. Undeterred by my response in which I explained I was an independently wealthy widower with tons of money facing a deadly prognosis of Advanced Reverse Alopecia, Patrick wrote back:
“…I would like to be sure of your willingness, trustworthiness
and committment to execute this transaction with me,I cannot afford to
compromise these virtues considering the money involved,it is necessary
for me to be sure of the person to whom I will be entrusting this transaction,
my trust is not given out lightly. What I expect from you is trust and commitment…”
What a sweetheart. Today, I wrote him back:
I don’t know what to say. I am also looking for that certain someone, that special person with whom to form a lasting relationship built on trust and commitment. And, like you, I refuse to compromise my virtues, or my Cthulhu faith. I am thrilled at the prospect of taking our burgeoning relationship a step further. To that end, here is a little more about me. I enjoy moonlit nights, walks on the beach, and kabuki productions of Gilbert and Sullivan. My dislikes include dishonest people, fennel seeds, and Jim Lampley. If last week, someone had asked me “What kind of tree are you?”, I would have answered “A weeping willow” but today, heartened by your response to my email, I would answer “A GLADiola.” Although, now that I think about it, a gladiola is really a plant and not a tree so if you were to going to be a stickler, I suppose I’d have to go with elm which isn’t as clever but is a noble tree nevertheless. Still, one could argue that a tree is, in fact, a woody plant, so my first answer could still be acceptable. What do you think? What kind of tree would you be? (And you can’t pick gladiola or elm, you cheeky thing).
Looking forward to hearing from you soon and…?
Yours in the spirit of The Great Old Ones,
The Great, Dead and Dreaded Kulhu
Percival H. Lintmuffin”
Steph writes: “Whether silly, stupid or insightful, your responses always make me laugh…”
Annoyed with fandom writes: “You recently mentioned that you had a M.A. in Renaissance Drama. Just curious… What was the title of your thesis?”
Answer: The Subversion of Meaning in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. I essentially adopted an anti lit crit approach to the text which I feel is little more than intellectual masturbation (which is why I found all of the search for hidden meanings in the last episode of The Sopranos so delightfully silly, pretentious, and useless).
Poundpuppy29 writes: “Will there be any emotional scenes between Ronon & Teyla in season 4?”
Answer: Yup. A really sweet one in Be All My Sins Remember’d.
WannaBe writes: “Do you ever read anything other than Sci-Fi or Fantasy? Like a good mystery/thriller now and then? Even a romance/romantic suspense?”
Answer: Occasionally. I read The Wasp Factory the other day.
Namiko writes: “Do you also like Japanese style dumplings, like gyoza?”
Answer: I do!
Anonymous #1 writes: “If you do add a Historian/Archeologist type of character (who is also an expert in Ancient) to the Atlantis cast, would that be as a recurring character or as a regular character?”
Answer: Given the show’s standing structure, he/she would have to be recurring.