Saturday, June 11, 2005


Road Trip Report #3: CLEVELAND

Hello Cleveland

Cleveland was wonderful. Even better than I remember.

Except for the part about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame closing at 5:30.

I'll just let the full weight of that statement sink in.

Bill Bryson would probably say "That tells you just about everything you need to know about Cleveland," turn it into another joke at the city's expense and move on. But we stayed, and I'm glad.

We landed in the late afternoon and our first order of business, although usually beer, was today food. We found both at Panini, which those in the know hail as making the best sandwiches pretty much anywhere.

I dunno about anywhere, but they were pretty damn good for where we were, even with a serving of French fries scrunched into the sandwich (apparently, they're known for that). Throw in your usual sandwich fixings plus cole slaw and you've got a sandwich that's exactly as messy as you would expect. But also way tastier than you'd bargain for too.


We lingered well into happy hour, availing ourselves of the specials, and also of the astonishing bevy of gorgeous Cleveland women who gravitate here after a hard day's work at such places as, well, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (which is how we found out it was already closed. It took at least two pitchers worth of consolation after that news. JC is still not over it).

I'm firmly consecrated to the notion that it's all right to get your appetite walking 'round town, so long as you eat supper at home, so I'll admit here to admiring said women.

And it would seem I also attracted the attention of one.

A woman, I mean.

Not one of the gorgeous ones, I mean.

As must surely be evident from the few pictures I've posted here, I am most certainly not one of those guys who draws beautiful women to him like a magnet pulls iron filings. Not that it's even a concern now, you understand, but historically, it was always an issue. It was like I was in some other dimension where gorgeous women didn't notice me one jot until I somehow managed to accelerate my molecules to the point where I could actually appear in the threshold of their visual spectrum. And usually by the time I managed this feat, I'd expended so much energy, I had nothing left for intelligent conversation or anything approaching A Move.

But you could always count on my drawing the attention of at least one woman: The giant manlike one with the mashed carton of cigarettes rolled up in the sleeve of her stained t-shirt.

"'Nice bongos' huh? Thet's funny!" Patsy brayed as she staggered over to our table.

Oh God.

She towered over even the tallest of us (C-Dog, who scrapes 6-foot-3), her hamlike fists on her fleshy hips, which were barely concealed by the bedsheet of denim that functioned as her skirt.

I wasn't sure if she was amused or annoyed with the sentiment expressed on my shirt. I tried to explain how it was that we had all agreed to wear the goofiest or most salacious t-shirts we owned on this trip (C-Dog has one bearing the legend "Home of the Whopper" for example), but she just looked at me fixedly, like some rugged outdoorswoman trying to hypnotize a wild animal by staring it down.

"You want a drink?" she slurred.

I broke her gaze and looked around hurriedly at my bemused friends. "No, no thanks," I said, willing my molecules to slow or speed up so as to vanish from sight. "We're all fine."

"Not them," Patsy said, staring fixed at me. "You."

There was a long awkward pause. For me anyway.

Then Patsy said, "I gots me some nice bongos. Wanna see?"

And we got the hell out of there.

From Somewhere on the Road

Love the reports! I'm doing this next time I take a road trip fersher. "Nice bongos" - bwahaha.

That sandwich looks awesomely good, BTW...mmmmm.
I can't for the love of god understand why people like us attract the most "gruesome" looking human beings born to this land, male and female alike.

That will teach you to wear your bongos outside next time.

Too funny! Now I wonder what witty comeback uncle David would have come up with for her. It's probably good that you got out of there quickly tho - she would have snapped you in half like a twig.

Safe passage for the rest of the trip.
Oh and here I thought you were too smart to wear a shirt like that!

"Aching for a breaking."

"Cruising for a bruising."

Don't these phrases mean anything to you?!

You're so lucky to get out alive...

(Yes I'm angry that I can't have that sandwich. How can you tell?)
Panini's are awesomely good, but there is a plethora of good eats in Cleveland. Slyman's on St. Claire has amazing sandwhiches too and The Great Lakes Brewing Company has killer micro brews as wells as tasty eats.

Patsy, is unfortunately indictative of how bad some of the women in cleveland work. I imagine that she drives a backhoe for ODOT and can often been seen taking a break from work with her male counterparts on the side of Rt. 90.
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