Snobby boyfriend, haircuts, and first time drinkers

name: Elle
query: My man-friend (not my boyfriend!) always makes us watch movies that make me want to puke. EVERY film is pretentiously foreign or vomit inducing – no honest to goodness, kick someone in the balls and make a crass joke films. No TV sitcoms that aren’t full of English blokes with bad teeth and poor hygiene, NO arrested development marathons – No..they all have MEANING and..what’s that thing,substance? Anyway, they’re all real creepy and it’s annoying because all we do is cuddle up on the couch and watch movies. Listen, I’ve tried drowning them out with glasses of wine – nothing works! How do I get him to watch some shit, funny, non-creepy movies that don’t drive me to alcoholism?

Sounds like your fella is one step away from centering the evening’s recreation around the viewing of a snuff film. His insistence on and craving for “reality” is a perversion of man’s natural approach to entertainment. Entertainment is not meant to shove our noses into the filthy facts that surround us; its mandate is to whisk us away from that, to take us to a sillier, sunnier place populated by hot people — a place where even the ugly friend character with the whiny voice is super duper fuckable, where, when you watch the show, you fairly ache to fuck that ugly friend. In the real world, people’s ugly friends are legitimately repellant.

If your guy continues down this road, it won’t be long before the only thing he considers “entertainment” is sport executions and torture, filmed with minimum embellishment so that the authenticity is indisputable. Talk about needing a drink simply to get through the film! You, Elle, will doubtless find yourself turning to stronger and stronger chemical blinders. You’ll come home from work and swallow a handful of Vicodin before you even set your keys down on the counter. Before long, you’ll be little more than a zombie. When lucidity does assert itself — as a result of burning yourself in the kitchen, perhaps, or of falling into an icy river — it will be a place of psychic excruciation so unendurable that you’ll consider jumping out the nearest window just to make the thinking stop. Your partner, meanwhile, will have descended into a world where impossibly graphic displays of agony and dread will feel like the only thing that is truly real. All else will strike him as frivolous, a deception. His skin will grow pale as the moon, his corneas will swell and blacken, and he’ll lose his ability to speak in anything other than a bestial gibber.

Truly, Elle, your concern is well founded. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do.
—————
name: Andy
query: Dear Sirs, Why does your hair look its best on the day you decide to get it cut? Its a simple psychological thing.

Yours Andy,
Dublin

Good insight, Andy. We would say you’re probably right.
—————
name: Tess, Marie & Sara
query: We have never drank before.  What is it going to be like?  We heard that some people who drink end up feeling funny.  We were hoping to see what “all the hype is about” on July 7th of this year since that is the day that we will collectively turn 21 years of age.  Please grant us our wish of getting drunk with real life scientists because we know that is the only way we will feel safe (who better than scientists to prepare us for physiological effects of drinking).  We’d like this to occur at the Detroit Bar.  That’s in California.

Please don’t let us down.  The happiness of our lives depend on this.

Thank you.

Guys, you’re thinking of doctors; it’s doctors who would be the safe choice to drink with during your first bacchanal. Scientists, with their trademark “objectivity,” their practiced eschewing of emotion, their atheistic belief that the energy in a beetle is the same as the energy in a human being, belong to one of the least safe categories of people to hang out with during an insecure time. “Let’s release some heat into the universe,” they suggest dispassionately as they gun down naive bible salesmen who’ve been careless enough to ring a scientist’s doorbell.

Of course, we’re not even really scientists. No, seriously! We’re just in a band called “We Are Scientists.” That’s right, we’re rock musicians, undoubtably the very worst kind of person to be around when safety is a concern. Throughout their short history, rock musicians have used any device available to them (Usually alcohol! Often at Detroit Bar!) to self destruct. No, you’d be pretty crazy to hitch your wagon to a rock musician in any situation that (a) involves alcohol, and (b) you will not have armed guards.

We must, for these reasons, decline your offer. Not that we don’t desperately want to accept, but right now, in the glare of hung-over mid-afternoon daylight, we’re experienced enough to know that if we show up at your birthday party, one of you will end up pregnant, one will end up dead, and one will seriously regret having invited us in the first place.

SILK CITY DINER & LOUNGE

435 Spring Garden St
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(215) 592-8838

3/5 stars

Moments after we walked through the front door at Silk, Danny realized his hiatus-ing band, Youth Group, had played there. Half of the premises at Silk is devoted to a nightclub that was closed during our visit (Sunday, brunch), but according to Danny, ultraviolet lighting and “Heavy Metal” inspired bong art on the walls led his band to spend every moment they weren’t onstage in the diner.

Silk’s diner has an indoor area decorated traditionally -aluminum walls, booths with red vinyl covered cushions, a bar with fixed metal stools and a formica counter -and an outdoor garden featuring architecturally-integrated sculpture that calls to mind Gaudí and Jimi Hendrix album art.

We sat inside, and, with the exception of the service, had a good meal. The menu consists of standbys – a 2-egg plate, griddle standards, huevos rancheros -and more original fare: turkey breast & cheddar on biscuits w/ turkey gravy and ‘browns, and some kind of duck-motivated version of the same dish; foie gras & asparagus scrapple, and a red quinois scrapple; a pork bun side ($4); and some cocktails with goofy names. Chris had the turkey breast & biscuits and liked it, thought the potatoes were flavorful and a necessary addition to the plate’s palette. Keith and Danny both got the Silk Scramble, which mixed eggs with red onion, potato, guacamole, monterey jack cheese, & chorizo (which Keith had held). Keith called his scramble “on the very tasty side of bland, with high-grade ingredients,” and thought “the biscuit was a welcome counterpoint bite.” Danny fucking loved his. The table also split an order of French toast, which Keith found “curiously dense”, in a way that made him wonder if the bread was past its prime. Chris thought it was a “commendable” french toast, and thought the density was deliberate, desirable, and probably not accomplished through aging. This was Danny’s first French toast, and he fucking loved it, frankly.

Danny also went for a bloody mary, which he said was “extra good” -spicy, with lots of welcome solids (celery, olive, green tomato). Did he ever fucking love it. The coffee was mediocre, though the thick ceramic mugs did a better-than-average job of retaining heat. Keith noted that these premium mugs were necessary to mitigate the infrequency of coffee refills. Indeed, a political cartoon of Silk would show a fit, good-looking dude in his 20’s, hiply dressed, smiling at a group of pretty girls, yet walking with a pronounced limp, a large cast on one foot labeled “Service”. Our waiter was nice enough, but took a good long while to do anything. Our guess is that he intends to be a painter, spends his nights smoking and doing tiny Brueghel-inspired scenes of Philly, and half-consciously feels like being any good at his waiter job would be a betrayal of himself, of the Philly he loves, and worst of all, of Brueghel’s ghost. It should be noted that we have the vague and perhaps unjustified impression that service in Philadelphia is always bad. If true, that gets Silk off the hook, though it spells bigger problems for the city where Silk does business.

Bathrooms were fine. The “20 minute” wait only took 10 minutes. Should you wish to commemorate your visit to Silk, t-shirts are available for a very reasonable $5. Definitely give Silk a shot next time you’re trying to go to Honey’s on a weekend and decide you don’t feel like hanging out in that restaurant’s refugee camp-inspired waiting area.

(All three of us concur with this review.)

CHILI’S BAR & GRILL

827 Odd Fellows Rd
Crowley, LA 70526
(337) 783-1493

1/5 stars

This is probably the worst meal we’ve ever had on the road. There are only two things affirmative to be said about this place: our waitress, despite being a total flake and pretty disagreeable, had a nice accent; and none of us got sick (although we all felt kind of hungover afterward, like we had let our bodies down).

We were lured to Chili’s by a vague memory of decent margaritas enjoyed at the Odessa, TX, Chili’s two years ago. Difficult to say if we were remembering wrong or if the Crowley Chili’s is just breaking all kinds of franchise regulations and making all of the food and drinks by reconstituting powder. Whatever the case, we sat down wanting more than anything to like the margaritas. We flipped through the over-elaborate cocktail menu like doe-eyed ingenues on the evening of their 21st birthdays, cooing and gasping with anticipation. We settled on the “World’s Freshest Margarita”, which in retrospect we realize was given its name as a sinister prank. The 15 minutes it took for the margs to come out was, we told ourselves, promising – the bartender must be slicing and squeezing limes, carefully measuring proportions, chilling glasses, gently salting rims, etc. In fact, he was in the bathroom smelling his own farts and graffiti-ing the walls with huge-cocked trolls. Then he emptied one packet of the “W.F. Marg” powder into some hot water, stirred it with a cheese-encrusted spoon, and poured the urine-colored result over ice. Our margaritas were absolutely terrible. There is no reason for these margaritas to exist in the world. They are as tragic and unnecessary in 2010 as death by polio.

Even after having the skull of our expectations caved in by the jackbooted margaritas, we retained enough sensation to be upset by the food. If you were on a budget airline, and the food cart rolled up, and the flight attendant told you the food was all “south west” themed, and you bought some of it, you would be served the exact same thing Chili’s serves (and probably at the same price). The food ranged from an impossibly bland house salad to a vulgar plate of carnitas tacos, to a bean burger that Keith called “a glimpse into the depravity man is capable of committing when he’s unchecked in the middle of the bayou.”  All of it was reconstituted from powder by a droid in the kitchen.

It’s worth noting that Chili’s awful food is matched by awful service, so at least it can boast of having a certain perverse coherence. After the insane wait for drinks, our salads came out spaced at regular 5 minute intervals, affording that much-desired private dining experience, though you be a table with friends. Probably the sporadic pacing is the result of the droid in the kitchen having only a single pincer apparatus at its disposal – certainly a droid like Wall-E would have had no problem prepping the food in a more orderly fashion.

If this Chili’s had been about 25% better, we could easily say that we’d never go to another Chili’s again as long as we live. It was so bad, though, that we’re now compelled to visit another location in order to verify that the Crowley site was not a bizarre anomaly, possibly the result of a satanic curse transmitted by Li Grand Zombi when he was unable to get a table at the ante-curse, totally-okay Crowley Chili’s.

[3 out of 3 of us agree with this review]

LOS CABOS MEXICAN GRILL

2543 Hwy 71 S.
Columbus, TX 78934
(979) 732-9744

3/5 stars

This is a rock solid Mexican place in a small town between Houston and Austin. It’s surrounded by the usual roadside suspects: mcdonalds, subway, whattaburger, pizza hut — Los Cabos is a jewel sitting in a pile of rabbit turds.

The menu has enough options that we needed a couple minutes to decide. I went with El Mariachi, a plate with two medium tortillas filled with steak, shrimp, and carnitas; rice and stewed beans on the side. Excellent. Danny had the same, and he fucking loved it.
Keith got cheese enchiladas, which were “workmanlike”. Cheese enchiladas are a pretty plain dish, so I’m not sure that’s a terrible review.

There was a subsection on the menu that featured stuffed, fried avocados. Sounded amazing, but we lacked the strength to undertake one.

We were leaving SXSW, so we were pretty beat up, plus we were driving, plus we had only been awake for maybe 2 hours, so alcohol was a very low priority. But it wouldve been irresponsible not to try the margarita, and try it we did. Went with frozen, cuz that’s harder to nail. We were rewarded: great consistency; good, discernible flavors; respectable potency. I’d return to Los Cabos under different circumstances and get trashed.

The table came with salsa and quesa and a big basket of chips. All were refilled with admirable attentiveness, and all were very good.

Going to a place like Los Cabos always forces me to reflect on how tremendously shitty Chili’s is. We had gone to Chili’s a few days earlier in Crowley, LA, and the Cabos lunch really put into shocking relief how goddamn awful Chili’s had been (and doubtless continues to be). Los Cabos should go around and burn down all the Chili’s — it’s their right.

[2 out of 3 of us agree with this review]

Nice Guys

***SK8 OR DAIEEEEEE!!*** That’s the theme of this badass motherfucking video. To make it, Keith pulled some of the dopest, most dangerous sk8 moves of all time, breaking many world sk8 records. Meanwhile, Chris risked his life filming these moves through whatever means were necessary, which included sk8ing around with a camera on his shoulder — WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU SAW THESE TWO FUCKING MADMEN SK8ING AROUND TOGETHER?!?! Duck and cover, is all you really could do. Call FEMA. (Shot, chopped, & cropped by We Are Scientists)

NICE GUYS now visible

We made this thing all by ourselves, guys. Gobble it up.