…it is about the bagel business, or about this bagel business in particular, but Sam’s Bagels in Charles Village seems to rotate through the hands of ever-changing but always Asian ownership. One constant is the booming, techno-beat pop music they all play. Maybe a broken radio, frozen on one station, comes with the store. This morning I entered to a Spanish-language version of “The Macarena,” which segued into the techno mix of “Desert Mystery,” a mainstay of the genre almost as common as “What is Love?”. I have only to hear a few bars of these songs and I am reminded of driving from Frankfurt to Milan with my truckdriver cousin, who played this kind of music non-stop. Somehow, it was the perfect soundtrack for seeing the sun rise over Europe’s highways and industrial zones from a truck’s cab while feeling a little lonely and isolated due to not really speaking German and also being 17.
There was a customer lingering by the counter who seemed to have already ordered. I was just about to give my own order when she interrupted.
“Um, can I just get my bagel, please?” The customer sounded incredulous and impatient.
“It’s toasting,” replied the woman working by herself behind the counter. She must have pointed toward the toaster, though I was studying the cream-cheese selection and didn’t see.
“In the microwave?” asked the customer. What she was really asking was is that what you people think “toasting” means? “I actually didn’t need it toasted.”
Obviously, the bagel was actually in a toaster. The clerk retrieved it and started packaging it to go, saying something like “it’s warm from oven anyway.”
“I know,” muttered the customer. “That’s why I didn’t exactly need it toasted.”
Yesterday I finished all of the writing and text edits to the massive policy paper I’ve been working on. This means that, from here on out, I only need to care about how it looks, which is a relief. After work I made my semi-usual stop at Dizzy Issie’s. On CNN, showing on a TV behind the bar, there was a picture of the Queen of England next to a headline reading “Beer and Pizza.” People sure are making a lot of fuss over this woman who got her job by being born, but to each his own, I guess. It is interesting to think of her touring Jamestown… actually, no. No, it’s not interesting at all.
At the bar there was discussion of the logistics of Greg’s and Erin’s wedding, scheduled for Memorial Day weekend in Baton Rouge. A. and I will get into New Orleans that Wednesday. We’ll stay two nights in the French Quarter, then move to a Baton Rouge hotel for the wedding weekend proper. One reason to stay in New Orleans at first is the big night out in the French Quarter scheduled for that Thursday night. Those staying in BR will have to find some way home that night, but A. and I will be able to just toddle along to our hotel. I’d mention which one, but I don’t want a bunch of paparazzi showing up.
My brother found himself at John Waters’s house for a Film Festival-related party last night and reports that the famous director favors Gillette shaving products.