Example: Whilst perusing the pulp spinner at a local used book store yesterday, I was approached by a dumpling-shaped cad in yellow denim. "You got a good look goin' on there, buddy," he snorted at me. "Sorta like some kinda BLUES CLUB thing, if ya know what I mean." There was something vaguely threatening about the way he paired those words... a hint of accusation, some formless offense taken at my peculiar pairing of shirt and pants... But any implications of violence whizzed right over my head, as I was already busily recording this moment for future reference. This was hardly my FAVORITE compliment of the year (that dubious honor goes to the frat boy who barked into my face over the Jackpot tapwell: "What, is it fuckin' BEATNIK NIGHT down here or something?"), but it was cause enough to celebrate.
So I snatched up my daughter and fled to the nearest pizza buffet to drown my good cheer in marinara and shame. Curvacia and I long ago nicknamed this place THE PIZZA TROUGH (imagine the tagline: COME SLOP YOURSELF... AT THE TROUGH!!!), and for good reason: the place is literally SQUIRMING with mewling piglets, stuffing their gaping maws with fistfuls of greasy carbohydrates. Just the thing I needed to boost my ego after having my good looks sullied.
What sets PIZZA TROUGH apart from its competitors is its willingness to experiment with the form-- at THE TROUGH, pizza is no mere vehicle for cheese to enter your bloodstream. It is a mode of self expression, bound only by the whimsy of its creator's hands. Case in point: MACARONI AND CHEESE PIZZA. Mounted on a pedestal, bathed in a celestial, warming glow. Whether I was conscious of it or not, I had always dreamed of a moment like this. My daughter and I were frozen to the spot in awe... The on-duty manager, as if anticipating this reaction (indeed, having possibly lived through this VERY SITUATION no less than a hundred times that same afternoon) dutifully shoveled a slice onto each of our plates, then sent us away with a knowing wink.
Long ago I devised a plan: open a restaurant catering to discriminate white-trash tastes, a midwestern FUSION CUISINE if you will. I have a list somewhere of all the menu items, which ranged from heartburning (ONION RING NACHOS) to ingenious (BISCUITS & GRAVY SWIRL BREAD) to the downright befuddling (BURGER-RITOS, the spiritual opposite of a TACO BURGER)... Never once did the concept of MACARONI AND CHEESE PIZZA enter into my mind. So it was with no small amount of professional envy (and hesitation, as well-- Hands or fork? Hands or fork? From-the-hip decision making has never been my strong suit) that I leaned forward and took that first, lingering bite.
EPILOGUE: Explosive diarrhea, my friends. Perhaps we were never meant to tamper with forces greater than ourselves.