Friday, November 10, 2006

a short story about cookie magic

I've been hanging onto this since April. It's not going to get any funnier, so I'm just posting it. In honor of today's prospective lunchtime Cookie Magic. Shosh knows what I'm talking about.

* * *

It was a dark and drizzly Monday afternoon, and at 4:00 pm I was beginning to think desultorily about starting to consider the possibility of doing some actual work. But then came the IM from Shoshana:

[shosh]: Let us away to obtain french fries!
[piehat]: Verily, right on!

Does my employer mind me leaving at 4:00 pm? No, not if my employer doesn’t notice.

We drove to the Red Robin (subtitled: America’s Gourmet Burgers & Spirits!), because it was the closest purveyor of french fries we could think of which wouldn’t require a walk of more than 20 feet in the rain from the parking lot to the door. We were directed to our seats by a teenager whose hair exactly resembled the hair my brother had in 1983, in every particular. In a few moments, a server arrived. Shosh kept her head down while ordering, so I was forced to lean over and stage-whisper, “Our waiter is an impossibly young and rather elongated version of Lou Diamond Phillips!” in order to alert her to the pertinent facts of our situation. Fantastically, she remained unmoved.

Quickly, a giant pile of French fries and a foot-high stack of onion rings draped lovingly around a stick appeared before us. We also received three bowls of ranch dressing and one bowl of something euphemistically referred to as “Campfire Sauce.” The intrepid Shoshana tested this concoction and identified it as barbecue sauce mixed with, well, ranch dressing. We fell to with vigor. The fries were thick, plentiful, and gently dusted with cayenne pepper. The onion rings were tiny ouroboroi of greasy piquancy. I also had a vanilla milkshake. I dipped my fries in it, murmuring tender, empty phrases under my breath.

Gradually, I became aware of my surroundings. Twin senses of wonder and déjà vu grew within me. I began to recall the days of my most tender youth, when, by popular decree, posters of pursed red female lips and giant, impossibly lustrous crayons, framed in shiny gold plastic, lined the walls of all public spaces. “Shosh,” I said, “Don’t be alarmed. But I am pretty sure that we’ve gone back in time to the year 1983, or possibly 1984, and we are currently in the local teenage hangout, where the cool kids go after school to roughhouse and make sexual innuendos.” Shosh raised her eyebrows noncommittally. I gazed dreamily at the carpet, geometrically patterned in a vomit-inducing red, brown and yellow, and nodded twice, emphatically.

Our server, Lou-Diamond-Phillips-like, approached us bandy-legged with the check. We proceeded past our young host, who thanked us for our patronage, flipping his hair. “Hm,” I muttered archly. “Treading a little close to the mullet line there, aren’t we?” And yet, in my heart, I had no quarrel with his coiffure.

We passed into the pissoir. I entered a stall. I emptied my bladder. I exited the stall. I found Shosh standing in front of the stall, staring gravely at me. I stared back. After a moment, she tapped me gently on each shoulder in turn, saying, “I hereby dub you ‘Panda Pantalones.’” I nodded slowly and gave her a toothy smile, sidling around her to the sink.

It has been my experience that nothing stranger than this can happen to you in a public restroom.



At 11:54 AM PST, Anonymous shosh said...

I tried to think of an appropriately Hunter S. Thompson-esque byline for this entry, but I'm laughing too hard.

And just think, this was merely the beginning...

At 12:08 PM PST, Blogger piehat said...

Yes! So much of the Cookie Magic story remains to be told.

At 1:01 PM PST, Blogger idler king said...

"The onion rings were tiny ouroboroi of greasy piquancy."

To continue the compliments: you are a goddamn wordsmith, is what. And you ladies both seem capable of getting very, very high indeed.

At 3:37 PM PST, Blogger piehat said...

I'm so fucking proud of that sentence. I have a sneaking feeling that's the one moment of wordsmithy greatness I'm going to be allotted in this life. Ah well, at least it was a good one.


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