Before we get into the meat of this week’s tale (pun vaguely intended), I realize now that I was so moved by my own ineptitude last week that I forgot to mention two things:
One was any info about the actual Quizo game itself. There isn’t a ton of new data to report right now – I’m still working on prize support and will hopefully have more on that later – but I can say that there is a Facebook event that you can get on and share with your friends, enemies, Swiss bankers, etc. That’s at:
The more the merrier, as I’ve said. Please pass it around.
I am continuing to forget the other thing, so let’s move on.
There is this new BBQ restaurant in Cherry Hill that my friends and I like a lot, called Whole Hog BBQ. It is most excellent. We go there as often as we can. The ribs there are so good that it is entirely plausible that you might consume an entire half rack without the addition of sauce. That is how good this barbecue is: when presented with the option of drenching your ribs in a combination of garlic and liquid sugar, you will often decide against it. Madness, right?
We found ourselves there on Saturday night after I spent my day 1) watching my high school football team stage a comeback-slash-ass-whomping against Haverford School, 2) shopping at Penzey’s Spices, in which I successfully managed to only buy 4 things I didn’t reallyneed, and 3) dodging “Harry Potter Day” in Chestnut Hill, aka “oh now what the fuck is THIS?”
What I’m REALLY doing on Saturday afternoons in the fall is watching the team my father coaches, which unfortunately also happens to be where I went to school. The problem is that my desire to watch my father’s team clashes with my desire to never see, talk to, or interact in any way with anyone ELSE involved with my school. My solution to this problem is to sit on the opposite end of the stands from the Chestnut Hill/SCH/whatthefuckever students and teachers, and pray that no one looks too closely.
Though there are no “official” areas of the stands, what this means in practical terms is that oftentimes I find myself surrounded by opposing team parents and scouts from other schools. This Saturday I had both – guys from Episcopal behind me and Haverford parents on all other sides.
In the first quarter, on a particularly impressive blown defensive assignment, Haverford broke out a 70+ yard sweep and ran in for a touchdown. However, there was a truly awesome holding penalty around midfield, and the running back started his celebrations about 2 yards too early and ended up fumbling the ball through the end zone. There would be no touchdowns on that play.
I snorted, started typing on my phone and muttered, “coming back” as the Haverford parents were still cheering. When the ref announced the touchback I started cackling.
One of the mothers sitting at about my two o’clock glared at me and said, “the SCH section is over there.”
I stared at her for five seconds, then said, as deadly serious as I could muster, “do you know who I am?”
She turned around and angrily grumbled to herself.
At halftime, when she had gone for a drink, one of the Episcopal guys leaned over and asked, “so who are you?”
I shrugged and said, “I’m not anybody.”
Anyway, Whole Hog is quite delicious. I had ribs. My friends had things that for some inexplicable reason were not ribs.
At some point the conversation somehow turned to the fact that my one friend, let’s call him… say… “Nick of Oprah’s Book Club” had lost his voice earlier in the week, and that he and his wife, let’s call her… say… “Regina of Oprah’s Book Club” had some hijinks ensue when they were at the grocery store earlier in the week.
I cannot recall the exact genesis of it but at some point someone said, “we were trying to figure out what kind of bread to buy.”
“Hold it, hold it, hold it,” I said. “How hard is it to buy bread? How much figuring out does this take?
Nick said, “a lot, sometimes.”
I cannot think of a situation in which any discussion is required before buying bread. I said as much.
Reg said, “it might happen that two people get married who like different kinds of bread. One person might like wheat bread, the other person might like white bread.”
Now, while my feelings on marriage are broadly known (c.f. Romeo and Juliet I.iii.65-70), I do have some knowledge of it from observation if nothing else and as interpersonal issues go this isn’t exactly up there with marrying across religions or political parties or anything like that.
I said, “why would you even do that? Marry someone who likes the same kind of bread. This seems like an avoidable problem.”
It’s conversations like this that are the reason one of my friends says that cameras should follow me around.
Nick said, “I like white bread.”
I said, “for starters, that’s terrible, and secondly, you probably should have thought of that before you married her.”
Reg said, “we settled on whole wheat white bread. That works for everybody.”
I said, I thought not unreasonably, “that sort of defeats the purpose of white bread.”
Our friend Kevin, also sitting with us, snorted in what I took to be agreement with my thinking that whole wheat white bread is right up there with low carb cereal, i.e. the culinary equivalent of that kid who repeated sixth grade three times.
Little did I know that, at this point, one of the greatest moments of my life was less than a second away.
Reg said, and I am not making this up, “John, sometimes in a marriage you need compromise bread.”
Let me repeat that:
“John, sometimes in a marriage you need compromise bread.”
Kevin started laughing uncontrollably – I’m talking Pac Man Card uncontrollable laughing. Actual tears. I was having trouble staying in my seat myself.
When I regained 100% control I said, “oh my god I am putting that on the internet on Monday.”
Reg said, “I don’t want that on the internet!”
I said, “then you really shouldn’t have said the words ‘compromise bread.’”
I wonder what the compound German word for THAT is.
See you at the Brauhaus on the 11th. Maybe we can find a native and ask.