I wish I could make this stuff up. I’m sure you’ve already clued into the fact that I have perpetually bad luck, but just to give you an idea… When my boss, Dave, and Teach met for the first time, Teach told Dave a little about the premise of my blog. Dave laughed and began to ask whether I’d written posts about some of his favorite disasters: “Your gastroenteritis?” Um, no, thanks for sharing that with Teach, though. “Oh, how about your husband buying a boat?” Yeah, no, not that one either. Still too painful to be funny. Basically, I have so much “material” that I could blog for days and weeks in advance and take a little vacation from carpal tunneling… except for the fact that each day that goes by fosters even more disaster kindling.
For instance, yesterday night, I was riding the 6 home and decided to take Teach’s advice and start my post on my blackberry. There I sat, typing away, thumbs flying over keys… wow, I’m so productive, I thought! Yeah, that’s until I finally looked up and realized I was 2 stops past where I wanted to get off. Good thing it was only 10:00 PM at night and I wasn’t exhausted. Oh, wait… I contemplated taking a cab, but decided that I was going to look at this seemingly unlucky turn of events as an opportunity to do even more blogging! (FYI – this is where I should have known I was doomed. The Pollyanna-esque optimism was a clear sign that bad things were about to happen.)
I hadn’t eaten dinner yet and decided that I would pickup something delicious from somewhere new on the way home. I saw several promising places…
Noodles 28: No idea if it’s good, especially since it promises both Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine. Any combo Asian restaurant is usually a pass, but on the plus side, I do like noodles. I kept walking
Big Daddies: I actually didn’t know that this was the name of the diner because I saw the side of the corner-diner first, which advertised “BURGERS SHAKES & TOTS.” As a Jersey girl, loving diners is in my blood. Add to that a place that advertises 3 of the best things that man ever created and I was ALMOST tempted! But I held out and kept going.
Healthalicious: No, I didn’t even think of stopping here, but did laugh to myself when I saw the restaurant and mentally scoffed, Yeah, like that’s even in the running. I’m sure it’s fine and good, but it takes a certain mindset that I just don’t possess to stop there. Of course, being that I’m on a “diet”/life change, I probably should have.
Nancy Lee’s Pig Heaven: Um, maybe later? Like when people stop using words like “pandemic” on a daily basis. Reallllly unfortunate name right now..
Totonno’s: YES! I’d been wanting to try their pizza ever since my friend, Nick, told me it was the best in NYC. I literally thought, Wow! What a fortunate mistake that I missed my stop. I know, I know – I was basically just asking for it. Even though pizza’s not a great diet food, I went in and asked if they sold slices. No, they don’t. Only pies. Ok, well how about small pies? Nope, only one size. Hmmm, ok, it’s 10:00 PM at night and my husband had already eaten… Well, I can always freeze extra slices, right? I looked at the menu and decided to order a fried eggplant and prosciutto pie – I’m already eating pizza so might as well load it up. Yeahhh, then the bill came. $30. WHAT??? This pizza had better make me want to name my first-born, Totonno! Oh yeah, and one of the cooks from Nancy Lee’s Pig Heaven saw me take a picture of the restaurant and followed me into Totonno’s where he stared at me for 5 minutes, then asked if I was Asian (um, yeah…), and then finally mentioned that he saw me photograph his sign. Since the last part was an observation vs. a question, I wasn’t sure how to respond. After he kept staring, the awkwardness sort of forced me to say, “Yeah, um, great sign.” He seemed satisfied and then left. This is the type of thing that happens only to me.
Luckily, service was speedy and I only waited about 15 minutes. The waiter who delivered my pizza insisted that I open the box and inspect the pizza as well – not sure if this super-attentive service is standard or if it comes with ordering the platinum $30 pizza. Regardless, it was great to have such friendly service and the pizza did look super appetizing: strips of fried eggplant were scattered with slices of pink prosciutto and mozzarella on a thin crust. Personally, I’m all about a thin, toasty-crunch crust vs. a doughy, chewy one. I thanked the super friendly staff and went on my way.
I could have waited the 10 minutes until I made it home to start eating the pizza, but opted not to because it smelled amazing and I’m chronically impatient. Not 5 ft from the restaurant, I pulled out a piece and began to eat as I walked. Wow, the crispy crust was perfect and the sauce was tangy and not overly sweet. The cheese was fine, but it was the combination of the sweet, breaded and fried eggplant strips combined with the salty, musty, pork flavor from the prosciutto that pushed the annoyance at spending $30 on a pizza right out of my head. I wish the prosciutto had been sliced thinner, but it’s really a minor nitpick. I’m so glad I decided not to wait – that first, hot, delicious bite of pizza absolutely made my night! Well, that’s what I thought anyway…
Have you ever tried to eat while walking? Wait, rephrase that. Have you ever tried to be me, and eat and walk? I don’t like to walk slowly. My husband’s a meanderer even though he’s got legs as long as my entire body. If I’m not in physical pain (and sometimes even when I am) I want to be moving as quickly as possible while in transit (that goes for driving, too – I have the tickets to prove it). So as I was booking it home and biting large chunks from my pizza slice, I was also trying to breath. Yes, you now know where this is going. Crumbs from the crunchy crust flooded my lungs as I tried to take my first inhale, causing me to hack and cough with such violence that people on the other side of the street turned to see where the emphysemic, old woman who was obviously choking to death was. They usually turned just in time to see me hacking, coughing, and spraying dry “crust dust” (the stuff that instantly coats your mouth and makes it feel dry when you crunch any piece of toast or cracker) into the air in front of me; small particles illuminated by the streetlamp light.
As soon as I cleared my lungs, that freed my mouth to take another giant chunk from my pizza while still speed-walking my way home. Yeah, that’s right, I just kept doing the same thing over and over again. Choke, hack, chomp. Choke, hack, chomp. After a few times, a new development arose. Apparently, your nose starts to run like crazy while you’re choking, and it doesn’t hurt that my allergies have been on overdrive recently (ever since that damn Mango). So then I had to add in a giant sniff to the cadence, which just brought on more choking. Choke, hack, sniff, chomp, sniff, choke, hack… you get the idea. I was such a spectacle that when I stopped to offer a woman who was asking for change a slice of pizza, she actually paused for a moment and gave me a once over. How bad did I have to look that she felt the need to take a moment and ascertain whether or not I was a decent person to accept food from? Maybe it was the Choke, hack, sniff, chomp, sniff, choke combo that did it…
When I finally arrived at my door, one hand holding the pizza box, my pursed across my torso, my workbag on one shoulder and my laptop bag on the other, I gingerly pulled my keys out to open the door. Unfortunately, my keys were stuck to something on the inside of my purse. Instead of putting everything down to dislodge it, I used my right hand to find the right key and then just leaned on the door and jammed my key into the keyhole, tugging my purse with it. As soon as I turned the key and pushed against the door however, I snapped my keychain and my keys and numerous little plastic discount cards scattered on the ground at my feet. Too tired and annoyed at this point to pick them up, I shut the door behind me and just stepped over them. I would see them in the morning and take care of it. I grabbed a tissue, cleaned myself up, then dove onto the couch and downed 3 more slices of pizza to calm my frustration (“I eat when I’m sad and I’m sad when I eat”), which gave me really lovely indigestion the next morning. Oh, and though I did remember to gather my keys and cards the next morning, I somehow managed to miss the one key that actually opens my door. So yeah, I locked myself out today.
And just wait until tomorrow when I relay to you the joy that was my Thursday.