Saturday, March 29, 2008

Lord Byron, Birthdays and Bikes

Birthdays and holidays are a pain in the ass. I guess I don’t get as much fulfillment as everybody else claims they feel from giving gifts. That probably makes me sound like an ass, but it’s true. Maybe because I don’t like a lot of stuff cluttering up my life, it’s hard to understand why anyone else would. And when I do need or want something, I go get it. I don’t wait around hoping somebody will give it to me. In fact, many times when I receive a gift I feel bad that someone spent money on me. Just so they could feel good. What kind of gift is that? I know that’s twisted logic and I’m just racking up the votes for the Asshole Hall of Fame here, but I’m just explaining why my feelings range from despair to resentment to desperation when it comes to gift giving. Can’t I just make a donation to The Human Fund in everyone’s name?

On the other hand, and just to make my case for not being a total ass, I do get that warm fuzzy feeling when I drink too much cough syrup. Or when I can offer my time or self-proclaimed expertise to help someone out. But I ain’t going to wrap it up in pretty paper and stick a bow on it.

But that was all just a digression to get to the real subject of my post: hot dogs.

You see, I was out shopping for my birthday gift today. The Mrs. and I aren’t normally big consumers. Feel free to blame the recession on us. But every once in a while we can get swept away with the rest of the Idiocracy and want to buy something beyond food or school books. In order to justify these unnatural urges, we’ve been using the following modus operandi: Can I get it and have it be my [insert Christmas/Birthday/Valentine’s Day/Cinco de Mayo] gift?

So far it’s working. I’m impossible to buy for and the Mrs. doesn’t have time for that crap, and I suck at finding socks that will knock her socks off.

Which brings us back to hot dogs. I’m considering telling her that she’s getting me a bicycle for my birthday. Yes, I know I have three bikes but I don’t have a single-speed steed. Yes, I know… don’t change gears and any one of them can be a single-speed. Sorry to take away the cheap and easy comment, gentle readers. But the type of bike I’m looking for isn’t your typical off-the-shelf deal. If you’re like me and as mechanically inclined as a walrus with delirium tremors then you need to find a shop or guy that likes building these kinds of bikes. You essentially start with an old-school ten-speed frame and then do a custom build with the single gear. So, you’re saying, what about the hot dogs.

Well, I found a couple bike shops in Uptown that seemed to fit the bill and decided to check them out today. The first shop was about the size of my living room and stuffed with about 40 or 50 bikes in various states of completion and disrepair. Stacked horizontally, vertically, on end and seemingly impossibly intertwined at times, but all infallibly inventoried in Ron’s head. Unfortunately no 59cm or 61cm frames in stock, but I liked the guy and he said he’ll let me know when he gets a good one in. I must look deceivingly tall, since he tried to fit me on a 63cm before I left. It wasn’t a hard sell and he quickly backed off that idea after I racked myself on the cross tube. He gave me his card and a card for a good urologist and I went on my way.

And on the way home I stopped here:

For one of these:

Yes, there’s a hot dog in there. Here’s what you find if you peel back the first layer of pickles, tomatoes and green and red peppers:

And once you work your way through the lettuce, bright green relish and mustard that top the hidden dog, you’re left with this:

Good times. As one of my favorite reviews of the joint says, “Byron’s – Worth The Risk.”

3 comments:

keysunset said...

I still don't know what it is you are talking about with the bike thing. But hope you'll post more about it when the birthday/Arbor Day/Flag Day/anniversary present is actually in your possession.

But now, there are SO many places I could go with the Byron's Hot Dogs (park in rear!) part of your post. I guess I'll just say that I still can't see your hot dog, Mr. F'er. ;-)

gina said...

I'll just keep the panties I bought for you for your birthday for myself. Not a problem.

HR said...

I didn't see the link to vote for you for the Asshole Hall of Fame.