Thursday, March 3, 2016

Skates and Unicorns

And people say I play my cards close to the vest.

To think that I could know someone for 20 years and just now find out he's not only a member of the Screen Actors' Guild, but that he was in a film with Harry Connick, Jr.? That he's been in multiple commercials? What?

The only reason it even came up was because I casually asked if he'd seen any good movies lately, at the theater or on Netflix. No, he tells me, he doesn't bother because he gets DVDs sent to his house by SAG. You know, so he can watch them and decide what to vote for.

Which, incidentally, he doesn't do. Watch or vote, that is. About all he does is pay his dues and occasionally act, it seems. But that's apparently a luxury people who bought Apple stock in 1994 have.

All this came to light over lunch at Can Can, not usually one of my first choices, except today's plat du jour was fried skate wing frite, so there was no place I'd rather have been.

I wasn't alone in that, either, since the food runner who dropped it off looked at it longingly and said, "I wish that was for me. It's amazingly good, but we only get a limited number and there's never any left by the time my shift is over."

The perfectly crispy golden exterior, the flaky white meat, the creamy butter sauce and the pile of fries the size of my head made for a pretty spectacular lunch, I have to say. Meanwhile, my friend had a Caesar salad with salmon (shoot me now) and regaled me with stories of the karate classes he's taking for the first time since college.

When he described a particularly gruesome kick to the shin that resulted in a knot the size of a baseball, I asked to see the collateral damage but he denied me a gander at the black and blue stage (I"d rather look at your legs"). Just wait till it gets to the green and yellow stage, my friend.

Not long after asking me to explain gluten and carbs - I continue to be astounded at how little basic nutritional knowledge some people have - he began telling me that he's found the easiest thing to give up in life is sweets. Conveniently, our server soon arrived with the dessert menu, explaining that the pastry chef was a CIA graduate who made everything in house.

"She's like the unicorn of Can Can," she said earnestly. "She comes in the middle of the night and then there are desserts in the morning, but people who've worked here for years have never actually seen her." When I cracked wise about the odd hours, she quipped, "Oh, it's definitely an alternative lifestyle."

Yea, and who among us doesn't have one of those?

Soon, two spoons arrived followed by three profiteroles stuffed with housemade ice cream and swimming in a bath of chocolate Chambord sauce with toffee topping. For somebody who finds it no big deal to eschew sweets, my companion's spoon worked its way down the plate almost to mine.

But then, living without sweets is an alternative lifestyle nobody really wants, or at least, nobody I want to have lunch with.

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