[Sca-cooks] Mildly amusing, fairly surreal, tangentially food-related anecdote...

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Sat Oct 25 13:18:22 PDT 2008

Hullo, the list!

Well, it's rainy and miserable here, and I'm about to go out into it  
for the evening nonetheless, but something extremely odd just happened  
and I thought I'd take a minute to share.

I live in an apartment in what, around here, is a middle-sized co-op  
apartment building of some 85 units, with people working strange hours  
and engaged in all manner of comings and goings. There're a lot of  
urban professional-types living here, and it seems like many of them  
don't cook very often, because the local options for picking up the  
phone and having food delivered to your door are fairly broad.  
Consequently, we get a lot of stacks of restaurant take-out menus left  
in the lobby, and occasionally we come home to find them slipped under  
our apartment door.

I was out on some errands earlier today, and my arms were sort of  
full, and when I entered our apartment, I noted a menu from a local  
sushi bar was lying on the mat just inside the door; while I was out,  
either a delivery was made to the building or someone simply came  
around, rang doorbells until someone buzzed him in, and went from  
floor to floor, slipping menus under doors.

Since my arms were full, I stepped over it, figuring at some point in  
the near future I'd retrieve it and either add it to the stack or  
throw it away. I returned to the front door to do this, when the  
apartment doorbell rang.

I opened it to find a guy who looked vaguely familiar standing in the  
hall; apparently he works for one of the local places from which we'd  
had Chinese food delivered at some point in the past. He was  
apparently going from door to door, hand-delivering menus in the same  
way as the other place, but this was the more personal approach; I  
don't know if he was going specifically to the homes of known  
customers or not. Essentially, he was there to give me their latest  
menu, and to ask if everything was all right, since they had not heard  
from us in quite a while; I explained that everything was fine, but  
that we were away from home more often, and that I had had some  
medical issues which severely limited my diet for the past several  

In the course of our little chat, the man, all smiles, noticed the  
Japanese menu on the mat between our feet, and said something like,  
"Here, let me get that for you," and picked it up. Still smiling and  
chatting pleasantly, he gave me a couple of his place's menus, thanked  
me, said he was glad to hear I'm feeling better, and left. Just a few  
seconds after I shut the door, it occurred to me he had left without  
giving me the sushi bar menu.

He stole my Japanese menu. All I could think of was the "Seinfeld"  
episode where the Kramer look-alike walks off with the box of raisins  
from NBC Studios.

A few minutes later I looked outside from the balcony and thought I  
saw the menu lying in the street, but I'm not sure... I'll look and  
see when I go out.

I assume that he either made an honest mistake, or felt it was an easy  
move to make it that much more difficult to order food from a  
competitor (although I'd posit that you could argue competitor status).

I just thought it was a little strange, in a "Did I really just see  
that? Did that really just happen? I must have imagined it, because  
who in their right mind would do something like that?" sort of way...

Now, I'm tempted to call this place and try to order sushi, but I  
expect whoever answers the phone won't get it.


"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls,  
when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's  
			-- Rabbi Israel Salanter

More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list