My friend Harris invited me to a birthday dinner in late March. He told me it was at some Italian restaurant on Castor Avenue. I've heard of Castor Avenue, but I didn't know exactly where it was, so I just had to ask.
Me: How do you get to Castor Avenue?
Harris: What do you mean?
Me: Where is it?
Harris: What the hell? You don't know where Castor Avenue is?
Me: Yeah. Is that weird?
Harris: Yeah! Yeah... it's only one of the major roads of Northeast Philly. I've never met anyone who didn't know where Castor Avenue is.
So, Harris gave me directions to Castor Avenue. I just had one more question...
Me: Will I have to parallel park?
Harris: Parallel park? Maybe.
Me: Oh no...
Harris: You don't know how to parallel park?
Me: Nope, I've never parallel parked once in my life. I have no idea how to do it.
Harris: Do you know anything?
I do know some stuff. Not much, but a few things come to mind. For instance, I know what great food tastes like, so I enjoyed a great meal during Harris' birthday. Unfortunately, three things attempted to ruin my night...
1. Directions: Surprise - I got lost twice. I missed Castor Avenue the first time, so I had to make a U-turn. I also drove by the Italian restaurant. Fortunately, I didn't have to parallel park, but as soon I got out of my car, I saw a black guy wearing a hoodie walking toward me. I felt extremely threatened by him, for some reason. Not sure why.
2. Old Hag Waitress: One of the guys I was sitting next to told me that he likes the restaurant, but the only thing bad about it is a rude, elderly waitress. "I don't like her, she's a b***h," he said.
I saw her, and she looked pretty miserable. She was in her 70s and was wearing so much makeup that it made me wonder if she shopped at a clown store. She walked over to me and took my order. I told her that I wanted chicken parm with spaghetti.
Old Hag Waitress: Soup or salad?
Me: What kind of soup do you have?
Old Hag Waitress: Minestrone and vegetable.
Wow, what a b***h indeed. What kind of horrific person only offers minestrone or vegetable soup? Where's the tomato soup? Cheeseburger soup? Pepperoni pizza soup? Dorito Taco soup? And who likes to eat soup with vegetables or mines in it? Disgusting.
Me: I'll take a salad then.
Old Hag Waitress: Dressing?
Old Hag Waitress: It'll cost extra for Caesar salad.
Unbelievable. Who charges extra for Caesar salad? I love Caesar salad, but I didn't want to be a dick and raise everyone's share of the bill, since we all agreed to split it. So, I settled for the next-best option:
Me: I'll go with Ranch.
Old Hag Waitress: We have French, Italian, Russian and some others.
Old Hag Waitress: We have French, Italian, Russian and some others.
Me: I said ranch.
Old Hag Waitress: We have French, Italian, Russian and some others.
Me: You don't have ranch? It's not one of the "some others?"
Old Hag Waitress: No.
Seriously, would have been so difficult to tell me that right away, rather than read off half the list of the available salad dressings? Why couldn't she just say, "Sorry, we don't have ranch?" The lack of ranch dressing was depressing, but I settled for French. I know that makes me a communist, but I would argue that I was forced into it by a communistic establishment that didn't have ranch dressing and charged extra for Caesar.
Old Hag Waitress struck again later. One of the guys sitting next to me needed a napkin.
Guy: Excuse me, can I have a napkin please?
Old Hag Waitress: You want this one?
Old Hag Waitress picked up a napkin off the adjacent table and shoved it into the guy's face. This napkin still had spaghetti stains on it, yet for some inexplicable reason, she thought that he may want it instead of a clean one. The guy made a face and tried to shoo it away, but Old Hag Waitress wouldn't relent.
Old Hag Waitress: You want this napkin? You want this napkin?
Guy: HELL NO, I DON'T WANT THIS NAPKIN!
Old Hag Waitress walked away with a puzzled expression on her face. She brought the guy a clean napkin a few minutes later.
Maybe she's not a b***h. Maybe she's just some senile old woman who doesn't understand that she's constantly being an a**hole to the customers. Perhaps this restaurant did have ranch dressing, but she thought otherwise. Still, forcing me to eat French dressing instead of ranch makes her worthy of Jerks of the Week, regardless of whether she knows what decade it is.
3. Ice Cream Sandwich: I was eager to go home because I wanted to watch the season premiere of Mad Men. I ate lots of food at the restaurant, but I was still in the mood for a snack.
I went to Wawa and knew instantly what I wanted to get - an ice cream sandwich. The ice cream sandwich is one of the greatest inventions in the history of mankind. It has ice cream and the delicious brown cookie stuff, which I could eat by itself for three meals a day. Plus, it's healthy too. A doctor once told me that ice cream sandwiches have tons of the all-important Vitamin X.
I bought my ice cream sandwich. I then drove home and placed it in the freezer. I didn't want it to melt while I was getting changed and making a couple of quick updates on the site. I then went downstairs about 20 minutes later and opened my fridge.
My ice cream sandwich was gone. Seriously, it was gone. I rummaged through all of my microwavable pizzas and frozen chicken strips, yet I couldn't find my precious ice cream sandwich. This was one of the saddest moments in my life.
After about five minutes, I relented. I went back to Wawa and purchased another ice cream sandwich. I thought the fat, blond chick working the register would think I was crazy for purchasing two ice cream sandwiches in the span of 25 minutes, but she nodded at me as if she understood.
Like I said, the ice cream sandwich is one of the greatest inventions of all time.
JERK OF THE WEEK NO. 2: Me
I ate so much that Sunday night I figured I should go to the gym as often as possible the following week. I swam a mile on Monday, and I planned on doing the same Wednesday prior to seeing Hunger Games with my friend Josh.
I thought about skipping the gym that particular day because my right arm was being weird. It felt really weak, and my collarbone hurt. I'm the biggest hypochondriac of all time, but I avoided WebMD.com because that Web site sucks. My knee hurt one time, so I inputted what was wrong into their symptom-checker, and it told me I had a torn ACL. Yeah, I must have ripped it to shreds when I was sleeping or eating Oreos on my couch.
I still went to the gym though. I hopped into the pool and started swimming, and I suddenly noticed that there was a chick who looked a bit younger than me (mid-20s) in the next lane. She was pretty fast, so I wanted to race her. I beat her initially, but my oldness and fatness caught up to me. By the half-mile mark, she was kicking my a**.
I couldn't even finish my mile. I was three-quarters of the way done when I stopped. She was getting out at that instant, so I wanted to get a good look at her. She was OK, though she did look somewhat familiar. Maybe I made fun of her in this section. Who knows? I expected her to ask me if I let her win so I could sleep with her, but she just introduced herself. I can't remember what her name is though. Like I said, "she was OK."
As she was climbing out of the pool, I realized that a guy a couple of lanes over was leering at me, almost as if he was jealous that I got to talk to the only chick in the pool under the age of 60. I would later find out that he was Walker, the guy I wrote about two weeks ago who got into a catfight with Swimmer, one of the other gym patrons.
I didn't think anything of it. I walked out of the pool and plopped into the hot tub. Walker also strolled over to the hot tub. As he was getting in, I noticed that he couldn't move his right arm. He was also dragging his right foot. I had to ask what was wrong.
Me: Hey, do you mind if I asked what happened?
Walker: One day, the right side of my body got paralyzed. That was about 27 years ago.
Me: Wow, do the doctors know what it is?
Walker: Nope. They have no clue.
That's pretty terrible. For him? Oh yeah, I suppose so. I meant more for me. My right arm was still feeling weak, so being a hypochondriac, I thought I was developing the same disease.
I talked to Walker some more, and he seemed like a nice guy, so I suppose Swimmer was the douche bag in the fight they had recently. I felt bad for him and I would have stayed in there until he got out, but I had to catch Hunger Games.
Me: I'm sorry, I have to go.
Walker: OK, see ya.
Me: I have to go watch Hunger Games with my friend.
Walker: Oh, OK. Have fun.
Me: I'd stay here longer, but I have to meet with my friend.
Walker: It's fine.
Me: But... I have to... movie... hot tub...
Walker: Talk to you later.
Me: I... Hunger Games... hot tub... ice cream sandwich...
Walker clearly didn't want me to leave, but like I said, I had to get out of there. As I was walking toward my bag, my collarbone-shoulder injury flared up again. I started to make big circles with my right arm to stretch it out and get some strength back into it.
And then it hit me. I realized what I was doing. I looked back toward the hot tub and saw that Walker was giving me an evil glare. He must have thought I was showing off my right-arm movement because it seriously seemed like he wanted to kill me.
I'll make it up to him somehow. Maybe I'll introduce him to the next average-looking, 20-something chick I see at the pool. But I'll keep the hot ones to myself.
JERK OF THE WEEK NO. 3: Hunger Games Evening
Josh was being really difficult. Neshaminy Mall (where we were going to see the Hunger Games) is right around the corner from me, so I told Josh to meet me at my house. He said that convening at Neshaminy Mall would be better for him. I couldn't figure out why, since Neshaminy Mall is a 5-minute drive from here, but Josh kept on insisting that we should meet there. He wasn't going to relent, so I eventually gave up.
I was so adamant about meeting at my house because I knew Josh was going to be late. We agreed to get there at 4:30. I arrived at 4:40, knowing he wouldn't be on time, and sure enough, he was still driving.
I decided to kill time by going into Barnes & Noble. I was browsing through all of the spin-off Hunger Games books when two black chicks accosted me. They asked if I had read Books 2 and 3 - I was just starting the third one at that point - and they wanted to know what happened in them. I gave them all the details, but as I did this, I noticed that one of the girls was wearing a hoodie. This made me extremely nervous.
I ended up buying two spin-off Hunger Games books and the first season of Game of Thrones. I left Barnes & Noble and called Josh. He told me he was almost there. Translation: "I'm like 20 minutes away, but I'm telling you that I'm close so you don't yell at me over the phone." We've been best friends since we were 5. I know how he operates.
I did random stuff after that. I walked around Moddell's. I picked up some weights there with my right arm to make sure it wasn't paralyzed. I leered at random chicks walking around the mall. I even took a crap. I was washing my hands when the phone rang.
Josh: Where are you? I'm standing in front of the ticket window, and you're not here!
Me: I'm in the bathroom!
Josh: Ugh. I'm here, and you're not, and you're always saying that I'm the one who's late!
I was THIS close to losing it.
At any rate, we saw the movie. We thought buying tickets for the IMAX version was a good idea, but since we like to sit in the fourth row at the theater, it made the experience much worse. We also had to pay $16 for a ticket. Sixteen freaking dollars! It's a good thing I seldom go to the movies, or I'd have to take out a loan at my bank.
Hunger Games was really good. I enjoyed the book more, but I thought they did a good job of adapting it. There were a couple of things they left out that I wish they would have utilized - i.e. the tribute features on the muttations - but I don't think they could have put that into a PG-13 flick. Hunger Games should have been rated R, but they wouldn't have made nearly as much money with prostitots not being able to see it. Of course, this could be fixed with a more realistic rating system, but our government sucks in that regard. But I digress...
Josh and I went to Nifty Fifties afterward. Nifty Fifties is an awesome 50's-style restaurant with mouth-watering food. I always get two cheeseburgers and cheese fries when I go there. I seriously have wet dreams about that place.
Of course, Josh and I didn't get the redheaded waitress with the nice a** or the cute brunette waitress - a monstrous behemoth took our orders. As we waited for our food, another hot chick came to my mind.
Me: Dude, I have to tell you something that happened at the gym last week.
Josh: What happened?
Me: We were playing basketball. Bball DBag was going for the ball on one play, and he rammed into Harris intentionally so he could get possession.
Josh: Really, he did that again?
Me: Yeah. Harris hit his head on the ground, and then...
Me: No, let me finish. And then, this really hot blond chick came over to help Harris. She was so...
Me: Dude, she was so hot. It was unbelievable. She goes to nursing school or something.
Josh: But I was...
Me: Harris was pretty lucky even though he may have suffered a concussion. I wouldn't mind if she nursed me back to health, giggity, giggity..
Josh: BUT I WAS THERE WITH YOU! I SAW IT HAPPEN! WHY ARE YOU TELLING ME THIS AS IF I WASN'T THERE!?
Crap. I realized Josh was right. He was there, and he saw the amazing blonde.
How could I forget that? Why was I babbling on like some senile person? Could it be? No... Could I have some awful neurological disease like Alzheimer's?
After we were done eating, I raced home, opened up my laptop and logged on to WebMD. I typed in my symptoms, and it told me I had:
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