Grids and gridiron

Taking the league by storm -- and downing bulgogi tacos at Seoul on Wheels


CHEAP EATS Coach and me went to Benders many nights in a row. "Benders," she likes to say. "It's what's for dinner." But I don't know. I love their burgers and tots. And their pulled pork, come to think of it, rebounded me nicely from that dollop of whatever-the-crap-that-was at Bonnie's last week. But my sense of adventure begins to feel compromised after more than one night in a row at the same place.

Nevertheless, neither one of us has a TV. And we thought we should watch us some football. I swear our intention was to go to poetry readings, too. But we tended not to want to leave the bar.

It's weird, liking football again, this time from a softer, less angular angle. For me, the football part of my friendship with Coach is the perfect blend of strategy (possible color-combinations, baggy vs. tight uniforms), surreality (keep reading), and camaraderie. It reminds me of watching the Niners with Wayway back in the day, only Coach and I seldom look at the TV and the plays we draw up on our napkins look a lot more like fruit trees in the end.

Moreover, I'm pretty sure Wayway never said (although he may well have been thinking it) during Monday Night Football: "This would be a lot more interesting if they were lesbians."

"They will be, Coach," I reminded her. "For now, just imagine."

The Ravens were playing the Texans.

We talked about relationships. We talked about depression. We talked about the holidays, and who I will meet and where we will be and who will like me. And always eventually it came back to the little TV at the other end of the bar.

"I like when the little guys dart around," she said. "They're like shortstops, and second base."

"That's the spirit," I said. "Now we're talking."

Coach has a little notebook that she writes her football information in. There is a column of names. Most of our friends already know that they are playing football come spring. One or two even know how. I do! That's why I get to be Coach's coaching staff, confidant, and — if I don't blow it — on-field captain. We already know who our quarterback will be and have a pretty good idea of the blockers. Less certain is who will play weasel, and the ever-important position Coach calls the "far runners." Myself, I am proud to be penciled in, according to her little notebook, at shortstop.

Which looks to me a little like the position formerly known as tight end. But when I mentioned this to Coach she got the giggles. "Tight end!" she said. "That's perfect!"

I should stop writing about us. We are going to take this league by storm. And it might be better if no one sees us gathering on the horizon, like dark, sexy, undertalented and overburgered but height-weight proportionate clouds.

I'm just too excited to leave it alone!

OK, focus. My secret agent lady Sal and me didn't want to sit in her rental car at the beach and watch surfer boys change clothes in her rear view mirror on an empty stomach, so we stopped off first for Korean.

Every Saturday a group of three or four food trucks circle the wagons down at McCoppin and Valencia around lunch time, and then some. I tried to go there once before with Mr. Wong when we were on our kimchi burrito kick, but Seoul on Wheels musta had a flat tire that week.

This time it was there! That's the good news. The bad news is that its Korean burritos, which it calls korritos, are premade and have sour cream, which is a big mistake. An even bigger mistake: way too much rice and way not enough meat, or kimchi, or therefore flavor.

Weak. Weak. Weak.

On the other hand, I had a bulgogi taco and it had no rice at all. Small small small. But ... delicious!

There's also a Filipino truck there, which is pretty good, and I forget which taco truck — taco tacos, I mean.

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