To Consume or Not To Consume
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Let’s imagine together:
I am home for the Thanksgiving break, attempting to keep cool. My friend suggests that we go downtown for the day. Heck yes! is my only thought. Downtown LA, despite its relative closeness to my high school, remains an untouched stomping ground for me. So, into my friend’s Prius we go!
We arrive a full thirty minutes later (gosh, the 10 was trafficky). Downtown is sunny, so sunny that you can see the smog floating in the air! Lovely.
Grand Central Market is the first destination. I honestly don’t know how to describe the Market. It’s like an aggressively nice farmer’s market. Or like Beverly Hills sneezed on a warehouse. I think you get the picture.
Pushing through the inane amounts of people within, I am treated to the smells of many different things: pho (pronounced “fuh”, sausage (pronounced SAWsidge), pretzels (pronounced “YUM”), and many other treats. My watering mouth SCREAMS when it spies a vendor selling paella. Paella. That Spanish surf-and-turf GLORIOUSNESS needed to be mine. Like RIGHT NOW. So I spread my golden wings and I- [Wait. What? I’m not supposed to have wings? This is real life? Oh.] So I pressed my way through the crowd towards the stand.
Wallet freshly empty, I clambered my way over the crowd to sit a table. My friend, pastrami sandwich freshly-slaughtered, joined me in the soon-to-be carnage. I scraped an amount of the delicious dish into the nearest ceremonial flame, giving thanks to my personal, PRIVATE fish god (no, you cannot worship her). Then, the feast.
You know those documentaries where the filmmakers have absolutely no shame in showing the poor, defenseless audience the absolute carnage of a pride of lions absolutely tearing through a wildebeest? Well, I would never eat like that, as a proper gentleman-
I’m joking. I am the lions.
Garbage aside, the paella was delicious. Hearty, well-seasoned meal over, my friend and I trekked through various spots in Downtown L.A.: the Bradbury building, City Hall’s VERY cool (VERY secret) observation deck, and Walt Disney Concert Hall. Lots of walking, lots of sweating.
Within the walls of the Concert Hall’s gardens, however, a very wonderful fountain sits. There’s cool water flowing through this concrete flower petals design thing (I am not an Art History major). Now, my water-deprived body and thirsting brain have spotted the oasis, and my whole being is thrown into that lion-kill-and-maim-and-eat mentality (this happens maybe 7-10 times per day). The water is probably cold. It’s probably fresh. It’s definitely not meant for human consumption. But let’s assume I’m not thinking clearly in this moment (the easiest assumption you will ever have to make). I reach down, scoop up the water, and bring it to my mouth. What follows is my thought process during the ensuing moment:
It’s… It’s… CHLORINATED?!?!
What a disgusting trick. How dare the people at the Disney Concert Hall chlorinate their fountain water! If you essentially put water in a bowl in a public place, why would you prevent people from drinking it? Unbelievable. You’ve lost my business, Walt. (Completely not true. I enjoy Disney, music, and cool architecture thoroughly. Please don’t ban me.)
You might be thinking, what’s the moral of this long spiel? Don’t drink the water in public fountains? Expect the worst from a multi-national (probably fascist) company like Disney? Don’t blog about weird, embarrassing moments? Research good recipes for paella in case you need to trap Anthony? Yes to all. They all get the point across.
Reporting from the nearest Voss dispensary , I’m Anthony Reale.