Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Bill and Chelsea Clinton get lost on the way to Ray's quiz, settle for a Pat's steak

Bill told these folks to "have a nice Philadelphia weekend," whatever that means on a Monday night. I assume "not getting shot" qualifies. Philadelphia weekend sounds like a left-handed compliment from a black-and-white gangster film. "So help me, if you touch my gal I'll have your throat cut nice'n'slow, like a Philadelphia weekend."

We were a few rounds into the Ray's quiz when a patron came in and mentioned that the Clintons were less than a block away, having a steak at Pat's. Pretty much everyone dropped what we were doing, cameras and cell phone cameras manifested and we headed down the block.

This being a relatively informal visit (although news vans were there so I rather doubt this was spontaneous) specifically for the purpose of actually eating a cheesesteak, security was very light and people could wander up and gawk at the the former president chowing down.

I imagine Bill was coached to avoid Geno's on account of the Latino demographic, and because Joey Vento is generally a dick.

We arrived a bit late and caught the president finishing up and saying a few quick goodbyes. Mr. Clinton does have a "common touch" that comes from growing up working class. Pity the roots weren't recalled when it mattered. Funny, I've been savaging the man's wife on the blog for the past few weeks and if he had to pee he might well have ended up at Ray's for a few minutes like all of the other steak corner customers.

This was the second time I've seen BC in person. The first was on the day he was elected president in 1992; at that time he appeared at a rally at the Mayfair Diner, a few blocks from the house where I grew up. I was much closer this time. Oddly none of us really bugged him, we were too busy trying to get photos and after all you need to let a man eat a sandwich. Yelling over at him wouldn't result in much positive for anyone. There was a slight surreal quality to it all. For five bucks I'll point out the exact bench he sat on; group discounts available.

I snapped one other photo not immediately erased as useless, of the back of both Clintons' heads. I am erasing that one too. Very bad luck in the timing department, I'll try to do better should I stumble across Bigfoot at Chickie's & Pete's.

What else? Chelsea is considerably taller than I thought. I'd always had the vague notion she was kinda short, but this is not the case. [Forrest Gump voice]And that's all I have to say about that.
[/Forrest Gump voice]
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