Last Night I Broke the Meatman's Heart
I can't say I know many people who can be accurately described as jolly but the guy who works the deli at the local Mom and Pop is one of them. Jolly takes commitment. Your laugh needs to boom, be heard from across the store, down the street. Your eyes need to have a manic glow approaching but never actually arriving at insanity. You need a certain stature, a large frame, either hieght or port or both. You also might need to be male though I'm not quite sure that is an absolute requirement. Is Jolly exclusively masculine? Who knows. But Jolly is a not a hobby, it is a lifestyle and Meatman is the jolliest guy i know.
He has greeted the Croft and I every time we've come in without fail. His "how are you doing?" followed by a deep round of laughter is the stuff of legend. Purchasing lunchmeat has never been so much fun. About a week ago Croft and I were stumped as to what to buy for dinner. We asked Meatman if he had any suggestions and a sombre, almost dour expression crossed his perpetually smiling face. He was deep in thought and it was unnerving. Croftie and i looked at each other thinking, 'what have we done?' After about 10 seconds he brightened back up and told us without a hint of waver that we must purchase the pork-chops and then proceeded to tell us how they should be prepared. Thing is he was right. Spot on. And Croftie executed his dinner plan with panache. It was a feast, a glorious feast.
Last night we wandered back in to the Mom and Pop in search of dinner anew. In addition to Sunday Dinner we decided to go and get meat for our weekly monday fajita extravaganza. Meatman asked how the chops went and Croftie and i gushed. Meatman was pleased. Customers wandering in from outside looked back at the deli counter with trepidation for surely no man or beast could laugh like that. Yet when i asked Meatman for the ground sirloin for our monday night fajitas he shook his head and frowned. "You need to go with the skirt-steak for fajitas. You see you just cook it up all nice and then slice it with the grain..." but this time we were not having it. We've made fajitas lots of times and enjoyed our speedy method and non-vegetative ingredients. Cooking a steak just for fajitas? Impossible. I interrupted the man, "Maybe we'll just have some of the ground sirloin..." It was a mistake. Meatman's face fell into one of the saddest expressions it has been my displeasure to know. The light went out in his eyes and there would be no more laughter that evening. It was then and there that I realized and gone and broken the Meatman's heart. And I'm sorry.
Labels: goings on about town