I was walking my dog the other day. The Family Norman is currently residing in temporary corporate housing in downtown Baltimore. It’s a sort of limbo apartment with beige carpeting, basic cable and white towels. It’s nice and all, but it’s nice in the way that your rental car is when you visit some random city for a wedding. A Honda something or other that you never really chose, but there you are, driving around in it anyway.
As we turned a corner in search of an appropriate parking meter to defile, my dog stopped suddenly and stuck his nose in the air. This happens a lot, and so I gave him a little pull, but he was dug in hard, sniffing away. And that’s when I smelled it, too. Hamburgers.
After some quick investigating, I discovered that there’s a restaurant in the building next to ours. Apparently their ventilation system is rigged to empty out onto the sidewalk, essentially blasting passersby with a warm meat breeze.
This is one of those situations one could call ironic. At least I think it is. I’ve always found that term kind of confusing.
Until very recently, my wife and I were living in London, England. As my many readers know, The Norman Nation usually stands high above stereotypes and broad generalizations, but, I’d like to go on record as saying that absolutely everything you’ve ever heard about British beef is true. Spongy and cooked to a gray mass of ungodly sliminess, it tastes like something dug out of the garbage by pigeons and then run over by bicycle messengers. Speaking of my dog, one time he accidentally ate half of a discarded British hamburger that he found in Hyde Park. After swallowing, he looked at me with sad, desperate eyes and then tried to throw himself in front of a cab.
My point: it’s not good.
Now, please don’t misunderstand me. I’m proud of my British readership. England is a wonderful, charming place, and the people are as lovely and intelligent as any in the world. I’m just saying that their beef is unfit for creatures who, forgive me for saying, occasionally eat their own poop.
But, now that I think about it, this isn’t really about London or Baltimore or even hamburgers. It’s about the fact that wherever you’ve been, it’s always nice to be home. Now, if you’ll excuse me, my dog and I are going to take a walk around the block for the 80th time this week.