Pay It Foodward’s third installment came in the form of one John Perich, my first ever male participant. Was it gay? Only slightly. Until we decided to eat at Cosi. Then very.
Providing further evidence to the fact that my life is a really cliched and terribly written sitcom, John and I did a little “where are you?” “I’m AT Cosi.” “Wait, which Cosi are you at?” before we finally met up at the right Cosi (let’s say the one that I was at) on Milk Street. This one was fairly crowded, but by the time we were ready to order, there was no line at all. Apparently, while waiting for me at another (wrong) Cosi a few blocks away, John experienced much better customer service. As soon as he entered, he was handed a menu and bread samples. Here, there were no such fringe benefits, so not all Cosi’s are made the same, as would be expected with a franchise.
John opted for a “Taste Two” selection, of half a chicken TBM (Tomato Basil Mozzarella, and not the TBM that I think of), half Cesar salad, and a bag of chips. He expected to get a third taste as well: a cup of soup. White people.
Nevertheless, he seemed pleased with the meal.
He and I both lamented the chicken not being warm, as we expected, but asserted that Cosi bread is quite good. Overall, the sandwich was tasty and the salad was fine but nothing special.
I went with the Cosi Club. Aside from the cold chicken, it was a fine lunch. Again, the bread was the stand out, and all the ingredients tasted fresh. I also got those super-hard-to-open-the-usual-way bag of exotic chips.
It was not a service restaurant, and I think I will try to lean toward sit-down places in the future. Grab and go places just don’t do Pay It Foodward any favors. John didn’t seem to mind. I’ve known Mr. Perich for many years through the IB circles; my earliest memory of him being clad in a lab coat as he played a doctor in some GoreFest of past. A prolific writer both on Overthinkingit.com and Periscopedepth.com, he’s one of those unique people who can write a touching story, then break your hand in three places, being a black belt in Jujitsu. He’s one of the most well-thought person I’ve ever met, and is one of those few people who truly thinks before he speaks/writes. Plus, he’s one of the few people I can talk to about Search Engine Marketing without getting blank stares.
On to the five questions.
Besides being able to beat someone up, what is the most important life lesson learned from Martial Arts?
Perich says that, for his school in particular, it was how to present to a large group. This definitely caught me by surprise as I was expecting him to talk about finding zen or chi or peace or grasshoppers (I’m racist). John explained that to become a black belt, a student not only needed to pass the technical tests, but basically an instruction test. A true master is also a true sensei, and the ability to communicate instruction effectively to your students is instrumental. His instruction test had both a written and oral component judged by other black belts, and he considers his training to become a good and confident teacher the most important lesson.
How true is the saying “if she smokes, she pokes?”
John masticated a bit while pondering this ounce of wisdom that someone once told me. Probably Sesame Street. Then, he began slowly. “…I haven’t met a lot of women who don’t poke.” Well shit, clue me in. He explained that in the city we live in, in the age group we consort with, it is a rare occurrence to find a girl who does not, in fact, poke. I pointed out that the saying is more about degrees. “Oh, so it’s not an on/off binary thing, then.” I let it slide that he used “binary” in a conversation about hooking up with women. In all, John has not personally found this saying to ring true. He has dated both and has been “delightfully mistaken” as well as “disappointingly mistaken.” My take on it? It is a 100% certainty that smokers will get freaky with you. So watch out.
What board game should more people live their lives like?
Without a moment’s hesitation: “Diplomacy.” John explained that in this Risk-without-dice board game, you win by negotiating, colluding, and betraying. He expounded on the skill it takes to make strategic alliances with players, only to deceive them in the end. “And we should live our lives like this?” I asked. He paused, but stuck to his guns. He says people should always be deciphering between stated intent and actual intent. This makes life more realistic. Is it a more guarded way to live life? Sure, he admits, but he got the point across that it’s not about distrusting people, but more about being careful. For the record, John is the oldest of two children. Meanwhile, I’m an only child, as arrogant as you can get, and this is the game I’d want more people to live their lives like:
Invent me a candy bar.
Imagine this: a peanut butter and nougat bar, plain m&ms embedded inside this bar, coated with a milk chocolate shell. John calls it the Sligit. It’s a British candy bar, of course, wrapped in glossy black with gold lettering. Available at Tescos everywhere. I pointed out that it would depend on a relationship with Mars if he wanted m&ms inside his candy bar, and he said that it could be any generic m&m-type candy inside. Deal breaker, Perich. You find me anything nearly as good as a genuine m&m. I dare you. Also, you better get cracking on this before it prices itself out.
How would you break up with me?
The classic question for Pay it Foodward got a classic answer this time around. John said he would grow more and more emotionally distant from me, planting the seeds. Then, on the drive home from a Friday night movie, I would tell him that my parents are coming into town and that we should make plans to see them. He would grunt at this, barely audibly, prompting me to finally ask “do you even care about this relationship anymore?” Which gives him the opening to say “well now that you ask…” This is a classic guy move, pulled by a classic guy, on me, another classic guy who has employed this classic strategy in the past. If John actually did manage to pull this on me, I’d tip my hat. Before crying and demanding couples therapy, like a bitch.
1.5 sandwiches. .5 of a salad. 2 bottles of Diet
Coke Pepsi. 2 bags of chips. $22.85. John will definitely be returning the favor to someone in his circle soon. And probably, expect a better write up than this.