I met my friend John for dinner last night. John has a way with words. Wait, that’s not quite right. John has HIS way with words…and the rest of us are just along for the ride. Why just the other day he was asking to be the “Ring Baron” at Matt and Gwen’s wedding. Yes, he was dead serious.
It was a weird day to begin with. First, the sidewalks of Hoboken were near bursting because The Cake Boss was filming. As I rounded the corner to escape the crowd, I was nearly run over by a grown man in a full Batman costume (yes, rubber mask and all) riding his Batmobile (read: plastic covered bicycle) while screaming a bizarre blend of siren noises and disco songs. When I finally made it into Manhattan, I nearly tripped over a little black and white kitty at the end of a rhinestone covered leash on Fifth Avenue.
Weirdness. Much weirdness.
I eventually made it to Union Square and rang John. I found him and our friend Danielle walking along the ridge of an empty water fountain. It was empty of water, but full of Christmas carnage and leaves. After much hugging, John led by recounting his many exploits as a “social buffalo” this holiday season. I looked at Danielle and raised my eyebrows. She explained that he’d already covered most of this conversational ground as they had “miranda-ed” across the park.
You should hear him after he’s had a cosmo or two. He’s our favorite drinking game.
We ended up at Outback for dinner. John’s favorite meal is Boar’s Head bologna on white bread with absolutely nothing else on the sandwich, so picking a restaurant can be tricky. Outback is always a safe choice. I don’t put up too much of a fight because they have a decent Ranch dressing and I’m a total sucker for the creamy goodness. (Let the jokes begin…)
John started to tell us about some other restaurant where he was willing to eat. “I should take you guys to the place I took my nieces and nephews last week. It’s a BBQ place. It’s called Westwood… Westinghouse… Westwiggle… Westinstreet…. Westinghouse… Westchester”
The west-o-thon could have gone on indefinitely, so I tried to refocus the conversation. “What kind of BBQ?” I asked.
“They have ribs…and something else,” he responded dazedly. His eyes rolled back in his head as he tried to remember what else they served.
“Brisket?” I suggested.
“Yes! That’s it! They’ve got chicken brisket and ribs!”
I laughed so hard I got Ranch dressing in my nose. Danielle looked equally amused. “What the hell is chicken brisket?!” she asked.
He looked flustered and astounded that we would ever question his choice of words. “No!” he said as set his cosmo on the table with great force, sloshing the barely pink elixir over the edge of the martini glass. Then he giggled as he continued, “They have chicken comma brisket comma and ribs.” He dazzled us with his bright smile as we continued to giggle.
After another drag of his cosmo, he tilted his head and added, “But my niece hates meat.”
I looked at him bewildered. “Your niece doesn’t eat meat so you took her to a BBQ joint? What did she eat – veggie brisket?”
Without missing a beat yet completely missing the irony he answered simply, “She had a hamburger.”
I can’t make this shit up.