Saturday, June 9, 2007

which came first...the chicken or

it is another beautiful day in los angeles. i know, i know i can just hear sybil "everyday is beautiful in that cultural wasteland - that's how they keep you there" but today was really beautiful. the husband and i decided to take a walk to the beach and have lunch at our favorite restaurant - right on the sand. actually it is the only restaurant on the sand and the food is lousy but you can't beat the setting and let's face it - this is l.a. and we all know that in l.a. it is much better to look good than to taste good.

i ordered my usual, a ricci salad. chicken, feta cheese, lettuce, tomato and almonds in a lemon herb dressing. being so close to hollywood i like to think that the salad is named in honor of cristina ricci but, since i have been eating it since long before she was born, it is highly unlikely. at any rate, the salad came without the chicken. i don't mean to be picky, but the chicken is the whole point of the ricci salad. without the chicken you are left with a couple of leaves of lettuce, a dollop of feta and half a handful of almonds. the tomato doesn't count because i don't like tomatoes.

i called the waitress over to complain. "you didn't ask for chicken" she responded. i tried to explain that i have been ordering this salad since the clinton administration and it has always come with chicken. being an immigrant from the soviet union, she was not moved by my political reference and continued to argue with me. i asked her whatever happened to the theory that the customer is always right. she muttered something, under her breath, about being lucky to ever see a chicken in odessa. i persisted and finally she relented. she would bring me a chicken breast but she would have to charge me extra. assuming she grew up in an oppressive, communist society, i wanted to applaud her for her capitalistic leanings but i also did not want to pay extra for chicken that should have been there in the first place. we argued and she won. i was hungry - and we had been at it so long i was afraid i would miss dinner. she brought the chicken, i ate the salad but something within me changed.

i am all for immigration. my grandparents came here from somewhere else as did many people's grandparents of my generation. i have nothing against the melting pot. different cultures is what has always made america great. this is the land of opportunity and i am rooting for all the people that have taken the great risk to leave their homeland to come to a strange country for a better life. o.k. so now you know where i stand. i know bush has all kinds of rules he is trying to pass about illegal immigrants having to learn english, have a job, pay back taxes and all. i am not 100% in favor of all that but if there are going to be rules than i think we must add one more. one must never forget to put chicken in the ricci salad.