The doctor kept me waiting 45 minutes. When he arrived, he apologized, and when I went to get on the examining table, he invited me to sit in the chair, so we could "talk eye-to-eye." When mine dropped down, they settled on his socks, which had a design of pink, purple and white horizontal stripes. When you wear a white coat you have to rely on your footwear to show your flair. He complimented me on my bookbag, which he said looked "well-traveled." I should have complimented him on his socks.
The lunch special was grilled calamari in a pesto sauce over a bed of arugula and bruschetta. I liked every word of that.
Then the dish arrived. As soon as I looked at the white rings of squid I remembered the story I’d heard on NPR a few months back reporting that some restaurants have been using pig rectums to stand in for squid. Granted, this was for fried calamari – on the theory that something that’s rubbery and fried tastes rubbery and fried – but the image has stuck in my mind. I ate my lunch but it wasn’t as enjoyable as I’d thought it would be.
We had computer problems yesterday morning (yes, that's my excuse) and when I called for technical help the man on the other end of the phone asked me the four-digit security number, which I didn't remember. So he asked me to name my favorite singer.
I didn't remember ever being asked, by a tech person, my favorite singer. I've been asked my mother's birthplace, her maiden name, the city in which she met my father - all questions with only one possible answer. As I thought yesterday of my favorite singer I also wondered why a tech staff would resort to what is in effect a judgment call when it comes to security. Our favorites - whether singers or cereals - are subject to change.
I finally said Sinatra. I was told, in a disappointed voice, that Sinatra was not my favorite singer. Now I assumed that my wife had set up this account, and she had given the name of her favorite singer. But who would that be? Ella Fitzgerald? Marek Grechuta?
Later in the morning I called her at work and asked her to name her favorite singer. She couldn't. We are a household in need of a favorite singer. Among the possibilities are, in addition to the ones already mentioned, Ewa Demarczyk, Billie Holiday, Jacques Brel, Carlos Gardel, Tony Bennettt, Luciano Pavarotti, Sezen Aksu, Edith Piaf, Anna German, Nana Caymmi, Serge Reggiani, Caetano Veloso, Charles Aznavour, Rosa Passos, Johnny Cash and Mariza.