Taste of the Danforth

14Aug07

If you’ve been paying attention as keenly as I assume you have, you might have noticed I haven’t posted anything in a couple of days. Part of that is because I’ve finally bit the bullet and built a brand-new computer. So I’ve been staying up late a lot loading Windows, messing something up, swearing, and loading Windows again. Then I’d wake up in the morning feeling old and tired and dragging my hunched-over ass around like goblinoid Mötley Crüe guitarist Mick Mars circa the Dr. Feelgood tour. (I finally got around to reading their memoir, The Dirt, this week. It turns out they did a lot of drugs.)

The other reason to have been feeling lethargic was that the Taste of the Danforth festival took place this weekend. That’s a street festival that takes over the main drag in Greektown where all the restaurants set up booths and sell food. Pretty much every merchant gets into the act, which came in handy when I realized that I needed to buy a new power supply for my computer at 9:30 at night and was able to stroll over to the local computer store’s booth, which was open late. On the less lucky side, the Eton Tavern took the opportunity to gouge me for $6.50 for a pint of Keith’s, even though the place is such a dive that there’s a ripple when you enter.

Because I live only a couple of blocks north of the Danforth and am too exceedingly lazy to cook for myself unless necessary, I tend to swallow my loathing of crowds and then swallow all variety of exotic food. (The other reason I go is that the festival could be more aptly called Tits of the Danforth. Every woman who goes seems to pick her most rack-bearing outfit, rain or shine. It’s a veritable cleavage parade. And there was a pole-dancing exhibition this year too. Less appealingly, there was also a jacked-up guy dressed in a ridiculously tiny muscle shirt and snow-camouflage pants, like one of the Bushwackers. I was terrified that he was going to stride over and lick me across the face.)

This year, I went three times. The first two times were with friends. The third time, I just had to do some banking in the area, and thought, “Hey, you know what I should do while I’m down here? Make a pig of myself.” And I did. I was a real Peter Lynn. For the second year in a row, I steered clear of Greek food entirely; a man can only take so many identical souvlaki skewers, even if the sharp sticks are useful for poking slow-moving, waddling fatties and morons who insist on pushing giant baby strollers through the dense crowd. Instead, I gorged myself on Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, and Indian food. While wandering around Saturday afternoon with Susan and cracking jokes about child abuse (e.g., “I like my babies like my martinis: shaken, not stirred.”), I managed to try out a Brazilian steakhouse I’d been wondering about. Disappointingly, I found the beef a little dry. “I’m all about the medium-rare,” Susan said.

“Or rare,” I agreed. “Real pink. I like my steak like I like my babies.”

“What, charred on the outside and bloody on the inside?” asked Susan.

“Like they’re straight out of a house fire,” I agreed.

Speaking of people who should die in a house fire, Steelback Breweries was the festival sponsor, and I was disappointed to learn that I missed a personal appearance by Steelback CEO Frank D’Angelo. I’d have loved to heckle him. I figure I’d start with a simple, “Hey, D’Angelo! You suck!” I know it’s pretty standard, but it’s an attention-grabber. There’s no use wasting a killer line right out of the gate if it takes a minute for the stunned crowd to realize what’s going on. You start simple, and then go into your A material. And there’s a lot of material to work with, when it comes to a shameless self-promoter like D’Angelo: his hair; his terrible, soaplike beer; his cheesy commercials with disgraced sprinter Ben Johnson, his singing; his grandstanding, publicity-seeking bids to buy sports teams when he has no intention of actually following through on the purchase. I could probably do 90 minutes on D’Angelo — not even a tight seven- to ten-minute set of my best material. I’d go right for the 90-minute HBO special, like I were Dave Chappelle or something. It’d be just me, a stage, a stool, and a glass of water. “Do you know what else I hate?” I’d say. “… Frank D’Angelo.”

Anyway, that was Taste of the Danforth. The end! No moral.



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