I NO LONGER RECALL whether, in my nine years as a so-called blogger, I’ve written about certain themes here, or just riffed on them on FaceBook. So forgive me if you’ve heard this one before.

IMG_2343I don’t love bananas. I tolerate them. I feel obligated to eat them. Like it’s something I ought to do, because they’re good for you. All that potassium!

I believe there’s only a very small window when a banana’s ripeness is within the Ideal Eating Zone, and it’s usually something like 12:30pm – 5:00pm on a Thursday. Before that, too firm. After, too soft and good only for adding to fruit smoothies or making banana bread.

I’ve been known to buy one because I feel like I should, then carry it around until it is past The Window. It turns out, bananas are not nearly so good for you when you don’t actually eat them.

You can disagree, but this is how I feel about them.

This was my mindset as I purchased, on my way to work this morning, a banana and a bottle of water from a vendor. I had both hunger and thirst, and these items seemed the most efficient way to remedy both conditions. I placed my items at the register.

Cashier: A water and a banana.

Me (not yet sufficiently caffeinated): A water and a banana.

Cashier: $3.50, please.

Me (answering the question he had not even remotely asked): Bananas are healthy. I feel like I ought to eat them.

Cashier: I can’t eat ’em. The doctor says all that potassium isn’t good for me.

Me (looking wistfully at the trays of banana muffins): I wish I had that excuse.

I was a good girl today. I ate the banana, even as I wished for the muffin. (I make no promises concerning tomorrow.)




Do you remember the lunchline in your school cafeteria? Or maybe your college dining hall? Were you a line-cutter? Did you save seats? Or hoard your lunch money for ice cream instead of the featured entree? Remember getting your ticket punched, or exchanging your prepaid milk ticket for an 8-ounce carton of whole milk?  Do you remember begging alerting your parents to add more money to your college food account?

I do, and I also remember how thrilled I was to enter the Real World and, among other things, be done with cafeteria lines.

And yet, some of my fellow card-carrying adults must miss waiting in line for their food.  I for one don’t ever feel as if I have lots of spare time to squander on procuring my mid-day meal. I gotta be quick, like a surgical strike. In, buy, out, eat. Done. Especially now that I am paid by the hour.

But check this out:


Today, at high noon in downtown DC, this was the line to get into a deli on 19th street. There is always a line at this place, despite it being in the same block as 4 or 5 other carryouts. I have never been there, but I know folks who have, and the place is legendary. People who worked downtown ten, fifteen years ago still remember it and speak of it in reverent, hushed voices.

For almost 20 years now, they’ve been queueing up outside The Greek Deli because the food is supposed to be fantastic.

I’m told it’s a little bit Soup Nazi-esque… you’d better know what you want to order when you get to the counter, otherwise you’ll be scorned. Hazed. Ignored. Reviled. BANNED.

(Kids, the “Soup Nazi” is a reference to “Seinfeld”, a legendary “sitcom” from NBC, which is a “television network.” Here – watch this, then ask your parents:)

But my thing is, what are they really dishing out in there? My friend Joel suggested they’re serving up “free money sandwiches with free liquid gold as the beverage . ” A plausible theory.  What else would explain that line? Seriously! Is there any food so good that you would sacrifice 20 minutes just to wait in line for it? There has to be something else going on in there. Like, I dunno, free shots of rum in your Diet Coke? Hash in the brownies? Maybe the potato chips are laced with crack?  Perhaps there’s a hypnotist running the checkout and he plants a subliminal suggestion that makes you go back the next day?

I have some other ideas; most of them are naughty and not suitable for a Family Blog.  (Yes, I am in fact a 7th grade boy, thanks for asking.)

I mean no disrespect to the Greek Deli – I applaud their ability to cause the hard workin’ folks of downtown DC to queue up out onto the sidewalk day after day, especially in these Hard Economic Times. It just must be some kinda good in there.

If you have a theory on what they’re handing out the Greek Deli, post it in the comments. But remember, I always post a link to Facebook, and I have more than a few minors in my friend list, so please – use EUPHEMISMS. Or Acronyms. Or something clever, ok? Otherwise –