19 Jan

The brilliantly named OOZING TURKISH STAB WOUND was sure to be a hit…

Work’s done and I’m bloody starving. More clean windows for yet another satisfied customer; a couple of hours of hard, sweaty labor for a substantial wad of cash. Honest earnings equating to a sense of satisfaction and lunch on my terms. A secluded eatery far from the maddening crowd – somewhere I can indulge and truly concentrate on my calorific intake. A place that will take me away from the arid desert of Arizona, far from brown monochromatic neighborhoods, and the ringing urgencies of telephonic communication.

“Hello are you the window cleaner?  Can you clean my windows? How much ?” ……….click.

Bastards do tease me, they do – with their offerings of ready cash. Luckily those who choose to contract my services are in the majority, whereas the avaricious scrooge-like-scrimping-bastards who kanker over ten dollars, are few and far between. Let’s face it, window cleaning is a luxury service – not something  one does on a whim. Everybody loves clean windows; nobody likes doing the dirty work.

Me, I’m not so proud, and to quote my grandfather; god bless his penny pinching soul, “Where there’s muck there’s brass.” He wasn’t right about much – but when he was – it wasn’t often! Pearls of wisdom, passed down by the ignorant and unschooled degenerates of James’s past. Generational ineptitude handed down through the millennia from father to son.

With the money burning a hole in my pocket and the truck cab filling with smoke, I don’t dither too long before making my culinary decision. Of all the cuisines in the world, when it comes to fast food there is but one. Much as I admire their advances in civilization and the contribution of Italy, I am not easily tempted when it comes to pizza. It has its place; generally of an evening when me and the Mrs. can’t be arsed and choose the easy option.


Unable to support herself on crochet work alone, old mother Mystoppolis decided to sell her wrinkly Greek ass…


On the other hand, China, that rising gastronomic giant has me completely enthralled. My taste buds tingle with delight at the prospect of its eastern promise. Much as I adore oil-soaked, barely recognizable, unpronounceable delicacies, eating rice out of a cardboard box with a set of punji -sticks isn’t what I was born to do. Rather than satiating my hunger with oriental delights I instead end up modeling most of what I should have been devouring. There’s a place for Chinese, and that my son, is on a plate in the dining room with a knife and fork. The only fast quality pertaining to Chinese food is the buck they make when you order it freshly wocked from the roach-ridden kitchen at the local supermarket.

What always troubles me when considering the giant melting pot of the Americas, is that despite the influence of every country in the world – with all their glorious pallets, diverse spicery and haute cuisine – the best they can cobble together from this cornucopic mélange is the humble burger. A faux-meat patty encased in rubberized bread, complimented with an acidic pickle or a squirt of ketchup.

Bloody brilliant!

Hours of think tank prowess must have gone into deciding the American national dish. Ivy league educated foodologists sitting  around a table, humming and hawing over correct nutritional balance. Not too much from the west, a little from the east, absolutely nothing from the Lithuanians and scurvy from the British. Scan to picture of light bulb illuminating above said foodologists’ heads.

“Et voila,Ureka, I have it by jove, the burger it is!”

One can only imagine the disappointment on the faces of participating nations who had offered their best, only to be seconded by the worst. With rapidity reminiscent of bubonic plague the burger joints sprang up everywhere. King burger this, and Scottish burger that, all offering trans-fat free servings with lashings of fries and as much mayonnaise as you can gargle.

The archaeologists were stunned by the poor diet enjoyed by the volcano victims found at Pompei..


No Thanks…………. I have something else in mind.

Enter the Gyros. Oh heavenly mystery meat wrapped in a cold flap of jaw-breaking bread, soaked in a white nondescript sauce, sprinkled with raw onions. Your secret of actual content carried to the grave by thousands of pseudo Greco connoisseurs, and yet your fame is undiminished.

Although pleasing to the eye it’s not exactly bursting with nutritional value, and it  comes with a couple of user unfriendly side effects. For instance, after eating said delight, the end user is unable to talk to anyone for at least a week. Countless tooth scrubbings and mouth swillings will not rid one of the Hellenic halitosis, and you can forget about intimacy with the Mrs. because it just isn’t going to happen this side of next week. Helen may have launched a thousand ships however, gyro-breath drove them away again.


Pissed off with his Disney portrayal ; Zeus was going to rip Mickey a new one… 


Finding my little piece of afterlife, I sit myself down in the gyro parlor. Blue painted walls with Mykonosian windmills stare down at me as I admire plastic ferns displayed in Hecho en Mexico Grecian urns. Bazukki or bazooka or something, plays in the back ground. The sound of the Cyclades emanating from white-washed-plastic-rock- covered speakers.  Eros tinkles in my ears as I absorb the sounds of Arcadia and I settle in to enjoy my one man Greekfest.

There’s nothing quite like it and if one can resist the temptation, as Odysseus did when faced with Siren-song, then there is no need to pose the all too awkward question of what kind of meat is it anyway? The stock answer is always half beef, half lamb which is about as convincing as an Irish Mariachi band. The provenance of the meat is dubious at best – the  carved strips, although bloody tasty, look they have been sliced off old rubber tires and spiced to extreme in an attempt to confuse blind people into eating well on an institutionalized budget. I am unperturbed. The intricacies of gyro meat etiquette don’t faze me in the least. I’m not looking for a committed relationship, simply a quick role in the Pita jungle with my meaty mistress.

Echo is silent in each and every restaurant; the age old questions which have gone unanswered by the gods remain so to this day. One should accept the gift without thought and participate in the ceremony of food as though it were mana from heaven or ambrosia from Olympus, pure suplication to manufactured goodness. The only beef or lamb that the ever decreasing pillar of rotating meat has ever seen is when it was accidentally stored in the same refrigerator. It matters not – I won’t be deterred. I know what I want, and I want it right now.

The bazooki player kicks it up a notch, and nano-seconds before I grab the napkin from my fellow indulgent  at the next table and prance around the restaurant like Omar Sharif on crack, my waitress arrives. Ignoring the old adage of never accepting gifts from Greeks I bow humbly to her auspicious tribute. Like Neptune arising from the ocean in Botticelli magnificence, the pita bread spreads herself before me and displays her charms. I bite into the sandwich and like a cum-covered porn star allow  tzatziki to drip off my chin and down my shirt, before winking candidly at the camera and going down for more.

YUMMY YUMMY. (Or as the Greeks say, “Get off our island you Turkish bastards, Cyprus belongs to us!”)


The winters in Greece were particularly severe…


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