Friday, July 1, 2011

I'm Kind of a Big Deal

Our night out in Memphis. Don't we look
like we a recipe for a hangover?!?
I got to be on television! 
Patrick and I drove to Memphis, TN to visit friends and go to a Dave Matthews Band and Willie Nelson concert a few summers ago. Do I even need to say it was HOT outside? We had gallons of sweat dripping in unspeakable places. 
Of course we were very thirsty, and on vacation, so we stayed up all night drinking and barhopping with our friends until about 4am. It was actually pretty cool because we went to this secret attic bar that had no closing time on top of a regular bar and a old black fellow made the most simple drinks for cash only and we sat next to a very antique piano and talked the night and a good portion of the early morning away. (I just set a record for using the word "and" too many times in a single run-on sentence.) Everything was within walking distance to their apartment, so the worst that could have happened was injury or public intoxication, right? 
The next day we needed some good old fashioned greasy fried food to settle our stomachs and was directed to Gus' Chicken, "It's the best fried chicken in Memphis," everyone said. Who were we to judge? So we went. 
I don't remember anyone warning me of how spicy the chicken was there, and they don't make gravy. . . . .it's considered a disgrace. I decided my upper gastrointestinal system couldn't possibly burn worse than my lower, so I ate my chicken. I must have made it look delectable too, because Adam with Man VS Food, totally came over to me and asked if he could "live vicariously through me" and listen to the crust crunch through my smacking. I hadn't swallowed yet when he asked me to take another bite, so all I could do was laugh at how full and on fire my mouth was! 
That was such a fun trip.

When I was travel-nursing in California, people used to mistake my accent for ridiculously wrong regions all the time. I don't think I ever worked an entire shift without some dumbo asking me where I was from and guessing completely off the wall places. Once a cardiologist came up to me and said, "Hey are you from Memphis?" I was tired of the accent antics, so I gave him my most sarcastically annoyed look and said, "No, [you idiot] I'm from Texas." Then he said, "Oh, I'm sorry, I just assumed you were from Memphis because I thought I recognized you from T.V."
My heart almost stopped for a half second; good thing I was standing next to a heart specialist! Some complete stranger recognized ME from t.v.? Is this like a movie star's dream come true? Where's my paycheck? Where's my personal assistant? When I asked him how he recognized me, he said my pigtails gave it away. That's the only bad part about having really short hair; I have to give up my trade mark hair style for the easy breezy one.
That show airs reruns of this episode all the time, and several fellow food-loving people I know mention that they've seen me on t.v., but nothing beats having a stranger recognize me! That was a brilliant moment I'll always remember.
Since then, we try to visit one of the 3 places the show features whenever we go to a new city. My favorite was when we lived in Los Angeles, and we went to El Tapeyac Cafe. That old little Hispanic guy that owns the joint is just a personable and charismatic in real life as he is on the show. We've been twice for the 5lb burrito and each time the ingredients are delicious, and the 'ol man ALWAYS offers you a free beer- in a cup, just like on a t.v. show when a person orders a beer and doesn't specify what kind they want, "I'll have a beer please," you have no idea what kind of beer you are getting. Don't ask questions; it's free! And tasty- sits at the table and talks to you for a while, and gives all the girls a hug and kiss on her way out the door. Love that place.
And I thought Gypsy Travellers where modestly poor.....
There's a show Patrick found called My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and the girls wear dresses up to 300lbs! Some of them actually have life-long scars on their hips from the weight of the dresses and are proud because it means their dress must have been ginormous and expensive. I watched as their spouses couldn't even get close to them because the dress was so voluptuous. The people are British and some of them have such thick accents that TLC thought it necessary to add subtitles so us Americans can understand English, which is hilarious to me. They marry extremely young, and I can't even fathom that there is enough of this going on to make an entire series of. You go with your bad self TLC.

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