Wednesday, April 1, 2009
The reality of a collapsing industry has really been putting the screws to the Times recently, resulting in a general laxness of tone in the Cultural and Arts sections, where writers crack wise in (often) misguided attempts to sound casual and relevant. They've started reviewing rap mixtapes. A few months ago they used the phrase "would inspire even the Easter Bunny to absinthe and Emocore." Now this:
"I found myself telling him [a butcher]: “Koreans think eating goat soup increases virility. It can lead to better sexytime.”"
Seriously dudes, a Borat reference? Saying this (to a stranger, no less) is bad enough, but writing it down in a piece, submitting it, and then having it get by an editor? Astounding. The wackiness continues with this semi non-sequitir:
"Shortly into this process, a friend asked me, “Is it gay meat?” Confused, I said, “There’s nothing gay about it at all.” She explained, “No, I said is it gamey?”"
WTITYB NY Times, WTITYB.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
I don't eat at Subway very often, for obvious reasons - I can make my own sandwiches and don't necessarily appreciate an ex-convict's greasy fingers all over my ham - but I got a $10 gift card in my Christmas stocking and so recently found myself in the veritable "belly of the beast." Yes, this is not even remotely suprising, but even with six million locations, Subway sandwich shops in midtown are madhouses around lunchtime
Since indecision is kind of my thing I'm not really the best orderer. This is exacerbated by every counterman's tendency to say "sir? can I take your order? sir?" in a beckoning voice when I'm clearly trying to stand as far from the counter as possible.
Hence, I went up to the counter withy my order not totally ready (huge mistake) and thereby bungled the entire situation. You may have been to a Subway in Topeka, Kansas or a peaceful Long Island suburb (where me and the gang used to roll on Friday nights, just sandwiching around), but those are like the WNBA compared to the major leagues of sandwiches. The orders here are fast-paced and the subs prepared with lightning speed. These guys truly are sandwich artists, at least if artistry is measured by ability to stack bologna with breathtaking speed (they may have learned this in prison).
All the local veterans had their orders ready (veggie delight on honey wheat, mayo & olives); of course I wasn't fully decided yet, fact made even worse by the speed of the whole situation. This is how I recieved the ultimate disgrace: the sandwich guy shaking his head in disgust when I wasn't sure about my bread choice. This only made things worse, I took forever, slowed down the entire line and ended up with yet another location to which I don't feel comfortable returning.
I ate the sandwich at my desk, shamed, even though I'd come up with the pretty delicious combination of pepperonini and olives on the Sweet Onion Chicken Teryiaki.
While we're on this topic does anyone else find it kind of suspect that Subway finally dropped Jared just at it began its "sit on your ass we'll bring it over" ad campaign? Despite having based their entire existence on that geeky beanpole and his miracle "sandwiches + walking" diet Subway is now immersed in an effort to bring you your sandwich with as little effort on your part as possible. So you can order it online and they'll make it and keep it warm on the stove for you or even deliver it to your office.
This is not that strange considering Subway has always been torn about which aspect of their restaurant to stress ("healthiest fast-food chain vs. "Eat Fresh" vs. "HAVE THIS TREMENOUS SANDWICH" tv commercials). And this new angle is probably a good idea after all. People are still as stressed as ever about gaining weight but with the economy the way it is who can afford to waste any calories by walking half a block?
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Turning the corner on my way to the subway this morning I almost ran straight into a kid eating an ice cream cone. Fine, kids are always distracted, and I know from living near a school in Park Slope that walking through a field of them is like being inside a pinball machine. But wait, an ice cream cone? Yes, it is a delicious treat, but at 8 am? In February? So of course this surreal rejoinder sets off a string of questions that loosen my already fragile grip on the fabric of reality. How, even at the tail end of winter, on a reasonably cold day, does a small child obtain an ice cream cone at this hour of the morning? Who is serving these ice cream cones? Was I seeing a ghost? Is this, truly, the first sign of spring?