Wednesday, November 29, 2006

on rosetta stones

We all have them, what is literarily referenced as the rosetta stone. A missing link, or that one thing that everyone has strive for over ages and ages, the brass ring, we have all them—in different shapes and sizes, but you have one, you're thinking of it right now, and how it has escaped your reach for so long and broken your spirit time and time again. Here is a story of triumph.

A few years back when I worked the US Open Tennis Tourney in the old airplane-gas swamp we had some downtime. During this downtime many things could occur, Wolfie ordered two-foot shocks, a roll bar and lights for the top for his easy-go (golf cart), I painted the crew's ezgo sky blue with and orange racing stripe on the front and flames on the sides, and put head lights on. We palyed hacky sack, balle, drew did crossword, played video games—but mostly we went for rides on the ezgos around the park. On the outskirts near College Point Blvd there was a Western Beef, meat store and market.

As the tournament approaches employees spend more and more time at the facilities for obvious reasons, it's the single most profitable sporting event in the United State not counting an Olympics. Only Super Bowl week makes more for a money for a city, but that's only a week, this tournament strecthes over three weeks, one week of qualifying tournaments and then the two weeks you see on TV. During the time leading up to the event, each segment of the gargatuan staff become squirrels (funny story about, but I am currently contractually obligated to stay mum on the subject), in a way, stocking stuff away in our little offices and nooks on the stadium grounds because while the tournament is on, there isn't much of a chance to leave the grounds and believe me there's only so much Restaurant Associates you can eat. Even if it is free and even if Moose is cooking Filet Mignon at 2:30 in the morning. One of the precious thing we pick up from our many travels to the Western Beef is cereal. Yeah, breakfast cereal and milk.

One day in late July, Buns (he used to refer to getting laid as getting BUNS!. The way he said, you know that goes), Dark Sol (Self named and for good reason), Eightball (who on more than one occasion on flights to and from Syracuse to NYC carried an 8-ball in a sock as protection, AFTER 9/11! At the time, and you may remember, TSA had a list of things you couldn't bring on a plane, an 8-ball in a sock was not one of them), and Myself formed a Cereal Club. One of the four of us would buy a box of cereal, buyer's choice, and that would be the cereal we ate until it ran out and the next member would buy the next box. I can't remember which of the other three bought it but one choice was Frankenberry. On the back of the box was a map to a secret treasure that Frakenberry, Count Chocula and the blue ghost from Booberry were hiding. The map was to be continued on the other two types of cereals boxes'. We all decided the next logical step would be to buy Count Chocula or Booberry next. Chocula was in stock and bought and two pieces of the puzzle were complete. Finally, only Booberry remained.

Long story short, Booberry went missing for months, during which time the four of us, searched supermarkets far and wide in the Queens and Brooklyn area for Booberry, no luck. Soon enough, winter was upon us, Buns was getting his, Eightball was back in Syracuse finishing his Fine Arts degree—he sent me an email later in the winter that three was no Booberry in Syracuse either, Dark Sol was married, mysteriously, and living in England, and my ex was breaking up with me, setting in motion the events that would occur over the next four years that would find me riding my bike up the trail alongside Veterans Pkwy when my phone rang—I keep my phone with me in case get caught out there with a flat, I can call Nemo for the old pick, see, I tend to ride pretty far and this ani't New York, the only mass transit around here is the heel-to-toe express—it was Judge Roughneck, who by the way had no previous knowledge of the aforementioned quest, he was at the Stop and Shop (for this I will advertise) on Metropolitan Ave in Forest Hills, and he was standing in front of a well stocked section of yeah, you got it, Booberry. No Map, but that was a dream long lost, at least the cereal still exists.

This evening, the ride out to the Starbucks downtown I have affectionately dubbed "the office", the sunset was that much more beautiful, the grande hot chocolate—sweeter, and I'm sure the beer or two I plan on drinking after this will taste better than the ones at the bottom of Uncle Peter's cooler. The world is a better place today. Enjoy yours.


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