Last week, I loved my brothers and sister. This week, I love food more. This is our dining issue. Sorry, family, but this week I’m trading you in for a Cotton Bottom garlic burger, an Atlantic Café Greek salad, octopus at Aristo’s, a bowl of Lamb’s lentil soup, Jasmine’s hot & sour soup, some lovin’ barbecue from Q4U, the sushi at Takashi, some miso at Suehiro and just about any meal at Epic. Those are just starters; I’ve got to have some Red Iguana mole, a Moochie’s Philly cheesesteak, Raffi’s Cedars of Lebanon taboule, a cut of Left Fork Grill pie and maybe some Italian Village lasagna. I’m eating through my pain.
Here’s the score card: Of my six brothers to whom I said, “I love you” in last week’s column, one mumbled something unintelligible to me, one said he heard about it and one sent me a text message. My sister said “I love you” back, I’m pretty sure. Ah, well, at least I got it off my chest—but I can already tell my funeral will be a series of short eulogies.
However, outside of the macho men that make up my kin, over the past week, I received more calls and e-mails from readers than I have ever gotten from any column prior—even the ones written with the pure intent of baiting Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson’s letter-writing army. That bunch is as predicable as a Britney Spears’ relapse, and I can always count on them to provide us some, “How dare you say that about the best mayor in the history of the world?” letters to publish when the well runs dry. Rocky has trained them well. I hope Salt Lake City’s next mayor builds a similar network of fawners. We could use the space filler.
If the next mayor is more likeable than Rocky (impossible not to be), there is the real possibility that this newspaper will have to find something else to publish in lieu of letters. On the other hand, it’s only assumed that Ralph Becker or Dave Buhler will remain the nice guys they currently are once one of them begins sitting in the mayor’s chair. Rocky was an alleged nice guy when he was first elected, too. Then, he was sworn in and everything changed—what was it, about 10 minutes after taking office that he began firing people? If I remember, Anderson aides Phil Riesen and Dave Owen were axed about the same time the celebration cake they helped carry through the door was cut. Becker and Buhler aren’t immune to the jackass gene that infects Rocky. I just hope they’re inoculated, even if it means fewer letters.
At least there’s the possibility of another dependable bank of letter writers out there. True, my saying “I love you” to my brothers, sister, mom and family in such a manner last week spurred a couple of queries wondering if I was dying. Those folks wanted to make sure I was on my last oxygen tank so they wouldn’t have to pay me on a debt. Sorry—I still buy green bananas, Mr. A. and Mr. V., so pay up! Another group was hoping to see me one more time so they could collect a debt owed from me. I don’t know why, because, to my recollection, I don’t owe anyone anything. Except one person.
I foolishly bet on my two favorite baseball teams last week, the New York Yankees and the Chicago Cubs. The bet was with an alternative-newspaper associate in another city, whom I will refer to as “Scott.” In a lapse of sanity induced by my paying for an outrageous local hotel bar tab ($66.00 for two rounds of drinks—get this: $12 1-ounce shots of tequila!), I contacted “Scott” (who works in a desert city south of here). I wanted to make up for my loss. I knew he’d be rooting for his beloved Cleveland Indians (his former hometown, I think) who were facing my beloved Yankees and I knew he’d take my bait. After losing the first two games of that series, I added pain to misery by also betting on the Cubs, who were already two games down to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks play in Phoenix, Ariz., but I can’t reveal exactly if that is where “Scott” works, even though he was at those ball games.
The Yankees and Cubs tanked. All told, I ended up losing $300. I e-mailed “Scott” to let him know his check was in the mail. But I’m not sending a check. I’m sending his payment in $1 bills. I’d like to get them all autographed by the lovely dancers at Trails Men’s Club, but I don’t know if I have time for that. If not, I’ll still send the dollar bills, but I’ll enclose a Girls of Trails calendar—the one that doesn’t feature new Utah liquor commissioner and erstwhile covergirl Bobbie Coray. I don’t even know if they have them. I only hope so. I’ll get it autographed. It’ll look better on his office wall than a picture of Cleveland pitcher C.C. Sabathia, that’s for sure. In my opinion, anyway. Not to mention I’ve never met a pole dancer who couldn’t alleviate the bouts of high blood pressure and other ailments that are tangential to members of this industry. In other words, my payoff is really an unselfish act of mercy.
Coupled with my love fest of last week, and this week’s act of pure human decency, I’m prepared to nominate myself for the Nobel Peace Prize. All I need is a second. Anyone out there? Anyone? Family? Scratch that. Anyone?