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My Memories of The Three Little Pigs

27 Jul

July 27, 2014

My Memories of The Three Little Pigs

An installment of Fairy Tale Theater

3 pigs

Once upon a time there were three pigs that lived in the woods and stop right there. The woods? Do pigs live in the woods? I don’t really know. In Lord of the Flies there’s a wild boar that lives on an island, and I know that for awhile people kept pot-bellied pigs as pets (why????) but do pigs live in the woods? I don’t know. I’m a city guy. I’ve only seen pigs in farms on TV. We must be talking about the same woods in which talking bears steal pic-a-nic baskets. And wear ties and porkpie hats.

So these three pigs, seemingly against all odds, lived in the woods. And to up the unbelievability ante, they A- talked, B- walked upright, and C- lived in their own, mortgage free houses. Plus they wore shirts but no pants, Porky Pig style.

Things were pretty good for these pigs. They were lazy and didn’t do a lick of work all day. Their houses were long-ago paid off, and their meals were brought in by local volunteers who delivered food to shut-ins. Oh sure, most days they spent by the pool drinking pina coladas and texting selfies to each other, but when it was time for their meals to arrive, they hopped in their totally unnecessary wheelchairs, affected coughs, and waited by their front doors, forks and knives at the ready.

Well, as you’d imagine, there were other people- er, animals- in the woods who were pretty mad at these 1 percenter pigs. One in particular, a wolf, had a real mad on and wanted to redistribute some of the pigs wealth right into his belly, preferably after roasting them over a spit. This wolf was once a part of the Occupy The Enchanted Forest movement, so you know he had never worked a day in his life. But really, can we blame him? If your parents had named you Big Bad, what chances of getting a job in a Fortune 500 company would you have? Will the New York Stock Market ever gain ten points at the thought of Big Bad Finklestein being named CEO of Bloomberg Media LLC? I think not. So go easy on The Big Bad Wolf. He’s a product of his environment.

One day The Big Bad Wolf was particularly hungry. He was also particularly smelly too, but hey, that’s just another day in the Occupy movement. So one day, as he watched one of the pigs lounging by his pool and ordering new smart phones to give out at Christmas to all his rich friends, the wolf reached his limit. That pig was just so fat and succulent that the wolf just couldn’t take it anymore. “That’s all I can stands, I can’t stands no more!” he said, stealing one of Popeye’s catch phrases. He should have kept his mouth shut because that totally gave him away and the pig ran into his house, slamming the door right in The Big Bad Wolf’s face. (Snout? Whatever.)

Problem was, the pig’s house, like his fortune, was made out of straw. The pig wasn’t really a rich 1 percenter, and could only afford to build a house out of straw. All he cared about was appearances. And those smart phones he was ordering? He was way over his credit line anyway.

The wolf knew that no straw house would keep him out, so he huffed, and he puffed, and no, you really can’t blow a house of straw down, but he was able to more or less rip it apart with his bare hands. (Paws, claws, whatever.)

The pig ran off screaming.

The hungry wolf pawed through the straw but the only food he found was pimentos and Fresca. He took off after the pig, who had zoomed to his brother’s house and locked the door.

The second pig had done a little better for himself in the stock market and built his house out of wood, which I think we can all agree is much more sensible than straw. On the other hand, this pig was also a big Selena Gomez fan and spent a lot of time writing nasty letters to Justin Bieber, for which there was a restraining order against him. If he had spent more time on his investments and less time threatening Bieber he could have had a better home made of brick, but wood was still ok.

The wolf showed up and he was still determined to eat the pigs. Unfortunately, wood is a little harder to tear down than straw. The wolf tried to go in through the window, but the house was in a sketchy part of the forest and the windows were barred.

“Ha ha ha!” the pigs laughed, and it sounded just like that- ha ha ha, like in a comic book. “What are you going to do now, loser? Huff and puff and blow the house down?”

The wolf, being more of a wolf of action than words, took an axe and brought down the front door. “Heeeeere’s Johnny!” he cried, in a reference to Jack Nicholson in The Shining that most kids today won’t get. The pigs started squealing like, er, pigs, and ran out the back way.

The pair of bacony porkers ended up at the gated community where the third brother lived. There was a sauna and hot tub, and there was even a really good Thai restaurant so none of them had to leave if they didn’t want to. The Big Bad Wolf showed up but the security guards chased him off. He was last seen harassing Little Red Riding Hood, because seriously, what are the odds that there would be two wolves like this?

The moral of the story? Eat the rich is more than just an expression, some of them are full of flavor.

 

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It’s not funny anymore.

10 Jul

July 10, 2014

No, the title does not refer to this blog.

Last time I went to Tangra Masala in Queens, which is its real name, there were a few strange characters there and I wrote about them in the post called Mumbles Mumbai Meets Sleepy Bhopal. I intended it to be semi-humorous (your humor mileage may very) but everything I wrote was true. However, I’d been there about a dozen times before with generally good experiences and was prepared to go back, which I did last week.

Never again.

Let’s recap what happened last time.

- There was a waiter sleeping in full view of the entire restaurant in our favorite booth.
- After he was awakened by some customers, he started serving us, replacing our mumbling waiter, whose every third word was incomprehensible, and who was incapable of getting us lime.
– Sleepy argued with us over which sauce we wanted to take home, despite my pointing directly to it, trying to get us to take a sauce for a dish we did not even have, accused us of not listening to him, and started mumbling and complaining about us to the rest of the staff- while he was still at our table.
– We were visibly upset and did not leave a tip. When I left the money for our check, the waitress (who was usually pretty good) ran over, grabbed the money, and ran back, never thanking us and making us feel like she was afraid we were running off without paying.

Despite all this, we had dozens of good meals there in the past and, despite the occasional hard to understand accent, the food was always good. So we decided to go back and give it another try.

We arrived at about 6:30 and the place was empty, which is never a good sign. The entire staff was seated at a table and stared at us when we walked in. We gestured to our favorite table and one of them nodded. After a few minutes of waiting, during which time Saarah told me “They’re staring at us” (my back was to them) one of them came over with menus. This was a waiter we had never seen before, and he spoke perfect, and perfectly polite, unaccented English. It struck me as odd that of all the waiters they’d made sure to give us that one, but I chalked it to them remembering us and giving us good service. Was I wrong.

While the service was good, and the food as usual good too, when the bill came I saw that there was a 15% mandatory service charge added to the bill. I had never seen that before and assumed it was new, and idly thought that, ha ha, they must have started adding it because of us not tipping last time. Yeah, as if we were that important, ha ha.

yelp-bad-reviews

Turns out I was almost right.

While restaurants have the right to add mandatory tips (that’s what the service charge is), I hate it because it takes away my right to tip whatever I feel is deserved. Sure, I can add more, but I can’t take anything away. What pissed me off right there was that if it were added because of us (more on that later) it meant that the lack of tip last time was in their eyes a reflection of my cheapness and not their awful service. In other words, I was the problem, not the lousy staff.

Saarah called her sister, who often also went to that restaurant, and asked if she had ever seen a service charge. She wasn’t sure but believed that it was on her bill the last time she was there. When was that? Coincidently, it was just a couple of days after our bad experience, adding fuel to my theory that it had been added just because of me.

Anyway, I was still not egotistical enough to think that I had affected the whole billing structure of an entire restaurant, so I went on Yelp and read some reviews. I found one, back in 2013, complaining that they had added a service charge for a small party of two. So I was wrong that the policy was created just for me, but it was clearly added to my bill just for me in response to my last meal there. I’d been there dozens of times, always tipped, and probably tipped a little higher than most patrons there. (I found out that rarely do those customers reach 10%, let alone 15%.) But because one time their staff has a meltdown, suddenly I’m viewed as a threat to not tip. But while that’s offensive, what really pisses me off is that, as I said, they see me as the problem, not their staff. I deserved an apology, not a service charge!

I’m the one who received bad service. I was the one whom a waiter argued with. I’m the one who was insulted.

I did not get an “I’m sorry.” I did not even get a “what’s the problem?”  I got treated like I caused a problem and when I returned, I was treated like they didn’t trust me.

I left the money on the table, service charge and all, and stood up to leave. The waitress, who had not served us at all, rushed over to grab the money before I was even halfway to my feet. She took the money and ran off- not even a thank you. Obviously she wanted to make sure I wasn’t stiffing them. In the past, the staff was so lazy that try as I might, I often could not find anyone to take the money, now the female flash was spiriting it away under my very nose.

Worried I’m not going to tip after years of my leaving perfectly good tips? How about asking yourselves- or better yet, ask me- why I didn’t tip that one time. Don’t assume I’m a cheapskate, look at your sleepy, mumbling, combative staff and figure it out. Don’t look at me with suspicion and make me feel like a crook when I’m going to your restaurant with the intention of spending money, tipping, and coming back again! YOU screwed up last time, not me!

Meanwhile, you lost me as a customer. For good, this time.

And the picture of the sleeping waiter is gracing my Yelp review.

This guy deserves a tip?

This guy deserves a tip?

The Sunday Seen That: 7/6/14

6 Jul

July 6, 2014

Since I cut back on the blog, the Sneak Peek of the Week has been the biggest casualty. Miss it? Nah. Since I have no clue what’s coming next, or when it’s coming, it would be pretty silly to continue it.

SNEAK PEEK OF THE WEEK OF JULY 6th, 2014

Monday: ?
Tuesday: ?
Wednesday: ?
Thursday: ?
Friday: ?
Saturday: ?

And now imagine that same Sneak Peek every single week.

But this is the summer, people are away, and even the most loyal of Mr. Blog’s Tepid Readers may have missed some recent posts. So I thought this might be a nice time to recap some of the more interesting things that I’ve posted here in the past few months.snoopy

Like some short fiction?

poster_postcard

In the mood for some Picture Postcards?

The_Riddler_7

Feeling Imponderable? (Yeah, me too.)

1683383-inline-i-1-simpsons-pop-culture

Pop culture has also caught my eye. First, my usual targets- TV and movies.

Real world pop culture has given me a lot to yell about too. Hipsters? Grrr, hate them!

 

But have no fear! I can still give you a little bit of a Sneak Peek! Coming in the near future will be a brand new New York Minute, and a sequel to Mumbles Mumbai Meets Sleepy Bhopal. I am NEVER returning to that restaurant, and you’ll see why soon.

 

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