May 10, 2016
The Editors and Staff of Mr. Blog’s Tepid Ride rarely get political, but c’mon, look at this year’s election.
On the one hand, the Republicans are running Donald Trump, a favorite of this blog. I got a lot of material from The Celebrity Apprentice. Who could not love a show where Andrew Dice Clay called out Trump for having an early morning meeting and not providing bagels? (“No bagels, Donnie?”) I’m sure it was just a coincidence, but that was the same episode where Dice was fired, I believe. Watch out, Iran!
On the other hand, The Democrats are running Hilary Clinton who, I will say totally impartially, is a corrupt liar who has made millions on funds funneled through her Clinton foundation from foreign governments and big business. Just one of her speaking fees could have kept an entire third-world nation fed for a year. But I have to give her credit: Her fake Southern accent is a hoot.
(And yes, there is still, as of this writing, Bernie Sanders, who may get my vote simply to see four years of Larry David impressions. The only problem is that under his economic and social plans, I may have to watch those impressions on a collective’s black and white TV while sitting in a rundown commune.)
This being such a lousy choice, I know that many people will be writing in for this guy:
The guy on the left is Pedro, the guy on the right is Napoleon Dynamite, from the film Napoleon Dynamite (2004). If you haven’t seen it, um, it’s a beast to describe. It’s about whatever you’d expect a film starring those two guys to be about, and probably a little more and a lot less. But for purposes of this blog, the thing to know is that Pedro was running for some student council thing.
And that brings me to the point of this mess: A Tale of My Father.
It was 2005 and Dad and I were having breakfast in the now defunct King’s Plaza Diner in Brooklyn. It was one of the better diners in town but due to skyrocketing New York rents it is now a Walgreens. And a good thing too, since there are only 40 Walgreens in Brooklyn. Plus numerous Duane Reeds. Plus a great many CVS stores. Plus a multitude of Rite Aids. As you can see, Brooklyn is in the midst of a desperate big-chain pharmacy drought. I can only hope more open up soon, maybe right in the lobby of my apartment building or, as it seems to be going, in my living room. (Thanks New Yorkers. Keep voting Democrat, things are going so well in NYC. Ha ha, like real people can afford to live here.)
But I digress.
Dad was the kind of person who would talk to anyone. He wasn’t just a talker, he was a schmoozer. I was with him when he somehow schmoozed a lifetime discount from the owner of a sneaker store. For years I got all my sneakers from a place on Nostrand Avenue at 10% off. Dad would buy sneakers even if he didn’t need them just for the satisfaction of using the discount. (Dad may not have been good at budgeting, but he was well-shod.)
So we were in the Kings Plaza Diner that I mentioned long ago and we were being served by a waitress, you know the kind. She was a not too-badly-used looking middle-aged housewife type who you could just sense was waiting to make her next bad life decision. I’m pretty sure the next long-haul trucker would walk in and sweep her off her feet.
To complete the picture, she was wearing a Vote for Pedro button on her apron. Yup, a button for a movie that was aimed at the teenage angst crowd.
So Dad noticed the pin and asked her if it was a Pedro Martinez button. Pedro Martinez was just starting his run with the Mets (2005 – 2008) and Dad thought maybe it was a campaign to vote for him to get into the All-Star Game. (Yes, baseball fans, I know the pitchers are picked by the managers. This was Dad’s question, not mine.)
The waitress explained that no, it was button from Napoleon Dynamite and went on to explain the movie in a length not conducive to comfortable and casual buttered toast eating. She really went on and she lost me in the middle since, let’s face it, I didn’t care to begin with. Dad cared only as much as maybe he could schmooze her out of a free side order of sausage to go with his eggs. He was lost from “It’s a button from Napoleon Dynamite.” After all, the words “Napoleon” and “dynamite” are rarely paired together unless it is a lecture on The Battle of Waterloo.
So she went on and on, all through two pieces of toast, when at some point she said “I watched it in my basement with my son’s best friend.” This pricked up my ears. It not only pricked up Dad’s ears, but caused his face to show the same combination of surprise and confusion that you generally only see on people’s faces when they hear a Dane Cook routine. (“Huh? Wasn’t that a Louie CK bit he just did?”)
I don’t recall if Dad said something or just let his face say it all, but the waitress explained “he’s almost 17 years old.” What was that meant to explain? I don’t know, unless she was explaining why she was arrested on a morals charge.
Dad and I didn’t say anything about it. That’s the beauty of having unspoken communication with someone who is on the same wavelength. I knew immediately that Dad was disappointed that he didn’t get the free sausage.