Thursday, May 05, 2005
Psychotropic Alchemy Blues
Something strange is happening in my hometown. I began to suspect trouble last Monday as my clothing tumble dryed behind me. I gazed through the laundromat window at the establishments across the street. I was taken aback when I noticed the statues had vanished.
For the longest time I thought Da Luciano was a barber shop. Mounted outside are a pair of those swirling spinning barber poles with red stripes. This misconception continued until I walked by a few weeks ago after exiting Fagan's Tap a few doors down.
On that drunken day I saw a candlelit dining area squeezed into a cramped storefront. Sparsely mounted upon the soothing beige walls were pictures of fresh produce and Italy. Red checkerboard tablecloths caught stray droplets of alfredo sauce. Bread baskets made centerpieces.
I thought the choice of barber polls outside to be a tad strange. Add the Blues Brothers to that and you've gone totally bizarro. That's right: outside stand two 6' tall statues, perfectly painted, mounted on wheel pedestals, frozen in mid-dance. I decided this was not a normal decoration outside a cozy, intimate, old-world style Italian eatery.
So last Monday I noticed Elwood and Jake had gone AWOL. I walked outside to get a better look, unobstructed by the laundromat's foggy pane of glass. The immobile heroes were right inside the front door, watchdogs protecting the parmesan shakers. Da Luciano was closed.
I thought back to my birthday two weeks before. I'd wanted to order a roasted duck from Wing Hee, the Chinese kitchen next door to Da Luciano. They were closed. I had to order from the dubiously named Chopstick Express all the way at Harlem & Belmont. It was good, but the safe domestic name had made me nervous. I like my foriegn food to come from restaurants with unpronouncable exotic names. Weird names like Wing Hee or Moon Nein Wah.
So Wing Hee and Da Luciano are both closed on Mondays. Why? Are they busy laundering drug money in the back room? Are they injecting cute kittens with horrible infectuous fleshrotting diseases before releasing them into school playgrounds to capture the hearts of unsuspecting children? Maybe they manufacture crack cocaine and then ship it to the west side in harmless looking bread trucks adorned with mustachoied fat faces under puffy white hats. I could see that.
This doesn't explain why they both take Monday off. There's no common religious affiliation between the Chinese and Italians. There's no criminal alliances that I'm aware of either, so this conspiracy must be something of a far stranger nature. A whole new brand of sinister.
Suddenly, a horrible illumination seared my brain. I knew. Both places use styrofoam, paper, and cardboard to package their takeout orders. Neither use tinfoil. Aluminum is present nowhere in either establishment. I had discovered the key to the mystery.
Everybody knows aluminum is the kryptonite that scalds the glowing skin of the alien menace. Everybody knows aluminum is the sacred material we humans use to make protective hats to shield our brains from the harmful beams of galactic filth they transmit across our atmosphere.
The proprietors and employees of these adjacent kitchens are the earthbound agents of the mysterious and malevolent force attempting to subvert the utopian destiny of humanity by frying our mental synapses and receptors with invisible waves of astral psychomagical pollution.
They want to fuck up our heads so they can use us for food or engine grease or something. Maybe they drink our depression like a fine wine. Maybe our defeated immobile couch potatoes produce the syrupy ennui these deviant fucks need to perform alien sex acts. Perhaps our cynicism yields a cherry bile they dehydrate and sprinkle upon their dessert entrees. It may be that a human's leaky ulcer bile decomposes our intestines causing the consistency of our feces to metamorphose into a substance they nibble off wafers like we do escargot patee.
We need to fight back. We need to focus. We need ideas. We must have a hero. We must have an icon. I do. I've never met him, but his name is Reynolds.
Until Reynolds steps forward, this fight is mine alone. I will infiltrate during the next processing day, next Monday. Wish me luck.
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