Sunday, April 02, 2006

the weekend

Updated4.08.06 5:41pm EST

The weekend is for not doing things.

Not setting the alarm. Not shaving. Not getting dressed until well into the afternoon.
Over the course of a typical Saturday I will migrate from my computer chair to the living room couch to the attic bed where the video games are set up, and back to the couch. At some point I will decide that something constructive needs to be done with the day. This usually coincides with my being hungry. Often I will make my own lunch. I have several reliable recipes which all make heavy use of condiments.

However, sometimes I will pickup fast food. Taco Bell is a favorite, but Taco Bell is disgusting, and that is the point. If you cannot get pleasure from the greasy fatty grossness of Taco Bell you will have a hard time enjoying life. Besides, the taco supreme has tomatoes; those are good for you. So I cross the border, and return home to eat and read my daily list of blogs.

A few years ago Taco Bell commercials featured Dick Vitale, the irritatingly enthusiastic college basketball announcer who adds the suffix "Baby!" to every sentence. In these commercials Vitale was promoting some new menu item, which was most likely a hybrid of several other items, in a move that only Taco Bell could pull off. The gist of these ads was that a family was
driving, lost. Vitale would appear with the new Franken-Taco and deliver the tagline, Its serendipity baby!

I hate to admit that this is how I learned the word "seredipity," but I immediately took a liking to the word. I like the idea of serendipitous events. Just yesterday I was speaking with a friend of mine and we somehow got on the subject of smells. It may have been because she lives above one of the pungent Indian restaurants on First Avenue. She told me that she is very interested in smells. She wants to write about them. Feeling for a moment like a creative writing professor I recommended she read Patrick Suskinds Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. But I don't like perfume she objected. She is
a very eager girl, though I did manage to explain something of the book, which seemed to placate her.

At home I have two bookcases. One contains books that I have read, the other contains books that I have not. I felt it was dishonest to anyone who might be perusing my shelves to have them intermingled. Thanks to a recent discarded book sale by my local library the Unread shelf has recently surpassed the Read shelf. For this reason I put myself on a strict book buying hiatus. No more new books, no matter how interesting one may appear, until the ratio of read to unread is measurably better. I reminded myself of this when approaching the used book sellers
who set up along West Fourth Street. I stopped to look anyway an exercise in restraint, or a form of torture. And right there, the very first book face up on the table was an absolutely pristine copy of Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, for only $5. Now maybe this book had been there for weeks and I only noticed today because the book had been brought up previously and
there was now some context. But maybe it was a new arrival, so to speak. Occurrences like this are the closest thing to Karma that I believe in, so I take them somewhat seriously. What I mean is that I was now required to buy this book by the gods of serendipity, here manifested as Dick Vitale, and deliver it to my soon departing companion. I could not do this exactly as she was not home, but I left it in an evelope on her stoop.

But as I browse various websites I come to one describing the plight of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a group of laborers who pick the tomatoes that are sold to Yum! Brands, the corporate parent of Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Pizza Hut, among others. I am asked to sign a petition, and participate, or enforce, a boycott basically of all things Yummy.

Refusing to do so basically means that I am supporting the heartless conglomerate over the oppressed proletariat. I am of unsure how to handle this.

I tear open a pack of "fire" hot sauce, and ooze it onto my taco. I take a bite and feel the crunch of tortilla shell, the softness of the sour cream slightly warmed by the granulated beef. Lettuce hangs from my upper lip, a red and clear emulsion of grease runs down my chin.


1 comment:

Kate said...

I love the way you write,I would happily read a book written by you.