There comes a time, even in a pandemic, when one simply can’t abide the restrictions for one more minute, throws caution to the wind and opts for something UTTERLY CRAZY like… indoor dining.
It was perhaps irresponsible, yes, but honestly I thought I was going to crack from boredom. Alan too, so when he said, “You want to do something?” I thought fuck yeah, I want to try this spot in Dearborn I’ve been meaning to check out for something like three years. I know we’re negative and won’t be infecting anyone. If it goes the other direction, well, I knew the risk.
This place is said to have the best hummus on the planet. (Possible headline for my obit: Unsuccessful writer ‘died for hummus;’ in last words, claims ‘it was worth it’) I can report that while my personal experience with hummus isn’t all that wide, it was in fact very good, and so was the foul, the harhoura, the falafel and the mint tea, as well as the roasted potatoes they sent to the table on the house, why I’m not sure. But I tipped 25 percent. Everyone’s having a hard time, and it was so nice to get out. Of course any carb-fest in Dearborn wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Shatila, a bakery and sweet shop where they serve Lebanese and French pastries:
Truth be told, I’m not the biggest fan of that super-fussy style of dessert — I’ll take a good slice of in-season peach or apple pie over that, any day — although they certainly are fun to look at. And my choice, the pineapple cake at the top left, was very good.
While we were at the first place, we stumbled across the restaurant’s chickpea stash and I took a picture, but I won’t post it here because I suspect it could be an OSHA violation to store a literal ton of chickpeas in 50-pound sacks in a hallway, but when they’re destined for such tastiness, I am willing to keep my mouth shut.
And now I’m so full I won’t eat until tomorrow, but a good swim in the morning will use up the calories.
It was a fine day, for January anyway, and we drove home on surface streets, Warren Avenue all the way, from the hookah shops and clothing stores for traditional Arab women through the industrial this and that of Detroit, then Wayne State, then the east side and all the way to GP.
On the drive out, Alan’s phone chirped with a news alert, which he immediately checked. “I always hope it’s news about Trump having a massive stroke,” he confessed. “Not today.”
The rest of the weekend was spent absorbing another Lansing scandal: The most recent Speaker of the House, a 33-year-old preacher’s kid who spent his six years in the lower chamber basically being a professional Christian, was revealed as anything but. His sister-in-law came forward to claim he started sexually abusing her when she was 15 (and he was 21), and didn’t stop until last summer. It’s a tawdry tale, but only surprising if you are shocked that halo-polishing Christians dig hanging at strip clubs and banging lots of chicks. I am not.
Nor am I surprised by the ex-Speaker’s high-and-tight fashy haircut. It’s like semiotics with these guys.
Bloggage? Here’s something a little light-hearted, that serves as a pretty good example of why Detroit stands alone as a news town, or at least on a par with Miami: A flashback story about the time a radical anarchist prankster threw a shaving-cream pie in the face of a so-called “child guru,” then was tracked down by the guru’s followers and beaten with a hammer. The prankster sounds like someone I would have liked a lot:
Halley was a well-known rebel character in the Wayne State University neighborhood. He drove a cab for a living but was also a writer, poet, pamphleteer, actor and self-described anarchist clown. He staged guerilla-theater events in parks, streets and the lobby of the Fisher Theatre, where he and fellow performers taunted people paying top dollar for mainstream Broadway plays.
Operating his own storefront theater, Halley once put on a satire about the 1978 massacre in Jonestown, Guyana, offering the audience Kool-Aid. That was a sardonic reference to the hundreds of Jonestown cult members who died after a drinking a fruit-flavored beverage laced with poison. On another occasion, Halley led audience members through the Cass Corridor as actors popped out from behind trees and garbage cans. One of his characters was Dirty Dog the Clown, who played a harmonica and spouted radical slogans.
In a 1978 Free Press article that recalled the pie incident, Halley, with a straight face, told a reporter the plastic plate surgeons had implanted in his head picked up radio signals.
All this entertainment for the cost of a newspaper. I ask you.
Happy week ahead, all. Let’s hope I’m still testing negative at the end of it.