Cheap eights

King Sing Chinese Cuisine on Balboa

CHEAP EATS On my way home one morning from another night of urban debauchery followed by very little and very disturbed sleep, I happened to glance at my little pickup truck's odometer at the exact moment it turned to 88,088. You want to mark these moments, if you're me, but of course you can't. At 60 mph, you have, what, one minute to revel in the numerological significance of the big event?

Well, guess what? One minute is enough time to realize that, hey, the day was Friday, Aug. 8, or 8/8/08! Which I very quietly celebrated for 12 seconds (two-tenths of a mile) before going, Hey, I wonder what time it is? Because I left the city at 6:45 and I'm on Stony Point Road, approaching Pepper, so.... No way!

Yes way. It was 7:52, exactly, by my cell phone, which never has enough signal for meaningful conversation but always stays connected to the sun. Or however they do that.

So, to summarize, at eight minutes to 8 a.m. on 8/8/08, my car's odometer read, 88,088, and just like that your chicken farmer truly had herself a new favorite number.

Yeah yeah yeah, but what did you eat that day? Well, since you asked, I ate oatmeal with blackberries for breakfast as soon as I got home and picked me some blackberries. Then I ate a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich with a pile of home fries for lunch. And then I ate some chicken soup with lots of hot sauce for dinner.

In-between meals I ate the first couple apples off my apple tree, and I ate some sunflower seeds, and popcorn of course, and a poached pear. Poached in the sense of I stole it off someone else's tree. Oh, and I ate a cucumber salad. All these things I ate. Since you asked.

And notwithstanding all this eating and eight-ing, it was an unremarkable day. In fact, an unlucky one. I had planned to stay home all day to sign for my new laptop, which never came because FedEx couldn't find my house. Which is what I get, I suppose, for living in a shack.

Come to think of it, eight was my first favorite number. Thanks to Ray Fosse, whom I was in love with. For no apparent reason. I remember that, thanks to Ray Fosse, eight was my first big-deal birthday. Which (for the record, by the way, so you know) I turned on May 21, 1971. Or: 5/21 (5+2+1), '71 (7+1) ... and ... oh, I'm just fucking with you now.

I mean, it's all true, and my math, I believe, is good. But I'm a reasonable chicken farmer. I have a level head and square shoulders and two flat feet on the ground — except, I guess, when I'm flying over fences with a hatchet in my hand, chasing deer. Which I do, if you believe everything you read in the paper.

Anyway, like I was saying, new laptop. As you know, I finally broke down and got an actual cell phone. Plus my first-ever iPod. I am totally geared and gadgetized now for a serious bid to re-enter the world as most people I know know it. My chickens shudder at the thought, but I am even looking to move back to civilization — not so FedEx can find me so much as that's where I work now. In civilization. With people and everything! At least part-time, but I haven't had me even a part-time job since the late '80s. No lie.

I've been buttering my bread and bringing home the bacon as a musician and a writer, respectively. And all along, as you know (if you've been paying attention), my true ambition has been to work in the service industry.

Is feeding kids, changing diapers, and cooking dinner the service industry? If so, I am almost there! Last week I opened an actual savings account. And I know what you're thinking, right now, if you like Cheap Eats and Eights. You're thinking, "Don't quit your day job."

I won't.


My new favorite restaurant is King Sing Chinese Cuisine because its name is practically a song.

Also from this author

  • Three! Out!

    Baseball in Italy? Oh yes, it happened.

  • Three! Out!

    Grosetto, Parma, Scalera, and Hedgehog: In the Game goes to Italy

  • Fire fight

    Police versus fire department versus pig with mustache versus Pinkie (a basketball story)