Friday, December 13, 2002

The Kid Who Sells You Your Chinese Takeout Doesn't Care How Retarded You Are Day!

All day long you go from being coddled and doted upon at the hands of shopkeepers and mailmen to being ridiculed by everyone from schoolchildren to female mail carriers. You'll go up to the deli to buy your grandmother's cold cuts and damn if old Mr. Nathanson doesn't just cradle you in his arms and sing you a lullaby you're so retarded. Your cold cuts in hand, you barely get two steps out the door of the deli before you get slammed in the face with a snowball and surrounded by middle school students who try to make you eat yellow snow. You eat the snow and get a big laugh and then it's off to the 7-11 to buy your brother's lotto ticket (you have the numbers memorized! But just in case, you have them written on a piece of paper too!), where Ahmed welcomes you to as many Big Gulp refills as you can stomach. Such an emotional rollercoaster. No one but the retarded can watch a day go from good to bad and potentially back to good again with every turn of the corner.

It's hard to be retarded.

But there is one place you can go where you're just another four dollars and thirty five cents that doesn't pay attention to board of health violations. Down the block at Mandarin Palace, when you order your "Sesame Chicken with NOOO BROCOLLI!!!" in that really loud, retarded way, all the kid behind the counter wants to know is "whiteriefrierie?" You'll put a little extra tard in it when you answer, "I hate brocolli!" but he just writes white rice on the order slip and goes back to bagging fortune cookies and soy sauce packets. The kid who sells you your chinese takeout doesn't care how retarded you are, just like you don't care that he's chinese and has orange hair.

Go ahead, show him your new gloves. He won't even look at them. He'll just nod his head a bit as he continues to sketch on the back of a menu possible flyer designs for his upcoming DJ gig. To him you're no different than the drunk waiting in line behind you to order from that fried chicken part of the menu. Or the dipshit on the phone complaining that he didn't want any snow peas in his Hunan Beef. Even when you go full-on retard and show him how good you are at karate kicks he doesn't so much as blink an eye. He just bags up your order, shouts out "sesamechicken!!", and shoves the bag into the hand you just used to send a pulled karate chop into the pile of unfolded menus.

This is one of the few destinations on your schedule where you're no less normal than anybody else. You'll get no derision from the kid who sells you your chinese takeout. Neither will you be offered any complimentary provisions to help you along on your special journey through this life. Just like it says on the sign outside, the only thing you can expect from Madarin Palace Takeout is a nice hot plate of "Epicurean Elegance." You pay now.