Friday, November 4, 2011

My Road to Rachael Ray

I don't know much about Rachael Ray. I know that she grew up in Lake George - a local vacation destination for my hometown - and that she is stocky with tiny boobs. I know that she is super perky and that some traditionalists hate her because she takes short cuts in cooking but in my mind, the faster that you can cook, the more you can drink.

Anyway, I read on Midtown Lunch that she would have a food truck with a $2 lunch featuring sliders and chili right around the corner from my office. She cleverly called it "The Two Buck Truck." Since I'm poor, I knew I was definitely going to hit that up and I was going to get there before the 1 o'clock scheduled time because I've been to free/cheap events in NYC before and they are normally horrific mob scenes.

At around 12:35, I slyly left the office and walked around the block where I saw the beginnings of a line. Rachael Ray was rumored to be attending the event and so when I was asked to sign a TV release form, I wasn't surprised. As the time grew closer to one, the line grew longer and longer, wrapping around the corner so I lost sight of the tail. 

Immediately ahead of me was a stout woman of probable Latina heritage while behind me was a 5'2 butterball of a supremely elderly white woman, a group of giggly twenty-something girls, and a man who I couldn't tell was homeless or just an off the grid sort. I was probably the 13th person in line so I thought I would get my food at around one and be off. I was, of course, sorely mistaken.

While we waited for one to roll around, there was a camera crew that would come by and interview people or demand that the crowd start chanting something. 1:00 PM came and went and the crowd started to get slightly agitated. "OMG, where is she? Some of us have jobs!" the girls behind me crowed. 

"I don't have a job. Don't need one, I got all day here," the homeless/gridless guy replied in a smokers voice. I hesitated to look back at him, as you don't want to make accidental eye contact with these people, but out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a long matted mess of brown and gray hair poking out of an orange hunters hat, sunglasses, some two week old beard scruff and a classic 80's style ski jacket with a patched rainbow of neon colors. 

"Well, I have a job," the 80ish butterball said, "Oh hold, on. Someone is calling me."

"Oh no, is it your boss?!" The Queen of the Gigglers asked.

"No, it can't be. My boss doesn't have my cell phone number. I don't give it to him. It's just not what I do." This is how the octagenarian continued to speak; she would put a statement out there and then qualify it three or four times. She also told a variation of a "I'm going to lose my job joke" at least ten different times and I hated her.

Eventually it was 1:30 and most of the gigglers had jumped the line, though not before giving an unintentionally hilarious interview about how much they loved Rachael Ray. "She's so fun and like, I love her style! I'm really glad this is for charity because, like, charity is good and you don't see enough of it." Before they left they contemplated going back to return their tickets and get their two dollars back. "I mean, we can do that but then like you look like a total dick because it's for charity," one told the Queen. It was a sound piece of advice and they followed it and bounced. There was one straggling giggler who stayed behind, and also seemed less giggly.

"Why didn't you leave with your friends?" Gridless asked the straggler. "I've never had a famous person's food before and I'm really excited to try it," she replied, avoiding eye contact. "Nah, it's because you're the richest out of them isn't it? You look the wealthiest." She laughed nervously and said, "I wouldn't make that assumption," and probably immediately wished that she had left.

"Yup, that's it. Anyways, I don't mind standing here. I hope it takes a long time! I once waited two days to see The Who at Rockefeller Center. That was one of the best shows of my life. Yeah, I like to see New Yorkers suffer in lines... they're always trying to hustle and bustle everywhere the bunch of assholes. I hope they never come!" Gridless ranted.

"Well, she better come soon," the the old butterball chimed in,  "I checked my phone and that was my boss who called." [Sidenote: apparently that old bitch did give her boss her cell phone number?!] "He wants me to look something up for him. That's what I do. I sit and eat lunch at my desk and he asks me to look something up and I look it up. And I can't call him back. I just tried and I can't."

At this point I was ready to kill myself and I was seriously doubting that this was all worth two dollars. But again, I'm poor so I just figured if I can last a bit longer, it will all be worth it and I will have a nice hot lunch. But then 1:30 became 1:45 and 1:45 became 2:00 and I was thinking holy shit I am going to be in trouble because I've been gone for an hour and a half! But I decided to just keep sticking it out because if I was going to be reprimanded, the time has already passed.

At around 2:00 there were signs that Rachael and her truck were to soon descend on our crowd of the poor and the hungry... and the celebrity starved. The security and crew had walked up to the end of the street (Old Butterball's joke: "They're going up around the corner to the KFC to get some lunch because they're starving. The KFC is around the corner. You can grab food there.") and eventually, the Two Buck Truck pulled onto Vanderbilt and the crowd cheered! Our growling stomachs were soon to be sated!

Two Buck Truck! Two Buck Truck!

We waited another 15 minutes while the camera crew stood outside of the food truck's closed serving window, they as eager as us to see Rachael open it so we could all get on with our fucking work days. During this time, a scruffy street teen sidled up RIGHT NEXT to me and asked me what was going on. I took two steps away from him so our shoulders were no longer touching and tried to explain that it was Rachael Ray's truck. The fiery Latina in front of me came to my defense, "It costs two dollars!" and he bolted. "That's all you have to say to those types," she explained.

Then suddenly, the serving window slowly opened and Rachael stuck her wide face out and gave her introduction to the camera, "Hi everyone! Today I'm serving up Touchdown Chili and brisket sliders topped with homemade pickles for just two bucks all to go to charity!"

She handed out one slider and chili combo and then stepped out of the truck to start to do a meet and greet with the crowd. She was a good sport, posing for pictures and hugs and whatever other creepy things people wanted to do with her.

Rachael is the one with the brown hair whose face you can't see

I was focused solely on going up to the truck and getting my well-earned lunch. This ended up being a quarter size slider and a tiny paper bowl of chili.

Angrily, I started eating the chili as I walked back to my work, passing the people farther back in the line. "Hey! Come over and tell Rachael how much you love the food!" a lady producer implored of me. "OKAY!" I said, eager for any chance to be on TV, even if I was wearing my most ridiculous jacket with wild, bushy hair and my makeup from last night... and sporting a moderate hangover. We shoved through the crowd of people and the lady producer got Rachael's attention.

"Hey Rachael! This is some of the best chili I've ever had!" I yelled enthusiastically. 

"Really?!" She sounded surprised but continued, "Well, I made it for my favorite team - The Jets, you a Jets fan?" 

"Of course! Is there any other team?" I said as she slipped her arm around me, "So this is Jets chili! I love it!" We laughed together and she said, "How about the slider?"

"Hmm, I haven't tried it yet," I reached down into my little plate-bowl and planned on how to make my lips look the most succulent for the cameras. 

"Oh yeah, well it's got beef brisket with homemade barbecue sauce and a homemade pickle." "A homemade pickle?!" I said, like this was the first time I'd heard of such a thing, "Of course! I'm not just gonna put any gherkin on there!" I slowly, sexily, bit into the slider and opened my eyes in surprise. "Wow! That really packs a punch! It's like nothing I've ever had before! Thanks Rachael!" and then we parted ways. 

Nothing I said to Rachael was true and when I told Boyfriend this story he said, "You are such a slut." In my defense though, I recently read that strangers lie three times in the first ten minutes of meeting each other. I was just packing all of my lies into the first minute or so.

Bonus creepy pic I snuck of RayRay as she passed. Excuse my massive thumb.

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