Drooling on the Pillow

Friday, February 10, 2006

Dial It Back, Akbar 

Our new office is only about five blocks from the old office, but it's an entirely different neighborhood. There, we had a kosher deli and a kosher falafel stand on the premises. You could get Chinese, Mexican, Might-As-Well-Put-A-Gun-To-Your-Head chicken sandwiches and pretty much anything else within a few steps of the building. Here, you can buy a Maserati right downstairs, but you can't get a sandwich within three blocks.

The closest place for me to buy a lottery ticket is my old building. I figure that's because everybody around here has already won the lottery a few generations back.

The most challenging aspect, however, is the bagel problem. I've found only one place on a direct route from my stop to my building that sells actual bagels instead of the Kaiser roll with a hole they sell in the coffee carts. They do a very nice bagel for a good price in no time at all, which is what you want. What you don't want is a merchant with Too Much Personality Syndrome.

This guy is some species of Middle-Eastern and he's putting on a show every morning. The first time I walked in there he hit me like Robin Williams on Benzedrine. Me, I don't really do personality until at least noon so in my disoriented state I answered all his questions and now he knows my name, where I work, my daughter's name, my bagel preferences and, probably, the fact that I favor boxers. Now, when I walk in he shouts out a greeting like we're pledge brothers, he asks about Grace, he announces my order to the counterman (I no longer have any say in the matter) and dispenses homilies and advice. It's almost like mass. An acid mass.

Don't get me wrong. There's nothing menacing about him and he's a really nice guy. If he was sitting at the poker table and I had a couple drinks in me I'd probably enjoy his company.

Not in the morning, though. Not before my first coffee. I'm in a quandary. I can't go back to the coffee carts, but I kind of dread going in there every morning. He's the opposite of the Soup Nazi (who just opened up a shop right around the corner from this guy). He's the Bluebird of Bagels.
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