July 30, 2005

The Sling: Day Three

[Note: No, I don't plan to do this for every day I have to wear it, just until I, umm...have something else to say!]

So as mentioned below, today I went to the San Jose Grand Prix and I was in full arm-protection mode. Silly as it may sound, I grabbed one of those little freebie fans on giant popsicle sticks and whenever I got into a crowd situation, I would hold it out in front of my sling like the flimsiest of shields. It either got peoples' attention because it was unusual, or it served to brush against people before they bumped me and they moved aside enough to avoid it...and thus me. It actually worked, and I had a convenient fan to wave around when it was needed.

But my little moment of ingenuity couldn't overcome one force: my own instinctive reaction. When I finally got near the track for the first time and a car went by at full speed, it produced a gust of wind that lifted up some leaves and debris from the area between me and the track, and it blew something right up into my face. And I reacted without thinking - I lifted my hands, both my hands, to protect my eyes. That move was an eye-opener, and I couldn't speak for a few minutes afterward for gasping with pain.

The day went by without additional incident, and suddenly it was time for dinner. (How's that for a transition?) I decided to try a new restaurant I'd read about in the local paper called Rio Adobe. It's a Southwestern/Mexican kind of place with a simple menu and, as it turns out, really good food. A friend went with me and we both chose burritos, mine a delicious concoction of plump, delicious, lime-marinated shrimp, tomatoes and rice. I took a few stabs at cutting it and eating it that way, but I soon tired of the cutting part and did what I often do when the tortilla part isn't working for me (usually when it tastes like cardboard, or is too thick or not cooked enough -- not the case here, it was completely a matter of circumstance), I dumped out the filling, scooped out the good stuff, and started mixing it up with the yummy black beans on the side.

As I'm in the process of slowly doing this one-handed, I overhear the pompous guy at the next table comment to the woman with him, "Oh, that's why I never order burritos, they just stuff them with rice to fill them up." I rolled my eyes but I didn't look over because if he had nothing better to do than make observations while watching me casually take the filling out of my burrito, it was his problem not mine.

But wait, there's more. He crosses his arms superciliously and goes on to query, "Do you know what burritos remind me of?" Now, my mind drifted in a totally different direction for a moment here because of my theory on how burritos got their name, so I didn't hear what the brain trust with him said, but it wasn't the "right" answer. He pauses for effect and announces: "Haggis." There is silence from the chick while she digests this (so to speak), but I drop my hand and fork to my plate and turn to gape at him with astonishment and disgust because this is MY dinner he's talking about. Turnabout is fair play, however, and he ignores me while he goes on to ask her, "Do you know what haggis is?" (If you don't know, go visit Keeme.) Of course she doesn't, so he starts to explain while I tune him out and go back to getting my very non-haggis-like meal ready for me to eat more easily.

When what I really wanted to do was throw the remaining guacamole at him, call him a sanctimonious prick and tell him to keep his eyes on his own damned table.

But the guacamole was really good and that would have been a waste.