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Pay It Foodward – Kristina Smarz

Pay It Foodward round two! Today, I was fortunate enough to have a nice lunch with the effervescent Kristina Smarz. We met on this 90 degree day at some sort of rally about something race-related outside of the Government Center T station (honestly, it wasn’t Asian so I didn’t pay attention) and decided to dine at Cheers in Faneuil Hall.

Here's a shot I took of the inside

Weirdly, this completely local bar & grill was packed with tourists, and Smarz and I had to sit at the bar for our meal. On a side note, I asked the family in line before us if they were actually in line, and the father (I’m assuming. He might have been their kidnapper) stumbled through an answer in his foreign accent until his daughter sighed and answered for him. This brought back many memories of my own childhood spent translating for my parents who refused to learn English, and I joined the bored daughter in rolling her eyes.

Smarz settled, after some debate over lobster-stuffed-lobster options, on Coach’s Power Club Sandwich.

Kristina Smarz

She did not expect ham. No one ever expects ham.

The sandwich was large enough to hide the pickle it came with from Smarz until she was already halfway through.

Coach's Power Club Sandwich

I hate when sandwiches play "hide the pickle" with me

Smarz gave the sandwich a thumbs up, as well as the fries, but did not comment on whether it made her feel like anyone knew her name. Not even the bartender/server Eric with an earring.

He was no Kirstie Alley

I ordered a simple Chicken Caesar Salad, which was good, but the chicken seemed not grilled, but pan fried or something.

I was feeling fat this day

As we ate, we talked and caught up. I’ve known Smarz for many years, having performed together in TheaterSports, Boston News Net, and one-off shows like the King of the Mountain competition a few years back (that HLP dominated). She does some of the best character work to have graced ImprovBoston’s stage (her Calypso lady, for one), and though she’s a little too busy for improv right now, it was good to hear that she has been doing more and more stand up lately, and that she is also about to do some video sketches in the near future. The world needs more Smarz.

Now, on to the Pay It Foodward 5 questions.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
“Probably dead. Otherwise, no realistic plan.” Except that she might be squeezin’ yo’ ass! Literally. Smarz recently started classes at the Cortiva Institute to become a certified masseuse, and as anyone in TheaterSports a few years ago can attest, she’s already pretty damn gifted when it comes to back rubs. I’ve heard a lot of people say “maybe I’ll become a masseuse,” but Smarz is the first to really pursue it. She gave me a little insight into her classes; already she has had to massage her naked classmates. I will also assume that homework will entail her hanging out in Chinatown at two in the morning looking for sailors.

No wonder you're tense, lady. You're carrying rocks on your back. Idiot.

What is the largest animal you could fight and win against?
“Does Bobby Smithney count?” she said, but eventually settled on a manatee, out of the water. I was skeptical that she could take out a 13 foot, 1500lb sea cow even on dry land, but she seemed quite confident that she could “wrap [her] arms around it and squeeze it dead.” The way she ate her club sandwich told me she meant business. Also, Wikipedia says “The main causes of death for the sea cows are human-related issues.” I’m guessing a choke-hold from Smarz qualifies as a human-related issue.

Not if I choke you first, fucker

What is something people in general don’t do enough of?
Smarz said smile with eye contact. This led to a short debate whether New England is a less friendly place than other parts of the US because there is so little smiling going on here. Smarz said that she has experimented with smiling to passersby, and was usually met with avoidance or fear. There is also some research that says smiling is healthy, though I am not sure the studies take into account the beat-downs one could receive when smiling at the wrong person in Boston. Also, smiling to myself near the Frog Pond playground got me on the registry. You know which one.

What is a lizzaboof?
I made up the word and asked Smarz to give me the definition. A lizzaboof, was a hairstyle in the Elizabethan Era sported by middle class women. It was a big bouffant-type hairstyle, but with birds and folios inside of it. Women often held fruit in their lizzaboof. The hairstyle died out due to practicality, according to Smarz, and of course was a victim of the great Hair Plague of the time.

I couldn't find a folio-with-wig picture. Come on, internet!

How would you break up with me?
Smarz showed her cunning in answering this question. First, she would take me out for a “very salty” meal (we both had no idea why) and then proceed to smother me with so much affection and neediness, that I would actually break up with her. Very sneaky. But that is not the end of her manipulative plan. She said she would also show up in a Harvard shirt to remind me of my failures (similarly, she’d have her computer open to my Hard Left page), a “name plate” on her chest with my ex’s name, and a Live Strong bracelet to remind me of “[my] testicular issues.”

Eerily, this also speaks to my testicles

I would be so frustrated, ashamed, depressed, and aggravated that I would break up with her, and Smarz could be smug in knowing that she had dumped my ass while preserving my fragile, but ever-present, ego. Well played.

Two meals, one soda, cost $32 including tip. We were running late, so we had to skip the Cheers gift store which would have probably put this meetup in the thousands. It was a great lunch with Kristina Smarz, and I am excited to see who she will choose to take out for her turn to Pay It Foodward.


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