Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rodent Edition

Bear with me. This is a multi-part story.

Part 1: Yesterday, I hailed a cab to go home after shopping at Whole Foods. My cab driver was a big guy, probably over 400 lbs, so his driver's seat was pushed very far back into the back seat to fit in there. It was easy to look at him while he talked to me. When I gave him my address he asked why I was shopping at Whole Foods when a new Safeway grocery store had opened on my block. I told him I wanted to get some things they don't have at the Safeway.
The cab driver said, "You must have a more sophisticated palate than I do." He went on to describe how, when he was growing up, the only cheese he ever had was Velveeta. He told me how little the Velveeta cost back then (I forget the amount) and how his mother made Velveeta mac-n-cheez, Velveeta sandwiches, and Velveeta on top of spaghetti with a sauce of Campbell's tomato soup and 1 lb of ground beef at $0.39/lb. He told me he had never had any other kind of sauce growing up but that his wife made him promise to never make it. He sounded wistful.
About a block from my building, for some reason, the cab driver started telling me about eating squirrels as a child. They'd bake them for dinner and then eat the squirrel brains the next day at breakfast. Then I was home. I gave him a big tip, went upstairs, and was blissfully distracted from thoughts of squirrel brains and Velveeta by talking with a friend while eating my Bali turkey burger, asparagus, and corn fritter.

Part 2: At work today, coming back from a cig break, I was in the elevator with a guy I don't know. Out of the blue, and in total violation of well-established stranger-in-elevator etiquette, he says, "I wish they'd make May 14th National Chipmunk Day." I don't know why, but probably because my friend Carrie has shared with me her obsession with prairie dogs, I responded, "Why not prairie dogs? Why chipmunks?" To which the elevator man replied, "They're tasty."

Wtf. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go cook up some beaver.

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