August 26, 2009
Kentucky Fried Chicken, Hollywood, California
a Warm Hot lunch walk out the front door of the corporate confines, sterile white precision construction out into the sun-drenched and smoke-drenched hot LA air (for there is a raging brush fire somewhere in the county) and wander down sunset then down gower, and finally down de longpre.
down. walking out at lunch is, Down, a downwards experience, descend on the elevator, descend onto streets, into murky hollywood.
murky and smoky trash strewn experience, hollywood streets oh so filthy and cluttered and worn and Splattered with human waste and refuge and mysterious dried puddles of humanity’s flailing gasps.
dotting sidwalks, dotting walls, ramble Down de longpre, cross the busy and suicidal vine street, into the kfc, where in hollywood, even at this hour, people people people fill the tables, eating late lunches early dinners?
i’ve wandered into this kfc
about 1,648,432 times. that many. a lot. and still
i forget, every goddamned time.
NO CREDIT CARDS
ATM CARDS OK
but you must pay a $0.99 merchant fee. i’m tight and miserly enough that this affects me deeply.
but i have no one to blame. but myself.
will i let the 99 cents come betweeen
me and fried chicken? why of course not, i relent
and punch in my 4 digit
secure and secret ID
the number, it is XXXX
ha gotcha. gotcha!
like i would say. so i pay for my 2 piece meal with wings and breast, it’s a little more. 7 bucks and change. comes with a drink, 2 sides and a biscuit!
and like a cascading slap of disappointing reality, the 99 cents. total bill is $9.21. $9.21!!!!! too too fucking much money for chicken. and green beans and potato wedges. too much money for greasy
heart clogging fat, too much money for death accelerant. but i bound
out of my chair when my number is called, # 41! And behold my golden crispy chicken and side morsels and
run to my table, the high one with stools where i can tower over other diners but which conversely exposes me to stranger’s scrutiny as i lick my fingers oh so clean.
and the moment; the Moment:
In the brief span of
5 or 7 oily and fried minutes.
in walks an old gent. a very thin old gent wearing his best 1975 leisure wear. strange white ricardo montalban slacks and some strange Mafioso grandfather velvet-y gold-colored polo shirt. it strikes me…these are not only the clothes of an old man now, they were even the clothes of an old man during the U.S. bicentennial. fitting very snug but when you’ve got the geriatric emaciated
package it’s all good. and he insists on talking to the one of the workers about something and his voice. loud and sharp and Chihuahuaishly overbearing. and that bag…a plastic bag with seemingly
pharmaceutical items sitting in it. which waves dangerously with each
and then an elderly asian (Filipino) couple and the husband(?) wearing
thick horn-rimmed glasses and not only a sunken chest but a sunken belly, skinny skinny why do all these really skinny people eat the fried glories of KFC how can it
because the crowd has been so uncharacteristically and misleadingly frail in comes the obligatory fat social miscreant. fresh off his Honda motorcycle cruiser goldwing thingY. he stands amidst the thin, his belly
hovering sullenly over his useless belt, a tshirted chap with hands that don’t look have taken too kindly to soap for a while.
he glances at his thin surrounders. and speaks “this is the end of the line right? i don’t want to skip in front of anybody. i don’t want people to get mad at me.” the words, the voice, the spoken package, the affect of someone who may have
spent more time
chatting at walls and racoons
as if the old asian couple that weighs a combined 180 pounds
is any match for Honda bubba.
old geriatric dude in velvet-Y polo skips out, tired of talking, did he take food didn’t notice. he drives off in a buick. so very old of him!
Honda bubba meanwhile…discovers a coupon flier that is laying
and during this time
the music, piping in, over KFC’s PA
“I Wear My Sunglasses At Night” … one of the very sickest and head-bashing hits of the 1980s and that
is the theme of the hour here in hollywood KFC. olden eras, the distant past
regurgitated here in the temple of Poultry.
what does he do with the coupons?
apparently, interested in the discounted offerings
he pulls out a menacing pocket-knife which easily borders
on the illegal
and begins to cut out special offers
what did you expect, scissors?