Friday, April 07, 2006

A Shit Steak With

When I was down and out in Buttfuck Tucson, Arizona, I was instructed by my future Co-Defendant, who was letting me stay on his couch, not to worry about paying half the rent or even a portion of the taco tab.

No, he’d have none of that. After all, we Philadelphians are hospitable, are we not?

“Just get a job – any job,” he exhorted me. I know what that meant. He was being stern with an old friend, and I needed that. So there would be no lard-assing it, and as soon as I had enough money, I’d be compelled to get my own place right away and continue my career as a loser on my own.

The plan worked. Naturally enough, having ample restaurant experience in Philly as cook and customer, I went to a rather unremarkable cheese steak shop and applied for the opening as “kitchen help.” (This was back in the old days when something called a newspaper was printed where you scoured classified ads to look for a job. Craigslist was still years away from doing the same thing over the Net.)

Don’t worry – I’m getting to tonight’s Phillies game. But you have to hear this first:

On my first day on the job, I was told that some 19-year-old druggie dude on parole named Joe would “train” me. He was the “grill manager.” That was funny, I thought. Some kid’s going to teach a grown-up from Philly how to make a cheese steak. I couldn’t wait.

Well, I didn’t have long to wait for the fun to begin. The doors opened for business and Joe wasn’t there. Something about drinking too much tequila. Unfortunately, some dickhead medical supply salesman had ordered 20 cheese steaks at 10 a.m. for a luncheon. And Joe wasn’t there. The owner, who I’ll call Penis Shaft, commanded a flitty 16-year-old to “train” me, but first he needed to make that order. Problem was, he was a “hoagie” guy, and had never made more than two cheese steaks at a time. He was panicked.

“No problem,” I told the kid, who had one of those “Goth” haircuts and later admitted to me he jerked off to Madonna’s “Sex” book in his off hours. “Where’s the meat?”

“But…”

“Just give me the fucking meat.”

We were in business. I laid out all the meat, chopped it just right, got the rolls ready, and before you could say “Juan Samuel” had the 20 cheese steaks – some with, some without – done to perfection, juicy exemplars of our city’s treasure, my heritage: The Cheese Steak. The owner, a stout Teuton with a flat top, was furious.

“Who told you to make the cheese steaks, Lou?” Penis Shaft screamed.

“Nobody – but if that guy wants to get served, somebody had to take a little initiative,” I explained. “Besides, even when your trainer sobers up and gets here, I have a lot more experience making cheese steaks the right way.”

Suffice it to say, every day at “Philly’s Finest” was a struggle. Penis Shaft was miserable he had real talent on his staff; somebody to tell him, “No, pepper and eggs are not made with jalapenos where I come from.”

Which brings us to the Phillies.

Tonight, we lost to the Boys in Baby Blue, the motherfucking gay-ass Dodgers, and I’m beginning to detect an emerging pattern akin to my experience at the cheese steak shop.

For one, this team needs to show up for the game. They were buried early on Opening Day and they were buried early tonight. Just like my parolee trainer, they have trouble getting out of the gate, and before you know it, you’re 20 cheese steaks behind. Or four runs behind in the second inning, like tonight.

Secondly, you have to admit it isn’t too farfetched to believe Gavin Floyd is a true head case. Maybe he could get a “Goth” haircut and jerk off to Madonna. Whatever it takes to win. But I can see how his hand might be a little sore after tossing 50-odd pitches in less than three innings.

Moreover, although Sal Fasano is a jolly fat Italian, somebody please bitch-slap and implore play-by-play flunky Scott Graham to never, ever, EVER again tag him as “in line to become the new folk hero” for Phillies fans.

If Sally wants to get down, play the accordion and put his monkey on MySpace.com, let him do it on his own, Scotty. Until then, Philly’s got enough folk heroes; just check out the roster of local politicians who have become prisoners lately. Besides, Fasano ain’t gonna get many at-bats with Mike Lieberthal, who, like the girl at the cash register at the cheese steak shop, is more worried about his family in California and his mutual fund portfolio than earning his money. Only in this case, it’s millions more than the dumb chick. And her portfolio is full of pussy deodorizer.

I’ll tell you the most depressing thing about this loss. Since when does the Taiwanese Little League have our lineup’s number? For Chrissakes, who the fuck IS Hong Chih Kuo? I’ll tell you what he is: The Taiwan Terrorist. He ripped up the meat of our order with a meat cleaver of a 90 mph fastball. Say what? Yeah, that’s right: And five of the six outs were strikeouts.

“Hey, what’s wrong with you, asshole? Don’t you love misery?” you’re probably saying about now.

You’re right. I revel in it. But at least make it interesting. I do not like to be BORED.

And don’t fuck up my cheese steak, Penis Shaft.

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