Saturday, April 2, 2016


Artist: Bananarama
LP: 12" single
Song: "Do Not Disturb"
[ listen ]

I know I probably shouldn't let it disturb me, but the El Camión taco truck up the street has really been stressing me out lately. I went there the other night and waited in line behind a man who seemed slightly annoyed that I was standing so close to him as he got to the counter to place his order (mostly I just didn't want to get run over by a car). But then I heard him tell the cashier that he was homeless and he asked if they had any food they were getting rid of that he could have. As the cashier asked the cook, I decided that, if they told him they didn't, maybe I would offer to buy him something to eat. The cashier told him they had nothing to give and, as the man walked away, I thought to myself: "I think I should; no, maybe I shouldn't; I really should; but maybe I shouldn't; I should. Should I?" By the time I realized that of fucking course I should, the man had already walked around the corner. At that point I would have had to stage an elaborate, attention-grabbing musical production to retrieve him and bring him back to the window to order some food. So instead, I stepped quietly forward, ordered my food and paid for it. After all, I'm not homeless and I have a job. I can order a huge burrito that's way bigger than any burrito reasonably needs to be, but I will still eat it all because I have the money to pay for it, and so well why not. I realized pretty quickly that I'd just missed a golden opportunity to put my money where my mouth is and I was ashamed. What kind of man am I anyway?

Then last night I went back to El Camión because I needed another burrito—un burrito de carne asada. Unfortunately, just as I arrived there, the truck was beset upon by one of those flash mobs made of young urban professionals who all have the same personality, one that doesn't really have a lot of features to speak of. They probably like sports. Some of the youngsters were in line ahead of me, but two of them were directly behind me in line. I overheard one of the guys behind me reveal to the other that he was totally burned out at work; he's just been showing up there each day and going through the motions. He's been completely unproductive. Then they began to discuss what they were going to order for dinner, which involved yelling at each of the other young professional flash mobsters to ask what they had ordered for dinner, or what they were planning to order for dinner. It was the most banal conversation I'd heard in months. When one of the two guys behind me in line told the other that he had decided to order a carne asada burrito, I knew instantly and without a doubt that, when my own carne asada burrito order was called out at the pick-up window, that guy there was gonna' take it. Moments later, when the gal at the window called out, "carne asada burrito!" and I stepped forward, the burned out young professional moved in ahead of me and nabbed my food. He gave me a sideways look, after which I resigned myself to waiting for his burrito to appear at the window for me. Of course I realize that he didn't take my burrito on purpose—he did it without thinking, like he does everything else in life. I realized pretty quickly that I'd just missed a golden opportunity to put my mouth where my money is and I was ashamed. When I got home and was eating that guy's burrito, I had to pick three big cilantro stems out of it. I thought to myself, "I bet my burrito only had two." 

Now I've earned a free burrito with my El Camión punch card, but I'm scared to go back since I keep having to take such a cold, hard look at myself there.

On a completely unrelated note, I bet I've got more Bananarama 12" singles than anyone else in town.

[ Bananarama ]

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