Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Thanks, Knuckleheads!

I love Cluck U Chicken, maybe as much as Mr. Clean loves White Castle. Of all the food offerings at Cluck U, I love the Little Roman, a fried chicken sandwich, slathered in a cheesy, garlic sauce the best. You'll sweat garlic for a few days after consuming this deliciousness, but so what? Garlic is good for you! I also love their Clucker Spuds, Cluck U's version of fries, except these are, I believe, batter-dipped potato wedges. And I love their Clucker Bees — I love them a lot, even though I didn't think I would. Glen and I went to the Cluck U/Purple Pizza on Olden Avenue a few months ago, while I was still pregnant, because I had a strong craving for biscuits that would not subside, and I was certain if they sold fried chicken — which they do — Cluck U ought to have biscuits as well. Unforgivably, I thought, this was not the case, and I was, at first, very disappointed. But, the order taker recommended the Clucker Bees, and told me they would not let me down. I didn't believe her, but ordered some anyway, for the express purposes of saying, "what a disappointment" after the fact. However, upon taking my first bite of Clucker Bee, it was not possible to hang on to hang on to dissatisfaction. The Clucker Bee is essentially fried dough, and it reminds me somewhat of a doughnut, just not as sweet; that is, until you dip the little Bee into honey. Which, of course, I did. And I'm really glad I did, because my life is so much better for my relationship with Cluck U's Clucker Bees with honey. Not Little Roman better, but Clucker Bees with honey better is nothing to scoff at.

I love delivery, but we seldom order in, partially because Glen prefers to go out, and well, many food places just won't deliver to these parts, though we have convinced the guys at Pete's Steak House on Hudson to deliver to us in the Wild, Wild East, for which we're eternally grateful. But mostly, the stuff that we'd like to have delivered just doesn't transport well; we are able-bodied and have a vehicle, so it's easy enough to go out most of the time.

I read the Trenton Star Ledger online today, and came across the latest story about the assault of ordinary citizens by the urchins in this city. I'm always disgusted and angry to read of the robberies and assaults, but today's story really just rubbed me more wrong than usual: apparently, two members of Trenton's Thuggery attacked a Cluck U Chicken delivery woman on the 300 block of Woodland Street, and stole her vehicle. It was found shortly later, on nearby Anderson Street, after it was used to T-bone a few parked cars.

Back in the mid-1990s, I lived on Division Street, which is pretty close to the crime mentioned above. Incidentally, back then, I was able to walk (without a chaperone or a German shepherd mix companion) to a huge assortment of Chambersburg restaurants, and order-in from many, many more. Now, most of those establishments have vanished. There's a chain of events that set the ball in motion for the demise or relocation of those restaurants, but the local knuckleheads have played a prominent role.

Now, I see my local knuckleheads eating chicken and Chinese food and pizza and cheesesteaks, all the time. And if we don't see them actually eating these goods, we are sure to clean up their trash, which is dumped on our corner, after the knuckleheads are done with their delectably greasy repast. Glen and I always use the trash cans — and the use of the trash can is one of two differences between us and them when it comes to fast food. After all, everyone loves fast food; even the knuckleheads.

In addition to use of the trash can, the other key difference between us and the knuckleheads is that it has never occurred to me to rob a delivery person, or even just steal his/her vehicle and go for a three-and-a-half block joyride before crashing into a bunch of parked cars, as incredibly fulfilling as that sounds. Delivery people, to me, are prophets who spread the word of deliciousness. As such, deserve my respect, so I find it utterly confounding and repulsive that the knuckleheads, who obviously love pizza and wings and lo mein just as much as I do, would see fit to jack the food prophets. Surely, there is a special place in hell for this sort of knucklehead, no?

It just doesn't make sense. These loser knuckleheads are making it difficult for all of us — including the loser knuckleheads — to have food delivered. The loser knuckleheads have helped create a hostile situation for restaurants and their employees, which is probably the #1 reason so many Trenton restaurants have bailed. The actions of these criminals are the responsibility of the little criminals alone. But the Douglas Palmer administration — especially with former police director Joseph Santiago at the helm of the Trenton Police Department — has allowed this environment to flourish over the years. How often do thugs loiter on the street corners, especially in Chambersburg? How many prostitutes and johns are lurking around the former restaurant district right now? How often do police simply drive by after a call is placed about a disturbance? How many shitty landlords are allowed to operate with relative impunity in this city? How many insane, irresponsible tenants are ruining the quality of life for their neighbors this moment? How many ordinances are ignored, just this second, in Trenton? How many officers — police and inspections — are on duty today?

I believe we're all responsible for our own actions, our own decisions. But we're only responsible for our own. We created governments, at least in part, because of our inability as regular people, to control other people. Governments help keep order. I can only do so much to discourage the local mongos from using the sewer or yew hedge in front of my house as a garbage can, but an effective government could do so much more. I can only do so much to protect myself from getting attacked by the local thugs, but an effective Trenton government could certainly make that easier for me. Maybe that will happen soon.


Anonymous said...

Interesting prose. Could be an outtake from a Stephanie Plum novel.

Maybe you can take over the franchise when Janet Evanovich gives it up.

Mr. CleƤn said...

Evanovich has been outstaying her welcome since "Seven Up," but that's just my opinion.

Cluck-U has never made me barf. Yet.

Mr. Clean has been a Cluck-U devotee for nearly two decades, but has yet to order Clucker Bees. Mr. Clean is intrigued.

Trenton Knuckleheads are proverbial toothpaste; toothpaste (or better yet, TOOF-PAYSE) that has been out of the tube for generations. It is over; we have lost. Buy a gun or get a helmet.

TKs think they like Chinese food, but they only order chicken wings, egg rolls, and fried rice. That's barely Chinese food. Anyway, Trenton's Chinese food is universally awful, perhaps dumbed down for TK tastes? It's pretty effed up that I live in Trenton, but have to drive to Morrisville when I want decent Asian grub.

Kickin' it in Summit City!

Anti-Jolson said...

Used to live on Chestnut St. and Chambers St. I found that on our way to enjoy some of the local cuisine, the used rubbers on the ground, next to our car in the church parking lot, helped us curb those cravings for what Trenton has to offer. So we moved down the street. Now living in Bordentown and enjoying the aroma of Knucklhead fecal matter processing plant.