Monday, April 13, 2009

Part (wo)man, part monkey

I spent Easter in Charlotte, North Carolina, making shish kabobs and fruity drinks with my old friend, Brooke. We even listened to a radio show we'd recorded on her "My First Song" when I was 10 and she was 12. I found my call in to Brooke, who was posing as an on-air advice columnist, a little depressing. 10-year-old me pretended to be a pregnant woman in her third trimester with five kids and a husband who'd just left her. My character wanted to jump out a window, but was quickly consoled by Brooke's advice to "take a shower and ride a bike." Reflecting on it now, it's probably not so easy for a very pregnant lady to bathe herself and hop on her Schwinn. And unless he has a thing for fat cyclists, I doubt it's gonna bring back her man. We were naive. 

I flew back into La Guardia this afternoon and had to go from bus to train to make my way home. I'm never in the middle of Queens, and I never eat alone in public, so when I stepped off the bus leg of my journey and found myself next to Neptune's Diner, I decided to do something weird for the sake of that adventurous little 10-year-old who'd been on my mind all weekend.

I ate my bowl of soup next to a father in a black velour jogging suit and his children, who had a lot of questions about Neptune, depicted as a gray-haired, ripple-chested cartoon dripping bead of salt water down the front of the family diner menu. My parents used to read my siblings and me all the Greek myths, so when the father next to me insisted that Hades wasn't a god but a place, I had to intervene. Parents should not miseducated their children. Kids are the future. They deserve to be taught the right facts before they promptly forget them!

But there I was, watching tziki slide down an old woman's chin when it dawned on me, isn't Neptune the ROMAN name for the God of the Sea? This is a Greek restaurant, people, why aren't we calling it "Poseidon's Diner"? Has the world abandoned its desire for consistency? Don't we care about providing a clear and accurate lesson plan for our little kids' menu masticators?

I came this close to sharing my musings with the family next to me. But then I realized that you can call both the guy and the place he rules "Hades." And I started to feel like sort of an asshole.  

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