on the off-chance that we ingest enough margaritas to impair driving, chuck and i take the bus to superior, wisconsin, tonight for dinner at guadalajara. this restaurant may be located in the saddest place on earth: superior's mariner mall, which really isn't a mall at all. it's a speedwalking track framed by chiropractic clinics, that seemingly only one reebok'd woman knows about. she has the run of the place.
full disclosure here. i forgot to mention in yesterday's post that on thursdays i tend to eat the combined weight of a fleet of bison in restaurant food. like the whole world is my very own old country buffet and i have a golden fork. after my second strawberry fanta in a row last thursday, i burped and sneered at chuck: i'm trying to consume as many calories as possible.
while we're waiting for our transfer bus at the holiday center, a man who will eventually be a busmate, is picking his nose and using his excavated findings to create art on the glass doors. it seems i was wrong when i hypothesized that duluth had just three types of people.
"it will be a miracle if i'm still hungry when we get there," i tell chas.
the tv in the bar is giving me political news and commercials in spanish. i'm trying to pick out words -- aside from 'clinton' and 'obama' -- that i recognize from a text book i read in 1993.
the ball is rolling. i'm vowing to myself that i'll relearn spanish via telenovella immersion. this is my new project. sitting cross-legged, back straight, in front of baby tv, repeating the phrases aloud:
"¡Pero juan, ella es mi hermana!"
"hola," the mexican bartender says, walking past as my reverie is taking shape.
"hola," i respond automatically, then inwardly groan.
while, in the early '80s, it was my mom who absorbed the texan accent of another hockey mom in any conversation that lasted more than four seconds, it was my dad who pulled out a british-pig latin hybrid when we were at the epcot center years later.
"'elo," an employee said as we toured a gift shop.
"hoi," my dad responded.
s'fire and ick-nay, vegans, join us.
"do the beans have lard in them?" s'fire asks our waiter, an ambivilent, lard-afficianado sort.
the waiter shrugs, pencil still poised, without realizing that this is an actual question and not an icebreaker.
"what, you don't like lard?" the waiter asks, incredulous, like maybe after work he's the sort of guy who likes to veg out on the couch and do lard shots out of his girlfriends naval and can't believe not everyone shares this proclivity.
"i just don't eat animal products," s'fire explains.
the waiter nods, confused, pencil still poised.
"yeah, i don't know," the waiter says.
the pause is palpable. it tastes like crisco.
"i could go ask," he says. not like he's going to, but like hypothetically if this situation were to occur in the future he would know what to do.
after some deliberation, cheese and sour creamless veggie fajitas are ordered.
"do you still want the beans?" the waiter asks.
"yes," s'fire says.
"'cuz i've never seen any lard back there," the waiter says confidently.
and here is where i picture a wooden keg -- a mis en place -- with the word 'lard' writen in cartoonish font on the side. a half-dozen cooks dumping ice cream bucket-fulls onto the grill, kneading it into their dry forearms, walking through it barefoot to cure callouses and sometimes doing that prank where they douse a friend with it in slow motion while the song "good vibrations" plays in the background.
the fajitas come with sour cream.
thankfully, ick-nay drives us back across the bridge, thank god since we'd chittered right through the last bus outta dodge. considering it took three hours to drink one margarita, i'm guessing my car could have been a reasonable mode of transportation.
then, finally, i get to have the moment i've been waiting for since i heard of its inception: