RL171 - A Weiner-Shaped Hole

This week, Merlin and John talk about:

The Problem: John can feel the future, referring to John being sensitive to MSG and after a good Dim Sum meal he can amongst other things feel the future.

The show title refers to John going on a camping trip and the person who was the designated chef of the trip did not bring any wieners to fill the wiener-shaped hole in John.

Raw notes
The segments below are raw notes that have not been edited for language, structure, references, or readability. Please do not quote these texts directly without applying your own editing first! These notes were not planned to be released in this form, but time constraints have caused a shift in priorities and have delayed editing draft-quality versions to a later point.

Peak podcasting (RL171)

Merlin had a lot of ramen really fast and he has three podcasts today back to back. We have reached peak podcasting when the first podcast came out and John is on so many programs now, he is hoping to presage peak-post-podcast. Maybe he will be the last great podcaster? It would be nice to be remembered for something.

Merlin suggests John should edit an episode and put it out one time, that would be fun, but John doesn’t want to edit a podcast and neither does Merlin. John has always imagined lonelysandwich (Adam Lisagor) sitting in his lonely garret, surrounded by screens, putting together You Look Nice Today back in the golden era. He would spend hours and hours and hours! Merlin still has podcasting in him, and it is easy with John because John always has a new angle and a new thing.

Seattle visit of China’s paramount leader Xi Jinping (RL171)

The king of China is in Seattle today. Maybe it is not a king but a premier or paramount leader. Things are crazy and everybody’s iPhones are going to be arriving late. The traffic is already backing up all the way from the pope visiting the East Coast. It has a ripple effect and is called the butterfly in China.

There is a thing called Pacific Rim, which is the rim around the Pacific, where you would snap the lid on the Pacific if it came with a lid. It is also called the ring of fire because it is a rim of volcanoes. This is not a rim conference, but it is about a trade deal where Seattle, a city with 700.000 people gets to pretend for a minute that anyone in China has ever heard of it or that it even ranks in the top-80 cities in China. By the time you get down to cities in China with 700.000 people you are at the level of those that make drinking straws. They have a lot of specialized areas in China and you could be from the straw district or from paperclip town or turtle wax villa, which is a city of 1.5 million people and everyone there works making turtle wax.

The casualties of World War II (RL171)

Just as the US likes to think that they won World War II although by the time the first American arrived in Europe, something like 80 million Russians had already died, they also like to think that Seattle is some kind of economic powerhouse of the Pacific rim. There are 300 million Americans and 700.000 people is a rounding error in the population of Asia. Merlin had sent John a video about the deaths in WWII all visualized. John enjoys that kind of business model where you take some data and visualize it and hope it goes viral.

A lot of war had happened before the US got involved, and they were on the sidelines cheering but they didn’t want to cheer too loud and they didn’t want the other kids to feel bad. It is hard to say how many Russians died, and that is the thing about Mao too: How do you count the famine deaths? You lose 10 million to famine that is happening concurrently with the war and happening because of decisions made by the same people, but do you really lump it in? It is much harder to count those too because everybody starves and people just wander off in a field and die when the census guys are not really standing there.

The page called World War II Casualties is a depressing page on the Wikipedia. The number of people who died in the Ukraine or Belarus, we don’t think of the sacrifices that had been made there and they weren’t even making these sacrifices on behalf of liberty, but they were just being sacrificed. In Poland 17% of people died, which is one in six people.

13 coins, John finishing other people’s food at restaurants (RL171)

Seattle in the grand scheme of things really doesn’t matter to anybody except for people who live in Portland. They have coffee, Grunge, the EMP, Boeing, and Boeing matters. They have 13 coins, but not for much longer because apparently the building with the 13 coins in… part of it is in the building that is currently occupied by the Seattle Times and that building is staying, but on either side of that building there is a plan to tear the other buildings down including most of the 13 coins and put in a residential tower of some kind.

There is a second 13 coins out by the airport and if they tear down the one that they used to go, they can always go to the other one and John has started to do that because taking someone to dinner in the middle of the night out by the airport has an extra layer of greasy, seedy. Going to 13 coins was always meant to feel a little bit pornographic and if you dislocate that to SEATAC, everybody is crossing and un-crossing their legs. It is literally open 24 hours. You can get a Steak Oscar at 4am. You can get Veal Parmesan at 4am, or Steak Sinatra served on a trash can lid. You want a little white sauce with that? (White sauce, no problem).

Merlin has seen John put away some food in that place, he finishes everyone else’s food. John likes a smorgasbord and on any menu if there is a sampler plate that isn’t the fried cheese sampler, but a one of each kind of oyster or one of each kind of stuffed pepper, he will always get the sampler and the best sampler of all is the little bit of food that everybody leaves on their plate at the end of the meal. Over time John has learned that you have to ask and can’t just put your fork on somebody else’s plate and you also have to wait until they are clearly done. There is an ethics to food finishing because a lot of people want to eat at their own pace and understandably they object to somebody vulturing over their plate.

But you do want to secure your rights to their leftovers before they throw their napkin down on their plate. Also, it is their right to take it home you can’t really lay claim to their leftovers if they have a plan for them already. Thankfully nobody smokes anymore in restaurants because the number of wonderful half-eaten veal parmesan that were ruined by somebody putting their cigarette out in it. It is a technique!

John wanting some wieners on a camping trip (RL171)

This weekend John went camping with some friends. One of the guys owns a restaurant and it was presumed by everybody that he was going to be the chef. He brought a Pork Loin, some Cajun Shrimps, he had some food prepared, but because they went camping John was wondering about where the wieners were because he wanted some wieners, too! He said got some pork loin, and they were for sure going to eat that and the cajun shrimp, but they ought to have a package of wieners on a camping trip. John was the only who thought they were going into this half-cocked, going out into the woods and everybody else thought the pork loin would be fine.

In John there was a wiener-shaped hole that only a wiener can fill and at that point there was no 7-Eleven you could go to to pick up some wieners. The thing about a wiener is that you are standing around the camp fire, everybody is drinking their single-malt bourbon and half the people are smoking their Nat Sherman Cheroot and you can go over and pull a wiener out of a package without asking permission or doing any song and dance and you can stick it on the end of a sharpened stick and have a wiener, but with a pork loin or some cajun shrimp you have to sign off on the whole dinner, everybody is involved, it is a big production.

Part of camping is that every once in a while you look around, John is not going to have any single-malt, maybe he will have a little pull off a Cheroot, but what he really wants is a burned hot dog. It wasn’t John’s camping trip, but he was just part of the Praetorian Guard. You don’t want to be that guy who was just sitting around complaining about the lack of hot dogs and not doing anything and not being invited back to the next trip. In a situation like that you all revert to basic type: There is the cook who is making the pot of beans, there is the guy who is twiddling the tooth picks for everybody.

John likes to think of himself in that situation as the justice of the peace character who is there in case anybody wants to get married or resolve a dispute. John is there to adjudicate and to decide what the law of that region is and most people appreciate him in that capacity. Roderick is not there to do a lot of scrubbing of pots, but in case a tree falls and somebody wants to know whether they heard it or not John is there, thinking about the big ideas.

Merlin having two steak dinners in one night (RL171)

Merlin had an experience in Portland. He has a group of four people who whenever they are in the same town will go out for dinner, maybe twice a year. It is two guys and two girls and they are called Nutz and Cherries. They decided to blow the budget a little bit and go to El Gaucho, which they don’t have down in California, but this is not as nice as the one in Seattle that Merlin and John have been to. Still, it was amazing and they had so much fun! Afterwards they went to a party that was really fun with lots of nice people.

Afterwards, it was already 10:30pm they wondering what they should be doing next and one of the nuts was saying: ”Let’s go back!” and they went back and had a second steak dinner. It was the greatest night of Merlin’s life! Book-ending a party with two steak dinners is deeply innovative, it is revolutionary. Like with the hobbits you can have second breakfast, but how many times do you hear somebody have second dinner? John has second dinner all the time, but not in the same restaurant. You don’t go back and drop another $250. Merlin doesn’t do this all the time, but it might have been a once-in-a-lifetime thing. Everything about it was perfect.

They couldn’t get the same server because he was on the way out, and Merlin had the same drinks, an Old Fashioned, but he tried something a little more ambitious to eat the second time. He had such a wonderful time and wouldn’t have done anything differently, but if he was advising somebody to do a tactical two-dinner night it might be novel to have exactly the same dinner twice. It doesn’t have to be a fancy restaurant, but it should be the same restaurant, it should be mostly the same group of people. Now Merlin wants to do it again!

Restaurants not having simple food anymore (RL171)

Several years ago John realized that when he was going out to Italian food with any group of friends four or more they would walk into the restaurant and before they were even seated John would order a large pepperoni pizza. Then you are sitting there, looking at the menu and just as the waiter comes back to take your order a large pepperoni pizza shows up. It is perfect! Nobody wants to go through the We can all agree on cheese bullshit, but everybody there except Ted Leo who is a fucking vegan, wants at least one slice of pizza.

There is so much room for innovation, like having breakfast for dinner, pancakes for dinner, or dim sum in the afternoon. At Merlin’s daughter’s school it is breakfast for lunch day today where they are getting pancakes and sausage for lunch, which is everybody’s favorite meal. Merlin is frequently of the mind where he might order four appetizers rather than a plate. John does it all the time because in Seattle whatever the main courses are they are just scaled-up appetizers and he appetizers are just scaled-down courses.

John went out to dinner the other night with Peter Sagal from NPR and a couple of Seattle-based nerds. They went to a place called something like The Wale and the Porpoise and the Captain and the Blacksmith, one of the great Cormac McCarthy novels, and the server asked ”Hi, have you dined with us before? Let me tell you a little bit how this happens! Everything has been pickled today on the premises, we picked it all out of the cracks of the pavement of our own parking lot and threw it in some brine. The chicken takes 1.5 hours because it is not actually a chicken.” and they just ordered a bunch of food. Ken Jennings was one of the nerds and he took the reins and ordered the pickled beets on top of cabbage, the pickled onions with pickled clams, he ordered 15 things from the appetizer menu and it was great. It tasted like you were eating a jar of mustard and it cost $1000, but that is what dining is now. Pickling isn’t cheap!

Merlin feels like he could be a consultant today. In a dim sum place, especially where they have a cart, you are not really done ordering until you can make them go away. They are offering you new foods, they are stacking plates, and the closest thing after that is sushi. When Merlin first started eating sushi it was normal to start out with this. Now they will bring you the Edamame to start because so many people have ordered that and they will just bring it to you. Merlin likes the idea of starting out with a pepperoni pizza and just building on top of that. It is just the foundation, but you don’t know yet where this building is going.

When John gets dim sum it feels like climbing up on the side of a moving truck and Immortan Joe (from the Mad Max franchise) is instead of chrome spraying MSG directly in John’s mouth. John doesn’t eat to eat the mystery pork or put the buns in his mouth, but he could just jump up there and say: ”I am chrome!” and they are sending him to Valhalla with the MSG. If he would be standing on a foundation of pepperoni pizza when that happened he would be grounded from electric shock and he would have some base layer of bread and cheese that the MSG could soak into and he wouldn’t have that hallucinatory 1.5 hours after the best Dim Sum meal where you are hearing colors and smell truth.

John has done a fair enough amount of research to know that the only people who will really stand up and say that MSG has an effect on them are Jenny McCarthy level craziness because all of the science people and food people say that it is not true and you don’t feel MSG, but they are wrong! John is a member of the cult of MSG feelers and when he eats it he can fucking feel the future, he has spooky action at a distance, he can make atoms line up with each other. There are nascent powers that you are not even aware of from day-to-day. John can feel his hair. It also hurts a little bit because with all great powers comes some kind of discomfort and John feels too much, he hears too much, he wants to go to sleep, but he also wants to drive a truck into a dust storm, it is a very peculiar state that is especially destabilizing when other people tell you it is not happening.

Merlin is a multi-beverage person and likes multiple beverages at the same time, like a sparkling water, an Old Fashioned, an Orangina, a coffee and a cup of green tea all arrayed. His go-to for a time in the 1990s was a glass of water, a coffee, a Scotch and a Coke. John’s is a water, a cup of coffee always, and then a milk-shake. The a pepperoni pizza on the way and you can order a French Dip with a side salad and you got it covered. You are not going to walk out of there, wishing you had the mushrooms. Merlin always get the mushrooms. John used to do that until he bit into a mushroom one time and it squirted hot oil on him.

If a Ramekin or a Gravy Boat shows up with mushrooms sizzling in butter, John knows what he is getting into, but he doesn’t want deep fried mushrooms because they appear to be hot and dry and as soon as you crush in it the fungus has just soaked up boiling hot oil and it won’t cool down because it is inside this crust, that is dangerous, like a fucking grenade, and no milk-shake in the world can take that pain away.

John rotates milk-shakes. There are a lot of problems right now in the Northwest and one of them is that… John was also just recently in Portland and the popular ice cream shop down there is called the Salt & Straw, which is pretty fancy and they hand you a menu with 14 different kinds of ice cream, you get to wait an hour, and the flavors are Salted Licorice, Shoe Leather, Bananas Flambé with Anchovies. Eat shit you guys! Just one flavor where it is not an experience, John just wants some fucking ice cream. He will eat a scoop of vanilla right now, except that their vanilla is laced with lavender and John doesn’t want lavender.

Merlin has a bone to pick with people who are anti-vanilla because vanilla is not boring. Merlin likes the Häagen Dazs and in the Northwest there is Tillamook which is one that John supports because it has a Northwestern pedigree. One of their vanilla flavors is called Old Fashioned Vanilla and John gets it reflexively because if you put Old Fashioned in front of anything he will feel like he is at Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor and somebody with an arm garter and a bowler hat is coming over on roller skates. The first two bites out of vanilla ice cream are ambrosia, but like everything it dulls your senses and you are just cramming lard in your mouth as fast as you can to make the screaming stop.

99% of the time when you get a milkshake in Seattle you have Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, but then you have other options like Raspberry or Blackberry which John sometimes will do. He will even get a Peanut Butter Chocolate shake. Coffee shake is very good, a Mint Chocolate Chip shake, all of these are the classic flavors.

Merlin asks what John would want to see in dining technologies that would encourage a certain kind of eating or to open up the idea that this could be what he wanted to be. He wants to see a big table where people have carved their names, the table is too large, but that is good because it is a picnic table style thing, he likes there to be a pipe organ and he likes them to play old Harold Lloyd movies up on the brick wall, and the guy with the pipe organ is scoring the movie, milk shakes to come out with the pizza, there should be a phone on the table in 1970s style and there should be antiques on the wall.

If Merlin looks at Denny’s or 13 Coins the things are priced accordingly, but he would like to see some more variation so he would be able to get a $80 Tomahawk steak and also a pretty good $3 grilled cheese to top it with. John wonders if that would be possible because people always buy the thing in the middle.

In the 1980s before the world became standardized, traveling to the Midwest, which at the time seemed Back East, there would be little towns with a restaurant and the sign out front would just say ”Restaurant”, there would be a bar where people with white paper hats were bustling, the place is full of farmers, and there would be a ham and a turkey and a roast beef and you could make any kind of food with those things. There would be eggs, there would be some soup, bread, cheese, you could make 7000 kinds of food. You could make a ham sandwich, but also a ham steak. That has been lost! Now you walk into a place and it says: ”Tonight chef has prepared ham steak for $29.95”, or it says ”filet of ham 29” with no dollar-sign. Come on! Ham is one of the basic foods! Merlin also wants to consider the sauce! You can have a sauce pan of six sauces that could be deployed tactically.

Merlin still has a sauce hole and thinks there are not enough sauces. It is impossible to get a store-made sauce or gravy at a grocery store. He has bought all of the gravies and it is a literal abortion. It is so bad! One time he tried four envelopes from McCormick’s, some of those chicken tonight type abortions, and they were all awful, he could have shat a better sauce. The day they can put gravy in a can and have it even remotely resemble gravy is the day when John would go on a manned mission to mars. The number one things that is inhibiting him from not going to mars, aside from not having been invited, is the idea that it is going to be Thanksgiving and you get a tube of turkey dinner, but the gravy is going to taste like somebody burned a plastic bag. ”Get me back to Earth!”

Merlin thinks there should be a sausage gravy and a nice brown gravy. Listeners have told him that the sausage gravy is trivially easy to make, although the recipes look complicated. You crumble up some sausage, add some butter, cream, salt and pepper and that’s it!

The Seattle subway (RL171)

It is not yet certain that 13 coins is going to go away because sometimes things they say will go away will not go away and things they don’t tell you about just go away over night. They tore down two blocks of businesses and apartment buildings on Broadway to build the new subway stop. Seattle is very excited about their big subway that they finally got after 50 years of talking about it, which goes from the University to Downtown and it has 3 stops: University, Capitol Hill and Downtown.

It cost $80 billion to build, 400 people lost their lives (John is kidding), but they tore down two blocks of those stretches of businesses with the Indian Food restaurant, the bong store, the Kitty Cat book store, the state-owned liquor store, there were 4-5 storefronts where you for a while could open a store that sold nothing but butane lighters and swords, you could open a store that sold African imports that was perpetually going out of business. You could sell Magic the Gathering cards and have a folding table where people could play cards in the middle of the day, you could open a store in one of these places, but they tore them all down.

They tore down an old apartment building and the great coffee shop Godfather’s Pizza where John used to sleep during the day when he didn’t have a place to live, to build this subway and they built a huge fence around those two blocks so you couldn’t see what was going on. Just the other day they took the fence down to reveal that so far all they have built there is one of those West Coast municipal style subway tunnel entrance kiosk bulbs. Because Seattle has a geography that is not at all suited to subways, the only way to access the tunnel is by express elevators and there are no stairs and no escalators because it is so deep underground.

You get on an elevator with a bunch of strangers and go down so deep under the ground that you can’t even take a stair if you wanted to and we are all just to be fine with that. Leaving that aside, they took away two blocks of businesses and apartments and John’s presumption was that behind that giant wall they also had a plan to build a 6-story building with apartments and ground-floor retail at what is basically the busiest intersection on Capitol Hill and one of the busiest in the town. Now it is basically an elevator door sticking out of a plaza, which is terribly anticlimactic and John is just wondering what is going to happen here because there is no commerce happening and no-one can live here.

It basically cut one end of Broadway off from the other because you are going to walk along and look into the shop windows and then you are going to come to this elevator shaft and you are going to see two blocks of baked plain. There is not even any landscaping as far as John can tell. People are going to turn around and walk up the other side of Broadway, meaning that the two ends of Broadway are now not connected and there was a huge missed opportunity to have this be a thing. Instead it is a big plaza where Occupy Wall Street is going to stand around, handing out flyers, chanting and wearing Guy Fawkes masks. They thought they were going to build a Logan’s Run minimalism, but shitty human beings are going to fill that space with shittiness immediately. The best thing that is going to be there will be somebody doing some juggling, or maybe some friendly mimes.

John sings ”Way down now!” and Merlin guesses This Corrosion by The Sisters of Mercy, but John was going fot he song Way Down Now by World Party. John did not just type Casey James, which sounds like a missing child.

Merlin has spent 49 years avoiding municipal elevators that just open into a park because it is just a moving toilet. People just shit in them, they are just moving shitters. Elevators in a city building where they lock the doors at night and they have cleaning crews most of the time don’t work and people use them as bathrooms, but now picture an elevator that is just open to the world, and even if they had 20 banks of them and even if they were the fastest self-cleaning elevators in the world, would you ever get on one? It is an 11 minute ride (John is kidding), and you wonder if you are the Chilean miner.

John would have loved to get a tour during his political campaign, but it is not open yet and he hasn’t seen it. Some people who were already public officers were given advanced rides on the train and it looks amazing and really cool. Seattle never had a subway and since this subway only has 3 stops it is just a huge long tunnel that the train can go really fast in. To Merlin that sounds like a boondoggle, and he does not use this word lightly. Seattle is so characterized by boondoggles that John really has to resist the impulse to start saying things like Seattle gets what it deserves. It consistently votes against good practical things, including John, and votes for a rule-by-committee process that produces mega-expensive half-assedness.

In 1967 when they proposed building a network of subways and it was voted down by the voters, if they had used the technologies available at the time to build a subway network, they would have built a perfectly good network of interconnected trains. They could even have done it using 1912 technology and built a workable system, but what ends up happening is that they don’t do it, don’t do it, don’t it, and then when it is finally time to do it they decide on one hand that the people who are pushing for the subway are the ones that are still mad they didn’t do it 50 years ago and in a way the plan is based on a retro-desire to finally have the thing that we should have had.

Then other people attach themselves to it who are like: ”You know what? Tunnel-drilling technology has really improved in the last 40 years and now we can build the really technologically advanced super-version of this thing!” and what was cool and quaint about the idea from 50 years ago now gets turned into a thing where modern technology requires to put this thing 500 feet underground, which means that every time they build a station it costs another $1 billion, so in order to keep prices down we can’t build that many stations and we are only going to have one station that is 500 feet underground.

The coolness of the technology is now dictating the usefulness of the train which is only useful if it is accessible and the accessibility people were like: ”Wait a minute, I don’t know if I would ever take the stairs, but I like there to be some stairs, that is just a comfort level thing to look up and see the daylight, even from 500 feet below. John does not want to get on an elevator until he really has to, let alone if that is his only direction.

Merlin thinks about the Central Subway System in San Francisco and how even today people laugh at it because it is a diagonal line, but it does serve a purpose and is extremely busy during the day and the stops are pretty sane. They move a lot of people over that 2-3 miles and Merlin can’t imagine not having it because they are trying to get less and less stuff on Market Street because it is such a shit show. They recently passed a law about no private care during the day and you can’t make a left turn. It is all a mess!

John doesn’t want to slip into the posture of ”Seattle deserves what it gets!” because something about the process of making decision is so irretrievably broken and has been for so long that it is baked into it. You cannot propose something good here without it being ruined, not by any one person, not by the big money interest, but by the collective action of people who are a combination of a busy-body, Nimby, Democrat. Everybody has to stand up at a public meeting and say their two cents and yet at the end of the meeting they just adjourn to the next meeting and no decision ever gets made until it is too late and then the decision gets made by somebody in an office somewhere who just had to chose because they are breaking ground tomorrow.

John doesn’t understand why people in Seattle are on the one hand screaming about density and affordability and on the other hand two square blocks in the very central core of Capitol Hill have been reduced to an elevator shaft and it is nobody’s fault. For six years they took public comments and held hearings where people in tinfoil hats with a dog in the front-basket of their bike stood up and yelled about chemtrails while the county administrators sat there and took it, never hammered the gavel down, never said: ”This is not a productive process!”, but they just sat and listened to all the public comments and then they went back to their office and said: ”You know what we need? An elevator shaft! Wouldn’t that be cool?”

If John was in charge, he would have just left that swords and butane lighter store because you can get your horoscope in a little scroll there and after you bought your Magic the Gathering cards you can go over and buy some essential oils and some filters for your ”faucet”, which is a water pipe.

Merlin and John opening a restaurant (RL171)

Merlin wonders when he and John finally will open their restaurant, but John has been telling his friends for many years that if you don’t like working in a restaurant, why would you open a restaurant? You are just giving yourself a job working in a restaurant. The only way to do it is to sell one thing, like gourmet corn dogs. If you become the gourmet corn dog king and all you sell is gourmet corn dogs and chocolate milk shakes then you don’t have to worry about anything, you don’t have to pickle anything and you don’t have to explain your menu to anybody. Gourmet corn dogs are expensive because they say ”Gourmet!” and you can actually profit from your job by selling them for $8. They could have six kinds of sauces and some bread and call the place Johnny Sauce.

The mother sauces: Bechamel, Ravioli Sauce… John thinks that Bolognese is the top sauce. Maybe the spoons could be made out of locally sourced bread, but what if people are gluten-free? It is too confusing already and they should really just stick with the corn dogs. It could be $9 with a ramekin of home-made ketchup. There would not be any pickled cucumbers, but just gourmet corn dog and chocolate shake. Merlin would try it at least once and he would have to know to a fair certainty that it has artisanal ingredients and isn’t some kind of switcheroo. It will be made all locally-sourced from within 100 miles from here, the corn meal that goes into the corn dog part is from non-GMO corn that is Native American heritage corn. It is fried in artisanal pork fat which is then used to power the bio diesel food truck.

The chocolate milkshake is made out of 100% sustainably sourced cacao where they will have relationships will all the farmers and John will have to go down to Central America all the time to meet with them. John and his daughter could drive there in their jeep. All the stuff is shade-grown, they know the milk producers, the cows all have names, like today we are drinking Louisa’s shakes and the milk-shakes are also $9. It is not exactly what Merlin had in mind, but he would invest in / eat there sometimes.

On second thought John is not passionate about this idea and he does not want to be in the food service business and he doesn’t want to work at a shop at all, he doesn’t even want to sell vintage men’s wear, which is a thing he actually is passionate about because he would be disappointed every day: A guy comes in the shop, looking around, John goes: ”Hey, how are you doing? Nice to see you! What are you looking for today?” - ”Just browsing” and the guy takes a jacket down from a rack and John stands up from his stool and goes: ”Oh, that is a cool jacket! It is from the Kennedy administration and was sold by a venerable…” and the guy is already hanging it back up.

They guy walks around and picks up another thing and John is: ”Oh, wow, very nice choice! You have a really good eye! That is a pair of Cordovan Aldens, sold by Brooks Brothers” and he puts them down and wanders around. Then he will come over and buy a pair of Chinese-made socks that John is selling because he has to have something in there that actually sells, or he comes over and asks: ”Can I use the bathroom?” Nobody gives a shit about the stuff John cares about and he is here to serve them. He might come over and ask: ”Do you have anything by Hugo Boss?” - ”Fuck you! No! Get out of here! Hit the streets!” It is a recipe for heartbreak and John doesn’t need to be any more sad.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License