Sunday, September 07, 2003

Can bagels own things? (12/14/02)

In New York, one of the greatest things you can accomplish is to become a regular at a store or restaurant. It's a very small-town idea, and New York is a very large town. So it was very exciting when the woman at the bagel shop down the street from my apartment started to recognize me, then say "Salt bagel, lox spread, Diet Coke?" when I approach the counter, and finally to say, not to me but to the guy who makes the sandwiches, "Salt bagel, lox spread, Diet Coke!" as soon as I walk through the door, even if there's a line of customers ahead of me.

I'm tempted to get a toasted pumpernickel with mayo or something one morning just to fuck with her.

But seriously, the bagels are great, they're cheap, the language barrier is lower than in much of my neighborhood, and I'm a regular. There's just one problem. I recently had a conversation online with my friend Faustus about it, and since he's much funnier than I am and an even bigger grammar queen, I thought I'd just post it all:

Adam: Have I told you about my bagel place?
Faustus: No.
Faustus: Tell me.
Adam: It's called Bagel's Plus.
Adam: And I love the bagels and the people so I'm willing to overlook that apostrophe staring at me off of awnings and menus and t-shirts every time I go there.
Faustus: Well, maybe they meant it on purpose. Like "Bagel" is a god or something and this is his temple?
Adam: Maybe. But now they've reinvented themselves as "Bagel's Plus Sports Cafe," which mystifies me because they've done no remodeling and there's no sports theme and no TV...it's just a name change. Yet no one corrected the apostrophe in the process.
Faustus: That's very strange.
Adam: And it came with the new tagline: "Feel Like At Home."
Adam: i feel like i'm eating breakfast in the Sanrio store. Which is especially strange because they're not Japanese.
Faustus:Is there an accent in "Café"?
Adam: I think so.
Faustus: Okay, that's just too mixed up.
Faustus: Feel like at home, since I live at a sports café.
Faustus: An ungrammatical sports café.

Faustus had to go, so I didn't get to tell him about my favorite feature of the Bagel's Plus Sports Café, one that dates back to those simpler days of Bagel's Plus. On the big menu behind the counter, above the section with croissants and -- come to think of it, I think it's just three lines of different kinds of croissants -- is a header that reads "TASTY OF FRENCH." And I'm so wonderfully amused by this that I don't even think about how many things are wrong with it.

So the question is, how many grammatical errors trump a good bagel? Because one more and I may have to seek my breakfast elsewhere.

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