Arlo & Janis set me back a moment this past Sunday, until I re-read it and realized Arlo was talking about when wings went national, not when they were invented.
Of course, wings were invented at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, and what KFC and others have done is turned good bar food into mediocre fast food, plus skyrocketing the price of parts that used to be shelved over with the gizzards and other entrails.
I first had wings in 1971, not at the Anchor Bar but about eight miles away in Tonawanda, where my folks were living, which date I can pin down because they had recently moved there and which meal I remember because (A) I thought Buffalo wings were the best idea I’d come across in a very long time and (B) my dad asked if I had informed my draft board that I’d dropped out of college.
To which I responded that I wasn’t participating in the draft anymore, and whatever was dribbled on those wings wasn’t nearly as hot as the conversation that ensued. My father, like Arlo’s, was a great veteran.
But I do think of wings as one of those missed opportunities our lives are full of, because then-wife and I briefly discussed bringing them to Colorado, which would have put us well ahead of KFC and, besides, we wouldn’t have turned them into crap as the bulk of the imitators have.
Which was actually the sticking point, since however much I liked various aspects of the restaurant industry, serving alcohol to people who ought to be home with their kids but who in any case sure can’t be loud and obnoxious here was enough to put me off it.
And, yes, you can have a diner without a liquor license but when the main thing on your menu is bar food, and you are determined not to screw it up by turning it into fast food, you kind of need a bar.
Oh well. I coulda been a contender. I could have been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am.
Though, as Adam@Home affirms, the naps are more than adequate compensation.
Working at home is a pretty sweet gig, though the fictional aspect of Adam@Home is that he appears to earn enough to support a family, or at least to chip in enough that his wife hasn’t tumbled to the realities.
I’ve often noted that the best thing about my situation is that it’s just me and the dog, and he thinks sleeping in the park and eating out of Dumpsters would be a blast. We’re about one click above that.
And he also enjoys naps, so there ya go.
Back to the topic of bar food and fast food and such, Betty and Bub have just completed a leisurely dinner of charcuterie, much to Bub’s surprise.
It began back here, with Betty having to explain to him that “charcuterie” and “cold cuts” are two different things.
Which I think means that a slice of bologna is “cold cuts,” but if you cut it into four pieces and drape a pimento over it, ooh-la-la: “Charcuterie”!
Civilizing Bub is an ongoing process for Betty, and, earlier, they went through a brief exercise in footwear nomenclature.
I don’t think I had any overshoes. I had galoshes, which may not be a Dad word so much as a Grandpa word, but I don’t think the ones with zippers were really galoshes.
Galoshes had those brilliant clip closures with the four choices of tightness.
And, when you took them off, your shoes stayed in them.
Speaking of terms you don’t hear much, this reminds me that, when I moved from Colorado to New York, my new job involved a newsroom dress code, and I was told that we couldn’t wear “dungarees.”
Since standard young-hip dress in Colorado then was (unfaded) blue jeans, tattarsall shirt, knit tie and tweed or corduroy jacket with Frye boots, I was taken a little aback, but fortunately owned a couple of pairs of khakis.
Had to wait for my first paycheck to get some loafers, though, and, in the meantime, my ropers were a subject of some wonder and mystification among them Easterners.
See? No dungarees. And you can’t see their feet, but they’re not wearing galoshes, either.
Further language notes come from Francis, wherein I find myself in the very unusual situation of being comparable to the Pope, because I didn’t think “quid pro quo” was a particularly bothersome term.
Apparently it is, and I note that Nancy Pelosi has switched to the simple term “bribe,” which is kind of incomplete technically but makes up for it in clarity.
And I was about to say that little Nancy D’Alesandro — who is not a “boomer” — certainly heard plenty of Latin in her day, but then remembered that, no, she didn’t, because while the Mass was in Latin, it was mumbled by men and boys with their backs to the congregation.
Though, growing up in an Italian immigrant household, she’d have easily understood it.
Still, while the altar boys knew the Latin responses, we didn’t let no wimmin up there on the altar and, by the time we did, we’d scuttled the secret language.
There was a brief crossover period in which the priest spoke up at various moments and the congregation was supposed to respond with an “Et cum spiritu tuo” (which is God’s phone number) or some such brief phrase.
During that period, there was one part of the Mass where the priest turned to the people and said “Nobis quoque peccatoribus,” which doesn’t require a response because it’s just the first three words of a much longer sentence.
However, we had a dear old lady in our parish who was deaf as a doorpost, but she could hear that and would always respond with a loud “Amen.”
Which became so familiar that we’d occasionally say it, too.
That would get you a snicker at home but it really puzzled people if you did it somewhere else.
Hey, it was just a lapsus linguae.