Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy
The sun is back rising in the east. Up is up. Down is down and Baseball is soon to reappear and…
My favorite little hole in the wall Chinese restaurant is open again. It was closed last August when two “youths” decided to burn down the Dollar Store next door. A brilliant move it was not. Not only did the fire gut the Dollar Store, but smoke and water damage destroyed my favorite little family run restaurant. All of this just a bagel’s thrown from St. Arbucks. But now…
The First Wok is open again. The Dollar Store has a ways to go. It still has that Dresden in 1945 look about it. The roof caved in and all the merchandise was either destroyed or shipped to flea markets around the globe.
This was also my favorite Dollar Store so the fire was a double whammy on my life. This one always stocked my favorite cheap pens – three pens for a dollar and they last forever. Luckily I stocked up the week before the “youths” torched the joint. Thank God the Terre Haute (That’s French for “Get me an eggroll.”) Fire Department got to the scene quickly or I might have lost my Kroger as well. Then where would I have been? Culturally and nutritionally adrift on a sea of frozen food.
Going into the First Wok was exactly like going into 50,000 other Chinese restaurants around the world – the same furniture, the same Artwork, the same pictures of menu items on the wall above the counter. I’m sure that there is a Chinese version of IKEA that supplies all of these places worldwide.
And I really think it is the same little old lady at the cash register. She may be a clone or one of those Disney Animatronic things. Abraham Lincoln and the lady at First Wok – take away Lincoln’s Top Hat and her apron and pencil and you’d never be able to tell them apart. Of course, that is until Abe recited the Gettysburg Address and she handed you some Green Pepper Beef.
The resurrection of the First Wok and the Dollar Store crept along at a rate that was slower than two tectonic plates sliding by. Every day, as I exited the Chapel at St. Arbucks, I looked across the parking lot where I could see the blackened shells of my oases in a desert of frozen pot stickers and Bic pens.
For the longest time nothing happened as the owners quibbled with the Insurance Companies. Then, as winter was approaching, workers arrived and I could see them repairing and replacing ceilings and walls. About ten days ago a banner was put up saying “First Wok – Open Soon” – true to the Grandmother’s Grammar Book. I love the consistency of it all. If Abe Lincoln had put up the banner it would have taken ten minutes to read it.
Now my life is returning to some semblance of normal and I can begin to open up some freezer space as I finish off my cache of frozen Pot Stickers and Eggrolls. The frozen stuff wasn’t bad, but they’re just not like the real thing.
A frozen Eggroll? It’s like kissing your sister.