Kung Fu Fighting

Mike has another intern meeting tonight at Zig’s place, and this time he’s been assigned garlic bread. He asks me to make it for him; obviously, I make awesome garlic bread – the Stetson trademark.

I wake up early to prep it for Mike before he leaves. He’ll have to keep it in the fridge until the meeting tonight and bake it at Zig’s house. He runs to Vallarta – the Spanish supermarket, for the bread. He has no idea which bread to get, so he’s staring for a little. He finally decides on a loaf and uses the metal grabby things to get it. He puts it in his hand and the loaf is flopping all over the place – it practically folds in half on him – he doesn’t know what to do. He then finds another loaf – a little more sturdy than the other. So now Mike has two loaves in his hands and he doesn’t want the floppy one. He inconspicuously tries to put it back on the shelf, slowly turns around, and sees a crowd of Mexicans have formed, staring at him. Mike turns back around, picks the loaf back up, and buys both.

I’m surprised by the two loaves when he walks in the door – I thought he only wanted me to make one. He proceeds to tell me his Vallarta tale and I’m practically falling out of my seat when he describes the floppy loaf – it was quite soft. I send him off with a loaf and keep part of a loaf for me and Troy tonight. The soft bread is not good for this – definitely not my best. Still, Mike assures me it was a big hit at the meeting. Did Zig like it so much he wants to hire you and pay you??

Mike and I have started to look on Craigslist for furniture. We take a trip to look at a big dresser with a mirror attached for only $75. We pull up to a storage unit and this guy lets us in – he seems normal enough, but there’s an older chubby guy standing in the background, watching us, cigarette in mouth. He leads us to his unit and I feel like I’m in an episode of Storage Wars. Not good television by any means, but still addictive. Freakin’ reality TV.

He shows us the dresser, along with a bunch of other furniture, and it’s all crap. The drawers have been taped shut to prevent them from falling out – for moving purposes I assume, but where the tape has fallen off it’s taken the paint with it. I peel a piece of tape off from the top of the dresser to the bottom and hear Mike take a deep breath. What? It shouldn’t do that. SOMEBODY at some point is going to have to take the tape off and that’s what would happen. I’m just moving the process along. We look at some other things but they all suck. He speaks in another language to fat man. Russian, I think. Probably not. He could murder us right now if he wanted to, hidden away in his storage unit. Craigslist.

At work I tell Tropez and Dorian about our search for furniture and they are both eager to help. Dorian is a passionate guy. “Dude, are you serious? We have a couch bed. My Mom is trying to sell it right now.” Awesome. Send me a picture. He promises he will. Tropez has something, too. He describes it and I picture it as some sort of hutch with two doors and shelving. He also promises to send me a picture of it.

I have a little trouble with the cappuccinos tonight – sometimes I just can’t get good foam, and every time Tropez is there to witness it. He insists on showing me how to do it, and I watch, attentively. He does this thing every time, and I crack up laughing, trying hard not to. See, there’s a metal canister that’s filled with cold milk, then you steam it, then you scoop the foam out of it on top of the espresso. He lets the steamed milk sit for a moment, then takes the spoon, and hits the sides of the canister with it, very methodically, like it has to be done just so. It’s completely silly and unnecessary, and he keeps a very concentrated look on his face like there’s a secret to making cappuccinos. “I am a master. Call me Master Shifou.” Shifou? I ask, trying not to laugh. Who’s that? “Go home. Watch Kung Fu Panda. Then we’ll talk.” Oh, my.

*Carl Douglas

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