A Visit to Cosmopolis as Seen from Inside a String of Restaurants (and Some Pinter)

Before I get going, I would like to thank everyone who left comments, a Diaryland note, and sent me e-mails regarding my previous entry. I felt fairly vulnerable posting that, and then I worried that I was an alien again, but you guys knew what I was going on about. You have helped to confirm my non-alienness, which is really quite a relief.

The Fiery One and I spent the weekend in Cosmopolis. I feel guilty even typing that out, because there were a few people I did not see, bump into, call, or in any way alert to our presence in their fair city. This is because I am a very bad person. I promise, though, that the next time I come up, I am going to take a couple of extra days off work so that I can spend some more time enjoying people (such as the old Menno-school crowd) and less time feeling like I was just rushing from one restaurant to the next, ingesting whatever sat in front of me.

Not that going from establishment to establishment was bad. There were three visits to the ever-loved Pig 'n' Faggot, my favourite pub in Cosmopolis and purveyor of the highly addictive deep-fried mozza sticks that transmogrified into much of the thirty pounds I gained prior to mine and the Fiery One's nuptuals. There was much beer-drinking, which is what the Pig 'n' Faggot is all about, and people that I had not seen in ages kept popping up, such as my old friend, Stella, who moved away to eastern Canada, which it seems is becoming the black hole for everything and everyone good I know in this country.

It has become a tradition to eat at Norm's, my favourite Vietnamese restaurant, whenever the Fiery One and I come through town, so a bunch of us got together there on Saturday afternoon. My lovely Frances and her beau were there, and she made me realize that I am definitely not coming up to Cosmopolis enough. I will endeavour to travel more in the future. For some reason, she makes me remember why it is that I write and create stuff at all.

We ate diner-style food in a fifties-style restaurant where a full one-third of the patrons were under the age of three and one mother had fallen into that horrible trap of treating everyone as though she were their pre-school teacher. She had a large heart appliqued on the front of her toque, and when we asked if there was a table ready, she turned around, squinched up her face at me and said "oops, I think we totally scooped your table." I felt like responding with "oops, my fist just totally connected with your chin." Why do some grown women revert to acting all cutesy with other adults? I don't even like children who act like that, for fuck's sake.

We also ate at a (after those last three words, it feels as though I should just quit typing; it's like the letters are dropping off to some natural silence) gallery/café with excellent roasted vegetable sandwiches. The soup of the day was Thai Vegetable, and I contested the naming of it, because there was nothing specifically Thai about the vegetables in question, namely celery and onion and green pepper. Starcat, Batty, and the Fiery One insisted that I was wrong in assuming that Thai was modifying vegetable. They contended that both Thai and vegetable were modifying soup, which I think is stupid. That would mean that Wild Herbed Mushroom soup would mean that the soup and not the mushrooms was wild. WILD SOUP EVERYBODY! RUN OR BE SPILLED UPON!

This topic naturally segued into a conversation about the grammar and spelling errors in the menu. Starcat asked me if I carried a Sharpie marker with me to correct such indecencies. Normally, this would seem like a strange question, but I am just anal enough for that to be a possibility. If language is going to be in use in public on things like menus, road signs, billboards, and what have you, they should employ proper use of the language. And no, I don't presently carry a Sharpie with me to commit random acts of grammar correction, but I have seriously considered it.

Batty then picked up my lip balm to read the ingredients. He had first noticed it, because I was applying it where I don't have a moustache (really, I don't, at least not heavily) instead of on my lips (my skin has decided to freak out in every way possible, doing its best to be greasy and dry and peeling and acne ridden on different parts of my face all at the same time every day, which is lurvely).

Batty: You know this has castor seed oil in it.
Me: You mean like what they make ricin with? (Ricin being one of the deadliest poisons known to man).
Batty: Yes.
Me: Well, it's a slow death, but it smells good.

And then we all had much book talk.

I am telling this out of order now, but I had a potentially very embarrassing moment at this gallery/café. I was standing at the coffee condiments counter, thinking about nothing in particular while adding cream to my cup, but when I looked down, there was no cream in it at all. I looked into the garbage at my right and noticed that I had opened up creamers three times in a row and poured them straight into the garbage. I looked furtively over my shoulder to see if I was in anyone's line of sight, and thankfully I was not. I'm starting to wonder if all those psychedelics I did in my twenties are finally catching up with me.

So, yes, a good weekend was had by the Fiery One and I, although it zipped by too quickly. Perhaps it was all the time spent sitting in restaurants with little in the way of doing a variety of activities. Next time I think we'll at least attempt to slip in something like shopping or urban climbing.

"Restaurant" by Harold Pinter

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