Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Freedom Fries in the City of Brotherly Love

They throw batteries at their own players (and Santa Claus too). And they still serve freedom fries. The employment hunt brought me down ever so briefly to Philly (apologies to the Philly fam I didn't see, I basically just had time for dinner and hadn't seen Zappy in a long time). The interview went decently, we'll see how things move along. I was kinda taking in Philly as a city because there's the chance this job will require relocation. Traffic = bad, although I've drove in worse.

Anyway, Zappy (dude, we need to come up with a better call sign) is an old friend from my first post college organizing days. Plus, there are times when he makes me look a middle of the road conservative Democrat. After we both left the wretched leadership of let1000flowersdie, we stayed tight (as being in a rough organizing campaign with good people can do). He's now organizing for the only union that chose being kicked out of the AFL-CIO instead of betraying the politics of any of its members or staff. They're also the only union where the President can only make the highest salary grade of all their collective bargaining agreements.

Now, seeing as I hadn't seen him in ages, and the last time I was in Philly I was visiting CharmedChemist, who keeps kosher, with Knucklehead, a kosher vegetarian, it was time for a cheesesteak. We sampled some of both Pat's and Geno's. We hit Pat's first, and it was a great steak, of course I got mine with extra onions, and was going to get American when Zappy admonished me, so I went with the Cheez Whiz. Tactical error was not getting Birch Beer, which they have in the fountain there.

We went to a bar nearby for a drink in between the taste test, and Zappy noted that, at Geno's, there's a picture of Officer Daniel Faulkner, and a picture of Mumia Abu Jamal next to it, with the tagline "In Memory of Officer Faulkner, who was Murdered by Mumia Abu Jamal." I look at Zappy in disbelief, he says, yeah, man, there's a ton of that stuff all over this neighborhood. We head into a neighborhood bar, where a jack on the rocks and pabst draft is six bucks. Not bad, not bad at all. We watch the fucking flyers take a one goal lead, have a few and head back. On round 2, we split one from Geno's. In the argument about who's paying, we start cursing each other out. Zappy got the first round of steak and a round of drinks, I want to return the favor. Zappy, being in his natural state (considerately belligerant), starts cursing me out. The woman at the register asks Zappy if he kisses his mother with that mouth. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that, working at Geno's for however many years, she's heard the words before. On our way away from Geno's, I stared again in disbelief. Not only are their steaks inferior, but they serve "freedom fries". Wow. Zappy and I thought about all sorts of snappy retorts to the register woman, including, "Actually, my mom is dead, she was killed by Mumia." Or walking up with a steak from Pat's, ordering a whole ton of stuff, then cursing a lot and noting that Geno's subs are inferior anyway.

Zappy, my stomach is screaming in pain, while my taste buds are greatful.

Philly's not all that bad.

On the other hand, they throw batteries at santa claus. How much shit would I get for my NY sports team gear?


Anonymous Desh said...

Naah, we only throw snowballs at Santa. The batteries are reserved for J.D. Drew. And you don't want to know what Yankees fans get...

10:32 AM  
Blogger BZ said...

I'm eating my first Morningstar Farms Philly cheesesteak veggie burger! It's no Red Bamboo, but it's not bad.

8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, there thanks for mentioning your trip down here (great ta see ya again!), but a few clarifications:

1. You are conflating two famous incidents in Eagles history-- one where fans threw snowballs at Santa and another where fans threw batteries packed in snowballs at the Cowboys.

2. Although you're right that the Prez of our union, according to the Constitution cannot make more than our highest paid member, the fact is he makes LESS. The top three officers earn around 50K a year and our highest-paid members make 75-100K (w/overtime). But in any case, thanks for the kind words for our union!

3. You accidentally used my real name.

4. Sorry about not having a better alias than Zappy, but that's the most recent nickname I've had. No nickname's stuck for long. You can try other short-lived nicknames like "Ramo", "The Jackal", "The Big O", "Mooka", "Mr. Suarez". If none of those appeal to you, sorry, but you're stuck with Zappy.

Hope to see ya again soon brother--

Zappy (until you come up with something better)

1:48 AM  
Blogger Ruby K said...


You're not making a good case for your city. Just wanted to point that out.

Since some Kosher cheese is so bad, maybe someone could invent "soy whiz" for the philly steak?

Thanks for pointing out the mistakes. your name has been edited to protect the not so innocent. Good to know that your pres only makes around 50, imagine if all the union officials around the country did that, or even just forced themselves to top out at 100K, how many organizers could the labor movement have (and pay well?!) Great to see you too, brother.

10:21 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home