Chad Deal 8:22 p.m., May 20
14-May-2010--On The Eastbound Sprinter--Dealing With A Mooch
"What is this world coming to? Beggars begging from beggars!"
--Madame DeFarge (Madleine Kahn), in Mel Brooks' "HISTORY OF THE WORLD, PART I."
Friday, May 14th:
That night, I did not feel like cooking. Even the most hardened reaver wishes for times of peace--and that evening, I felt like getting out of my apartment and shaking an incipient case of cabin fever. Besides, I felt like having fried chicken, but certainly not KFC.
When I lived in Oceanside, I used to bowl in a Friday night league. After the match, I'd often pop in at Church's Texas-styled Fried Chicken and grab a box of "dark meat," plus three biscuits, on my way to Oceanside Transit Center and my ride home to the San Luis Rey Valley (I was living at Luna House, an independent living facility off of North River Road, at the time. In another thread, I'll tell you about it). When I got home, it was dinnertime--plus I shared part of my meal with my roomie.
Well, I had a hankering for Church's, so I boarded the 305 Westbound to Vista Transit Center, then caught the 302 all the way to Oceanside Blvd. I hopped off, crossed the street at the light, and went inside. The prices were a bit priceier, but the smells were the same. Unlkie KFC, Chuech's actually deep-fries their chicken (with plenty of batter). Of course, I thought at one time that "Texas Fried Chicken" meant that the chicken was fried in the electric chair (how the Texas Department of Corrections used to dispose of their condemned until the coming of Lethal Injection).
They also serve some really good buiscuts (topped with a light honey glaze). I ordered my regular of ten pieces of dark regular chicken (as opposed to spicy, which for me is like napalm on my tummy--NO THANKS!), plus three buiscuts and a large diet iced tea.
After I got my order, I went down to the Coast Highway Sprinter Station--the final stop before Oceanside Transit Center. I boarded the train at 8:15pm, then rode it to OTC. Since I had my monthly pass, I can ride the Sprinter each way until it stops running for the night, if that is my pleasure.
At OTC, I switched seats, so that I was facing forward. Unfortunately, some folks boarded the train...and one of them caught a whiff of my dinner for that evening (plus lunch the next day). She then just had to tell the world that she smelled fried chicken. The bag, sadly, was in plain view--forgot to hide it.
That was bad enough. However, some felllow in a wheelchair actually had the nerve to demand a piece of chicken from me!
Now, the company that runs the Sprinter for NCTD takes a pretty hard line about eating on the Sprinter. Drinks in covered containers are OK (and they do understand that one does get thirsty at times--just no open containers), but eating on the Sprinter can acutally get you ticketed (the fine is $250, btw).
I told the gentleman "Sir, I will not give you any of my food. This is supposed to last me for the next two days. Besides, you can't eat on the Sprinter."
"I'll eat it quick," was his reply--as he moved his chair to block me getting out of my seat. "Just gimmie a piece."
That's when it hit me--this fellow is a mooch, and a very ill-mannered one at that!
"Sir, as I told you before, I am NOT going to give you a piece of the chicken I bought for my own use! If you do not cease begging, I will have to get rather unpleasant...wheelchair or no! Back it off, man, while you still can," I told him, giving him my "look." The "look" that I flash ususally is a non-verbal warning to stop bugging me, or there will be problems. It involves lowering my glasses, affixing a scowl on my face, and giving my tormentor a "hard look."
Unfortunately, there was no Tranist Security officers on the Sprinter that night (thank you NCTD!), so I knew I had to deal with this myself. Fortunately, the dude in the wheelchair backed down first, mumbling to himself that I was something lower than whale ca-ca on the bottom of the Mariannas Trench.
"And you're one too, pally," I thought as my tormentor wheeled back to his place. I got off at Vista Transit Center, took the 305 Eastbound home, and popped into my house at 9:21pm. I opened the box of chicken, selected two thighs and a busicut, then put the rest of the chicken in a air-tight container (the other two biscuts went into some alumnium foil for later snacks).
As I ate my dinner (and sipping on a chilled liter of earl Grey Tea), I did some introspection. At first, I thought the guy was really hungry. If we had not been on the Sprinter, I might have slipped him a biscuit and two drumsticks and sent him on his way (I'll gladly share my meal with someone, that's just how I am),
However, his demanding of part of my meal, plus his physical actions, told me that he was nothing more than a bully-on-wheels--and a mooch at that! I have no sympathy for bullies. To me, a bully is a coward with an attitude problem. By his persistence, he did not gain what he wanted...which I figured was far more than a piece of fried chicken.
The chicken still tasted like I remembered it. Crunchy, a bit oily--but still more meat than KFC's. The biscuit was just as tasty--and the chilled Earl Grey tea made it all go down that much smoother.
For the rest of the month, it will be meals at home (I only eat take-out once a month, if I can afford it). Tonight, smoked sausage on the grill with mustard. Still, once in a while, it's good to see if something you remembered from your younger years tastes as good now as it did then!
You know something? It did!