Monday, October 13, 2008
Together 4 Ever
I'm at Waldbaums in Long Beach with Larry. We're picking up some cold cuts for a lunch with Larry's mom, as well as his brother Andy and his girlfriend Lisa. As we approach the deli section, I cringe. There are four people on line.
I hear you. Four people? That's it? Well, in Waldbaums, four people is like 10 at a normal deli counter and that's because everyone behind the counter moves at a snail's pace, shuffling along, making small talk about nothing with the people on line, giving them samples to "test" out.
Remember that scene in Meet the Parents where Ben Stiller is the only passenger waiting to board, yet the woman at the podium refuses to let him on the plane out of row sequence?
I feel his pain.
Larry has no shopping list, preferring instead to order items as they come to him. I'm fine with this arrangement until he decides that it would be faster if two people waited on us instead of one.
"Order half a pound of pepper turkey," he says out of the corner of his mouth.
I step forward to the man who is not helping anyone - because there is no one else there.
"Are you together?" asks the do do bird.
"Yes," I admit.
"Well, I gotta help someone else, then," he says, yelling "Next!" to the empty area.
I get the urge to shove his head in the bread slicer.
I throw my hands up in the air and walk away. When I come back, Larry has me try it again, with another asshole.
"Are you together?"
"Oh, come on!" I say this time, hoping to warm his heart. Larry grits his teeth and looks at me, disappointed because I am about as slick as a brillo pad.
Now I feel stupid because I can not pull this off. Had Larry told me to do this before we got to the counter, it would be easy, and I could watch their shocked faces as I casually tossed my cold cuts into his cart.
"Hey!" they'd yell, blubbering on about rules and order. I would wait for Larry to walk away, then I'd just stick my tongue out at them.
But alas, we are forever linked in the minds of the fucking shit-head do do birds at Waldbaum's deli counter, with their hideous yellow subway tile wall backdrop.
On a brighter note, when we get to the self-checkout, the machine malfunctions and forgets to ring up the salami. Whoops!