Bureaucracy of the pita

Should I dare title a post if I cannot spell the first word without help of spell check, then, when it failed to recognize miserable attempts at it, finally turned to Google who came promptly through with it’s auto-spell check search feature.

I do dare. These are the truths of writing nowadays, and I must get back to it. Writing. Spelling bombs or not, well, I spell check and honor (some semblance of) style guides rules — some days AP, on other Chicago Manual and yet on other, Microsoft Manual of Style. I do still keep a volume of M-W on the bookshelf. It’s dusty. I don’t dust it anymore. Oh, and the hazards of straying from writing, on return, to amble on writing — words wasted . . .

I am at the office today. Yesterday I worked at home for another car-related issue, the kind of car-related issue Gotham folks without garages deal with every couple days, that thank-dogfully I’ll only have to deal with until my garage repairs are finished, ahead of the November-end schedule. Do we know all too well how ahead-of-schedule construction can take an easy turn to the low path. With this, as all things in life now, I harbor no Hope. Hope is the name of a character on Days of Our Lives. I am no Hope. I harbor no such delusions of Hope . . .

The morning was hectic, continued from yesterday’s hectic, and so many recent days’ hectic, this one, for a man who shops the globe for his plum job with Anthropologie clothing, and now a plum pudding gig for Robert Redford. Once I realized I was looking at the same things on the screen, check, check, check, over and over again, in that mouse in its wheel sort of way, sounds of my stomach burst the seal of tunnel existence and off I went to lunch. Nothing glamorous. Most days working at the office, or even when I WAH, typically eat in my cube playing Farmville (I’m nearing level 25 but still cannot ketsup on my beau) . . .

Today, I continued with the recent anti-calorie, nutrient-packed ‘self-invented’ diet craze I’ve set myself on. I am a size 28 (aka vanity size six) in jeans, pants and skirts and I don’t like it, not a bit. A four foot high and growing pile of designer and beloved zeros, twos and fours tipped over the weekend, gently crashing to the floor in the direction of the closet. They want back in. They do not want to go off to some unknown closet of an Etsy girl or eBay winner. Again, it seems, Hope may be lost for I ripped clear up the derriere just this morning, in a fit of fleeting deluded Hope, my bff Levi’s who had been a constant companion the past six years. I weep silently as I tap at keys, but in these blues will not return to my old bff . . .

Moshe’s downstairs, though it sells mainly falafel, I’ll tag it a meat truck. The line shuffled quick, not too long before they called me next to order. “Mushroom barley soup with a whole pita and side of pickles.” Food man to the left told me only half a pita, while the man in the middle, money man told me nine fifty. I stared at him like he was joking. He stared back plainly. He wasn’t. He didn’t understand my order. I asked for a whole pita. That didn’t compute. Whole falafel pita computed. The food man to the left knew that and explained to him. Then both of them at once to me, oh no nos, no whole pita, only half a pita. “The boss counts the pitas,” the food man on the left (versus the food man on the right taking someone else’s order who obviously knows how things work with Moshe’s meat truck) followed with more oh no nos. “I’ll pay for it,” opening my wallet to show them I mean to do business. “You want pickles? Six for a dollar. I’ll give you extra pickles.” As if extra pickles will make up for it.

The extra pickles did make up for it. One less half a pita is less the fresh-made starchy pita calories, which is how I got myself into this size six mess to begin with. On the walk of pride back to the building, I muttered to myself but quietly aloud about the politics of the pita, the sheer bu-rea-u-cra-cy of it, “The boss counts the pita,” “One less half pita means one less soup they can sell with half a pita.”

That’s what it’s about. In this economy, there’s no chances taken stocking extra pita halves.

This is dedicated in honor of Gourmet magazine and its editor Ruth Reichl and all the folks who published one classy rag since 01941. RIP Gourmet.

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