This photo of Fourth Avenue is courtesy of TripAdvisor
An almost-perfect afternoon! Karen met me at the Time Market and we walked down 4th Ave., where we got malts at the DQ, popped into the Moon Smoke Shop (at which I discovered a new-and-improved type of E-cigarette that’s also much cheaper than my “Blu” brand), wandered around the residential area east of 4th, and stopped back at the House. Karen also delivered some stuff I had left at her house, most gloriously my favorite leggings. It was a wonderfully serene and relaxing couple of hours.
Q: What kind of philistine walks past the Epic Café, Delectables, and La Indita to get to a place where you eat fake ice cream out of petrochemical-based containers?
A: The type who wonders: What, precisely, is the point of a vegan cookie?
Oh, big news! Time Market is putting in a fresh-organic-produce department, which completely solves my problem of how to keep “living & raw food” available throughout each month instead of just the first week or ten days.
I’ve been helping Alexis with her English-language practice… or, more accurately, I’ve been increasingly aware of how much she enjoys learning new vocabulary and of how little she really knows. She’s a lot of fun, all the more because her English is so hit-or-miss. She was cooking something on one of the stoves when I walked into the kitchen. I asked, and she told me, there were “vegetables” in the pan, which indeed there were… asparagus, specifically (and, I think, liver). When I said “asparagus,” she checked the package and read out loud, slowly and carefully, “Asparagus Speaks.” Great hilarity was enjoyed by Alexis, me, and Penny, who came in just in time to hear about the chatty edible.
After Alexis and I had conversed for about 10 minutes, I wrote down the “key words” for our little session: lavender, carrots, asparagus, vegetables, corn, peas, beans, and chocolate.** Alexis loves chocolate. AND I spoke my first sentence in the Russian language to a Russian person: “Krasivaya bluzka” (“I like your shirt”). Do you suppose bluzka is phonetically adapted from “blouse” (analagous to Sp. beisbol)?
I’m reminded of how much I enjoy learning new languages — starting to learn them, in any case. My French and Spanish together probably comprise three-fourths of knowing one language, so it’s almost legitimate to say that if I learned Russian I’d be trilingual. Or maybe I should just call myself multilingual, improve in French and Spanish, make a push in Russian, and not worry about what to call myself. Soupy has always sufficed.
…Not on the Steppes Any More
Aside from vegetables and liver, Alexis favors shrimp and a type of fish that makes me wonder if there’s a Black Sea equivalent to West Virginia roadkill. Alexis enhances the flavor and aroma of organ meats and shellfish by thawing them — on the table that most of us sit at to eat normal food — for, I’ve gotta say a lunar month. I don’t think that the gentle reminder I contemplate delivering — “Alexis, you’re not on The Steppes any more” — would convey both our deep affection for Alexis and our profound aversion to her dietary and culinary quirks. Surely there are entire species of microbes who think it’s the Rapture.
Meanwhile, once or twice a month Penny takes two buses to a specific Wal-Mart that is the only place in Southern Arizona that carries a particular brand of bacon she favors, and though the aroma of bacon frying is normally quite tantalizing, the combined odors of Wal-Mart’s Select Sacrificial Pork Components and Alexis’s Smelt Putrefaction Surprise, colliding in midair like a couple of supercells over the Alkali Lake Toxic Waste Dump Site, have explosive properties that certainly could be harnessed to aid the U.N. or the Little Sisters of the Poor, in a location far, far away from our octogenarian kitchen, whose exhaust fans are under orders to tactically overheat if Alexis so much as plugs in the can opener….
…and a HAPPY Philistine
At my Dairy Queen (the oldest one in town and only a step up from the early DQ stores where customers stood in outdoor lines at little windows), a medium-size chocolate malt costs $2.45. Needless to say, the ambience (one-car garage) is free. Ambience is not Dairy Queen’s number-one asset, though it doesn’t seem to matter. About nine-tenths of the DQ customers I’ve seen, regardless of menu or amenities, are exhibiting high ELMs (Excitement Level Meter readings) .
Can the Epic Café supply this joy for $2.45? At any price?
Will the wait staff at Delectables blink uncomplainingly when I ask for extra chocolate – enough to turn the beverage dark brown, such that it might almost be mistaken for high-test Hershey’s Syrup or motor oil that’s long overdue for replacement? Will the food preparers at La Indita comply when I describe the desired consistency of my malt, which is as follows: Liquid. I don’t want to have to use my straw as a spear.
At DQ, the personnel don’t argue, they don’t charge extra, and they don’t seek revenge by spitting into the Product. You know this is so because the personnel never leave your sight until the malt is in your hands, which is an ephemeral event, to say the least, since it’s never been verified that the malt and my hands make actual contact.
to be continued…
This photo of Fourth Avenue is courtesy of TripAdvisor
** “One of these thing is not like the others; one [or two, depending] of these things just doesn’t…” etc.