Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"They" Made Me Do It

They* took a train from Baltimore, I went to get them at the Metro, and well, that was about the last usual-for-me thing I did the whole weekend.

First stop: Half Smoke Central, otherwise known as Ben's Chili Bowl.

A DC institution, the positives of Ben's are numerous: slightly spicy chili, cheap eats, surly waitstaff, a few heart attacks on the plate, and whole heap of character.  Two interesting facts: only Bill Cosby and the Obama family eat for free (a sign behind the counter specifically outlines this policy) and during the 1968 riots, Ben's was the only business to survive intact because it is black-owned-and-operated.  The gun-check at the door probably helped too.

Half smoke with chili.  It was delicious, thank you.  And yes, I did use a knife and fork for the benefit of them and the front of my sweater.  I'm a resting triathlete, not a heathen.

They and I have known each other for a whole decade so there was lots of catching up, reminiscing, eating of not in-season food and drinking of not in-season beverages, and dissecting of literature and pop-culture (don't ask) before and after the house-warming party that brought them to DC in the first place.

Sunday was a 12-hour - yes, 12 - marathon of Boardwalk Empire, a show I entirely recommend.  Now that was truly an endurance event.  But not to worry: we wore race appropriate clothing, stopped at several aid stations, and persevered even when the going got tough.  Crossing the finish line was jubilant and we met our goal of finishing well before midnight.

I would recount the rest of the goings-on, but that would mean I would have to remember them first.  And anyway, what happens during the off-season stays in the off-season.

*names have been changed to protect the innocent

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