Thursday, February 24, 2011
Uncle Ralph Chimes In: Execute!
I always hear you talking about giving people "the benefit of the doubt." This means that you start every interaction trusting people. There's your first mistake, Johnny. You've got to let go of that instinct that everyone has some good in them. That kind of thinking may have worked for Anne Frank, but it won't work in this day and age. People need to earn their credibility.
If we all assume we are all untrustworthy from the get, there'd be a lot less heartache and drama, I guarantee it. And a lot less time wasted on waiting for these cheeseholes to follow through with what they promised to do. There's many a scoundral who count on your credulity, sport, and use it to their benefit and your expense.
Next step to saving time: never order Italian food in a restaurant in the Bible Belt. My neice dragged me to Nashville for her annual nerd migration. Jesus Christ, you'll never seen more buttheads in one room than you would at the Nashville Comic Con. But we were staying at a Hampton Inn and didn't have a car. So, we had to rely on the hotel bus to get around. My neice, being the kind of girl who tromps along where the wind blows her insisted that we get the driver's advice about where to eat. "He's a local," she said. Local, schmocal, says I. I mean, he was wearing diamond encrusted horseshoe ring, for Chrissake! What the hell does he know about a decent place to eat?
He asked us if we liked EYE-talian food; he had a favorite in mind for us. My neice of course said yes. She loves Italian food. We're from the northeast and we've got real Italians in our town who make real Italian food. What's not to love? I was skeptical. I didn't recall seeing any Italians wondering around the Nashville Music Center. I didn't see any Italian restaurants between the airport and the hotel, other than 'Sbarro, if you can count that, which I don't. I don't remember seeing any shows on the History Channel about any "Great Italian Migration" trapsing through the south, dropping pockets of immigrants who carried with them hundreds of years of traditional Italian cooking. There is no reason in the world that the meal we were about to eat would be memorable other than by the misery it would cause.
And I was right.
I might as well have ordered ramen noodles with ketchup on top. When I asked for crushed red peppers, our waitress looked at me like I'd asked for an Alpha Centauri Whoredog. But rather than admitting she didn't know what the hell I wanted, she suggested that she could come back with some fresh ground pepper, the old condiment standby. But I ate this abomination abondanza and thought of my possibilities in the afterlife as a distraction. It was gross, son.
I don't fault the driver; how the hell would he know good Eye-talian food from a kick in the nuts? But I say this: If you want a particular type of specialty food, don't get it in a place not known for that thing. You wouldn't order hush puppies in Milan...so don't order Italian food in the South. Trust me on this one; it'll save a lot of time. And you can trust me; I've pulled your dumb ass out of more tight spots than you've got holes in your head.
And don't give me that business about how I shouldn't judge the entire Bible Belt's Italian food offerings based on one experience in one city in one state. I'm sure some people there know Italian from Shinola. But I'm not going to waste my time looking for a noodle in a haystack, bub. And that's what I'm talking to you about right now: My time and not wasting it. And I'm sharing my wisdom with you, so don't you give me any lip.