Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ramen Noodle Man

"Well, hello my's good to see you once again."  That was Neil Diamond for all the rock stars out there.  I fail miserably trying to sing his stuff, it sounds much better when I type it...although, I have considered adding "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show" to my karaoke playlist...but let's face reality here, I don't have the voice to pull that shit off.   Anyways, I have been noticeably absent from blogging this summer due to this thing called work.  I don't know about you, but I have been straight up busting ass since July 4th...but I'm not complaining.  This Fat Bastard is just glad to have a J-O-B period.

I usually have a routine at work where I hit the gym for some weight training at lunch and afterward I do SUBWAY.  I do love that place...12" ham on wheat with lettuce, tomatoes, olives, mushrooms, cucumbers, banana peppers, jalapenos and the customary vinegar & oil, S&P and oregano.  I know what your thinking, "Christ Mark, that's not a's a salad wrapped in bread!"  It really is but I'm a creature of habit and it has very little fat.  I love it so much that I would be willing to challenge their spokesperson "Jared" to a no holds barred, "Texas Cage-Loser Leave Town Match."  Have you seen that guy?  I have no doubt in my mind that I could take him...hey, I'm lifting weights now, that has to account for the way, I'm bench-pressing 170 lbs...snort, flex, sigh...yeah, I'm a regular 'ole "muscle man." ( If you haven't quite figured out that I'm full of shit, I just don't know what to tell you.)

That routine has had to change somewhat.  I still go to the gym, but work has picked up to the point that I have had to skip my usual stop at SUBWAY and have something to eat at the office.  How many of you out there bring your lunch to work?  Yeah, it's gotten to the point that I'm having to do the same, but I gotta tell ya...I really hate trying to figure out what to bring in the morning and I'm too damn lazy at night to slap together a PB&J sandwich and put it in a bag.  I will eat them, but come on Man!  I'm 47 years old and it's not cool at my advanced age to show up at work and tell my coworkers that I'm eating sandwiches that "Mommy" made me.  It also prevents that one friggin comedian in the office from asking me "Where's your Scooby-Doo Lunch box and Thermos?"(I did have one when I was eight and it was the coolest)

So what does a hip, cool-mo-dee Environmental Engineer like myself do on these occasions? Es cargo? Scampi?  If your patiently waiting for me to tell you and you haven't caught the title of my thread, then maybe I'm targeting the wrong audience...Yes, I eat Ramen Noodles.  No, it's not quite as revealing as say "I know where Jimmy Hoffa is buried," or "I once worked at NASA," but that right there is my life in a nut shell...Ramen friggin Noodles.  I know, working for the NCDOT is not like living in Sparta or the Hanoi Hilton and if I can afford SUBWAY on a daily basis, then I can damn sure afford some cheap frozen dinners or something at least a little more exotic than Ramen friggin Noodles.

My problem is that I'm just a simple minded SOB.  Sure, I love tasty and other Worldly foods but there's something about them, them being the noodles, that keeps me grounded in reality.  I ate Ramen Noodles in college to make ends meet...trying to pay bills, taking 15 semester hours and working the graveyard shift at UPS made 10 packs of noodles for a dollar a sound financial decision.  I didn't eat them when I was in the Army, but I did eat enough MRE's and cold food to appreciate Grandma's Sunday dinner spread.  More than anything, eating the noodles is just convenient.  All it takes is a bowl, fill it with water and the noodles.  Add the little "seasoning" packet, nuke it for four minutes and viola!!  Lunch is ready after about 5 minutes to allow the noodles to "fatten" up and for that little "something, something" I squirt a little hot sauce on them.

I have visions of opening up my own little Bar one day, yep, even have the name..."Der Kreiger."  That's "The Warrior" for you all you non-Germanic types and every little drinking establishment has a special night, such as "Open Mike," "College Night" and "Karaoke Night."  My theme night will be dedicated to veterans and as such I will have discounts on warm crappy beer and even break out MRE's for that extra touch and yes Ramen noodles.  There's nothing better than to sit around a bar and hear America's finest bitch about warm beer and crappy food.  So, if you find your self roaming Tobacco Road in the near future and see a marquee that reads, "Veterans Night, Warm Beer and Noodles,"  come on in and we'll swap some stories and I'll serve you up nice hot-piping bowl of Ramen Noodles.  Take care folks.

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