Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bok Choy Bok Choy Bok Choy

My son and I beat the rush to the restaurant.  It’s a wok place… a wokery if you will. 

You get a little tiny bowl and build a Dr. Suess mound in it with vegetables, noodles and meat. Then you dump the sauces on top of the mound and hand it off to a sweaty guy with a big stick standing next to a round metal table that could catch water on fire.  After he woks it, he scrapes it off the metal table on to a plate and hands it back.   

I know it doesn’t sound appetizing, but it really is good and they have Bok Choy!  I don’t really like Bok Choy, but I love to say it, so I eat it regularly and look for excuses to fit it into conversations.   

For instance, “Last night, when I was eating Bok Choy, I developed a system for training squirrels to harvest elderberries.”   

So, Jay and I, being one of a very few people in line, took our time and created two separate masterpieces of food stuffs, then topped them off with a proprietary blend of sauces from the sauce stand.   

Once perfect, we handed them over to the sweaty guys for a searing.  While I was trying to get out of the way of the sauce stand, a family strolled up and monopolized the counter.  I realized a little too late that the smaller sweaty guy gave my perfect concoction to a short, old guy with a gray ball cap.   

I’m a short, old guy with a blue ball cap.  How could he screw that up?  

The big sweaty guy saw the handoff and yelled over to the gray hat guy who was making tracks for his table. Gray Hat Guy must have been worried about his place at the table, because he moved quickly and ignored Big Sweaty's barks.   

Big Sweaty apologized for the screw up and told me to go back, make another bowl and jump to the front of the line.  That’s just great, except there were now 300 people in line and NONE of them heard the instructions given to me.  

I went back and cut in line, grabbed a bowl and began my creation all over again.  I had to muscle in to the counter a few times to get my bowl built while 256 angry people tried to catch my shirt on fire with their stares.   

A little girl about 4 or 5 inches tall, with ESP was playing a Nintendo and decided to stand exactly where I wanted to squeeze in and take my visual abuse.  When I moved, she moved, but she maintained eye contact with the little video game.  I did a quick bob-weave and lost her when she collided with her mother’s leg.  Her mother apparently blamed me for this, and tried to edge me out of the meat section.  I saw the meat-restocker coming and used his unwritten right-of-way as an opening.  

Next, I reached over a short lady at the sauce stand and grabbed whatever I could reach.  It might have been Terriyaki or it could have been bacon grease, I was moving too quickly to get a good look.   

Finally, I got Big Sweaty’s attention and handed over the bowl.  I felt laser beams eating into the flesh of my left cheek. It was the short lady.   

I rapidly relayed my situation and recited Big Sweaty’s instructions.  For the first time in 2 minutes and 46 seconds, I felt compassion from another human being.   

To his credit, Big Sweaty indeed cooked it up pronto and handed it back. I plopped down in front of my son and looked over at the Gray Cap Guy.  He was eating like a starved coyote.  I knew it was good, but this guy was tucking in and glancing at the others in at the table as if he would stab a chop stick into them if they tried to get his goods.   

My second creation didn’t meet my strict standards (must not have been bacon grease), but it would get me by.  I considered going over to Gray Hat Guy to fish for a compliment, but that would have uncovered his dirty little secret in front of his family....  

In retrospect, it would have given me an opening to say "Bok Choy" a few times.

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