Spring is Sprung/The Grass is Riz/I Wonder Where My Latté Is?
The sun is shining in Philadelphia this morning for the first time in what seems like weeks (refer to Kate’s blog for a more thorough familiarity with misty weather), and all the garmentos on the train are in good spirits. Pulling into Thirtieth Street station from Ardmore, a pack of wholesale buyers were heckling a rumpled surgeon in the vestibule, feeling the fabric of his sweatpants judiciously between thumb and forefinger. “Are these domestic?” “You know, you really should wear a blue belt to match the back of your T-shirt.” Nearby, a woman who I recognized as a buyer for Forman Mills was joking about an upcoming wedding in the family. “I’m not losing a daughter, I’m gaining a closet!”
Today also marks an extremely important milestone: just minutes ago, the woman behind the counter at the Cookie Cafe in Thirtieth Street station ASKED ME IF I WANTED THE USUAL for the first time. Just like the Velveteen Rabbit, this means that I have now become “real.” You can’t rush breakfast-counter relationships. Some misguided gringos in Manhattan, for example, try to speak spanish to the guys behind the grill. “Gracias!” they’ll say, with an ingratiating smile, unaware that they have just made the transition to Giant Nine-Hundred-Foot Gringo. The last time I saw this happen, the guy behind the counter smiled back and waved. “De nada, bendejo!” he replied: “No problem, asshole!” and the six-foot blond guy picked up his bagel and left the store, humming a happy tune.
Overhearing this, I snorted my latte out my nose, which when noticed was my initiation into the twenty-sixth street deli VIP club (privilege of membership: able to nod at the counter staff over everyone’s head and get expedited service.) But that took two years. Now, I have a Breakfast Counter Relationship in philly (her name is Sinta), and the sun is shining and all’s right with the world.
Link of the day: X-Entertainment’s tribute to the Johnson-Smith Company