This might come as a surprise to you, because it did to me, but humans still have something called an "appendix," and it can become inflamed and develop "appendicitis." I had thought that such a condition was something that only happened to people in 18th century literature, like dropsy or the vapors. But when I was recently rushed to the hospital in Minnesota for severe stomach pain, imagine my surprise when the doc told me I would have to have an immediate appendectomy. He might as well have told me he was going to bleed me with leeches. How quaint!
So I had my appendix out, and was stuck in the land of Rose Nylund for a month recuperating. I was at my mom's house, so that was nice, but she is on a severely restricted diet of tree bark and native grasses, so when I got back here I went straight for some serious junk food. "Buffalo chicken wings ... Buffalo chicken wings ..." Yes, those would do nicely.
My favorite place to get wings is Kezar Pub on Stanyan, across from Golden Gate Park. Unfortunately, it's near the section of the park full of unleashed pit bulls and the unwashed hobos who love them, so I always have to take the long way to avoid them if I come through the park. (Hey, do you consider it a compliment if you pass someone in Golden Gate Park and they ask you if you want to buy heroin? I figure that once that stops, I will know that I no longer look cool. It's a strange metric, but there you go.)
Having been in the land of lakes and herring, I wasn't used to anyone spare-changing me, and I had forgotten how supremely annoying it is for someone younger than me, with a septum piercing, to ask me for a quarter.
"Buffalo wings! Buffalo wings!" rang louder in my head.
Kezar is always dim and gently bustling. That's probably because it's a sports bar, but it is possible to go there without watching the game. Trust me, I know. It's got that old wood, spilled-beer vibe that all pubs have, but the red-trimmed exterior reminds me of an old English phone booth stretched out into a storefront. I get the feeling that Kezar needs to work hard to keep people in its seats, since there's nothing particularly Haight-Ashbury about it. Still, it manages admirably.
I settled in and ordered a gigantic plate of wings and then looked around. Yup, same old crowd — tourists, locals, ex-pats, Gandalf-looking dudes, and jocks. Soccer and baseball were on — two mildly civilized sports. I could handle it.
Damn, I was hungry. I felt my tummy and wondered if my appendix still exists out there, stored in some lab or frozen in a locker. Most likely it has been incinerated. The surgeon said mine was the longest one she had ever seen, which made me flush with pride, of course. She also said that it was "gangrenous" and "necrotic," and that after it exploded, my entire midsection was covered in "icky stuff" (her exact words). I guess I could have died. Dude, I am sooo death metal.
They still don't know what the appendix's real purpose is, making it the Mitt Romney of human organs. Let's hope that whatever it does, I can live without. To quote Cinderella, "Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)." Some theories have it that the appendix helped early man digest gnarly foods, like rocks and brambles. But if that were true, then maybe I would've better handled my mom's "healthy" cooking.
On that note, I wolfed down the wings and went through about a bushel of napkins. It's not Kezar's fault, but I felt like total shit afterwards. I decided to take a stroll, passing the guys smoking out front on the way. They were talking about Clint Eastwood and the chair, a meme that will probably die sometime in 2018.
I gingerly crossed the street, taking great care to avoid the aforementioned Summer of Lust that congregates at the top of the park, choosing instead to walk down a sylvan path. But, alas, I emerged in a Glen of Leftover Crack Fans, and, as expected, their dogs were not happy to see me. "What the fuck!" I said, as they ran up to me menacingly. This is not the first time this had happened to me, and while a few of the women were cool and attempted to grab the mutts, the dudes were upset that I had yelled at their dogs. They proceeded to lob epithets at me as I continued on over the rise. I considered shaking my fist at them and saying "Menace!" but it was probably better left alone.
Once I emerged on JFK, all was good with the world. Now I just needed to avoid errant Frisbees and being clotheslined by dog leashes. I took in a deep breath and was happy to be home again. Yes sir, footloose and appendix-free.