Happy Birthday To Us All: In Play LA

This place is a winner, there are hundreds like them in LA, but none have the honest ownership, friendly staff, and creative venue that IN PLAY LA puts together.  Call them, talk to the owners, tell them what you want and work out the price as you go, very flexible and affordable.  This is the place stop looking.

Look this is simple, a lot of these in door play rooms are just that, rooms with stuff to play with and a couple paid adults to make sure little Sarah doesn’t choke down too much pizza or ask for another pre paid juice box.  BUT THIS PLACE IS DIFFERENT!

In PLAY LA takes care of your whole experience.  I’m a father of two boys (3) and (4).  We have been patrons of these indoor play arenas for the last 2.5 years: birthdays, baptismals, or random Friday afternoon fun.  So let me run down the essentials and then tell you why driving to the Valley for your toddlers next birthday party is worth it.

Is it safe?

Absolutely:  Every corner padded and every child proof mishap accounted for.

Is it clean?

Check: 7 generation or whatever non scented non toxic pro hippy cleaner they use to spray it all down- works.  The balls in the ball pit where fresh and brand new, the toys were picked up and prepared for 3 year old destruction, the bath room (one large restroom very family friendly) was sparkling  and also had a changing table, a stool and age appropriate sinks/towels/and mirrors so every one there felt at ease while using the lavatory.

Is it fun?

Nailed it!:  I have been to this place as a guest and I liked it so much I brought my son back for his third birthday.  Both parties displayed the space’s capacity to  hold you and all your guests.  The front room was designed to host the cake cutting and offered seating for that one aunt who shows up late and doesn’t want to see any children.  A quaint playroom with a large chalkboard for your smaller guests to play in is just past the main entrance and then it opens up into a pretty awesome play area with a jumper a playscape complete with slide that lands you in a ball pit.  Pretty legit.  From there kids can ride toy cars and play indoor basketball and run off all that energy.  For hiding between store fronts in the middle of Lankershim this place is a true diamond in the rough.  This place was so great I thought about what it would take to open up my own similar business, they made it seem so easy.

ADULT SWIM!

Here’s the cool part and what sets them apart from other indoor play rooms: Parents and adults have their own space to chill! That’s right I said it, you can literally let your son/daughter have a great afternoon while you hang out in the back yard set up with shade and lounge chairs and venue for serving food. You are allowed and I encourage it, to bring your own food for your guests to enjoy…and…now this next part I’m going to say in my dad whisper voice, so the kids can’t hear…(you can bring your own adult beverages and offer your 21+ crowd an afternoon drank).  Talk about covering all your bases.  Everyone is happy and no clean up, c’mon…

They can decorate the venue with any theme and custom fit your needs with any flexible package, just ask, they will work with you.  Stop looking, this is it.  You’re welcome!

3 Simple Steps To A Killer Dad Bod

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When I first heard that my 5’ 12”, 280lb, wide frame, beer belly, “former athlete”, out of shape ass was now considered the new hot sexy summer look circa June 2015, I looked up to the heavens and just pointed, knowing that the great spirit in the sky was smiling down on me.  All my hard work had paid off. A look that I didn’t have to aspire to, I was already there.  I’m here to share with you exactly how I grew my self a Dad Bod and how you are already on your way to growing a killer Dad Bod, too.

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Performance Enhancing Blessings

 Follow these 3 tried and true steps to getting your Dad Bod.

  1. Drink
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Beer! Cervesa! Whatever The Germans Call It!

From freshman year in college until about age 35-just go for it- have at it.  Drink an insane amount of alcohol.  Beer, the cheaper the better.  Cheap beer requires more cans and more cans means more calories, which are key to growing those front stomach muscles, and provide plenty of fat for the face and neck.  Wine, this libation is important because it serves as your “break” from beer, and it allows you to appear classy.  And of course liquor – never frowned upon in the a.m. -liquor’s weird because you don’t feel as full, so you think you’re not doing all you can to shape yourself into that Dad Bod, but liquor makes you mad hungry.  You’re going to put in a lot of stupid Friday nights at a club drinking rum n cokes because you’re 23 and you don’t know what you’re doing yet, but every Friday night you’re going to stumble your ass into a Fat Burger at 1 a.m. and go “King burger on the char with cheese bacon and egg please” and go immediately to sleep, ensuring that every one of those calories turns into nothing but fat.  Your twenties are a golden time for hydration, you really appreciate your weekends now that dorm life is over, you’re really good at all the drinking games because you’ve been on the beer pong circuit for 9 years now and, you can still wake up hung over on a Tuesday and go to work.  If you missed your twenties, pop off that beer cap with your wedding ring and catch up, drinking alcohol is key to building a strong round gut.

2. WORKOUT

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The reason the Dad Bod works is because you can surprisingly pull off grown and sexy while you’re literally fat and sloppy, onlookers still see the skeleton of the athlete you used to be and that doesn’t happen unless you know how to work out.  Step 2 will really make or break your Dad Bod look.  I spent the majority of my twenties working out just to stay fit.  Lots of sit ups and push-ups and meaningless hours in the weight room and on the tread mill, you see the trick is in understanding that the food we eat is so bad for us that all this time working out is pointless to losing weight but vital to sculpting the perfect Dad Bod.  The six pack is still there, you just have to lean back real far and flex to see it.  Curls for the girls, squats, your bench press max, all this makes for a great base and never leaves you as you grow the torso.  All these pseudo muscles come in handy when you’re at the beach with your shirt off and you get tired of sucking it in, you can walk around with your arms in the air pretending to stretch- this display will shrink your love handles tremendously.  When you catch on that you’re getting fat no matter what you do in the gym, start to change up your workout routine to include more reps less weight, this won’t do anything but make your workout easier and you can still tell yourself you worked out.  Again if you’re late to the game, don’t panic you can still achieve the dream Dads, join your local expensive gym and don’t forget to drink beer after your workout to replenish the carbs you burned off flailing the empty dumbbell in the air 100 times with no weight.

3. EAT

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double-double, cheese-cheese, burger-burger, please

This is the best part and the easiest. To achieve and maintain that Dad Bod, eat as many times a day as possible without cooking.  You want processed food as much as you can stomach, bag of chips at 11:00pm – check, gas station sushi for breakfast – check, microwave popcorn for lunch – yes, please.  The point is in America there is processed fake food at your fingertips every minute of the day and a true Dad Bod stud is going to grab it all.  Fast food burgers for $.99, 50 chicken nuggets for $2.99, large diet Coke for $1.49 – YES YES Yes to all of that, its economical and it shows up big time in your waist and man boobs.  Who wants to splurge and spend all that hard earned cash on a $3.00 bottle of water and an organic apple for $2.99/lb? Make the switch from fresh food to fake food and in no time you’ll be looking like a true Dad Bod God.

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So now you have your Dad Bod- a true SitCom Dad- under six feet tall and over 200lbs- you’ve truly let yourself go.  Starting in 2001 I put in major work, like you, I grew a Dad Bod before I was ever a dad, basically it should be called a ‘Merican Bod. If you eat whatever you want and fake a couple workouts a week you’ll be securely on a course for Dad Bod greatness.  No need to chase girls at the club anymore, you’ve found a spouse, she still kisses you in the morning so you must be doing something right, you’ve managed to convince her to have sex and procreate (at least as many times as you have kids) so why worry about looking like Magic Mike anymore.  The problem is a funny thing happened to me when I became a dad; I suddenly had this deep unwavering desire to… live!

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SO I STARTED WITH THE MAN IN THE MIRROR.

My fat ass started thinking about heart attacks, and if I’ll be around to see my kids graduate college, will I ever see my grandkids; you know real life shit like that.  I woke up one day and I looked in the mirror and I came to the realization that it’s all a lie. Fat isn’t cool- its normal- and when was normal ever cool.  In the eighties there was 1 fat kid in class and you all knew his or her name, today the whole dam schoolyard is full of obese children.  They’re running, they’re playing, but they eat so much fake food, there is no way they won’t end up with heart disease and type II diabetes by the age of 20.  fatkidpic8

Being the hefty dad is no model for health you should pass on to your children.  I don’t want my sons to see me and think rocking a Dad Bod is inevitable.  I did that; I saw my dad’s massive beer belly and thought yup, if I’m lucky one day I’ll be a man with a beer belly too.  Fuck that! Live Dads! Shift the paradigm.  They tell you “Eat whatever you want as long as you work out” bullshit, what should be said is “Eat correctly and work out whenever you want”.  

The norm suggests that it is all on you, you ate the double quarter pounder with cheese, large fries and a large diet Coke “as part of a balanced meal” and you’re rocking’ a fat Dad Bod because you don’t work out.  That’s a false narrative.  Obesity and gym membership are both on the rise, because your workout is pointless if you keep eating animal products, sugar, and processed fake food.  You cannot run the fake food off, you cannot jog long enough in a day to sweat out that Hot Pocket you had for lunch.  

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Realizing that our food as I know it and consume it was killing me with or without a trip to the gym, on July 1st, 2015  I woke up and told myself, I’m going to live the next 30 days like the healthiest guy I know, Hashim Mteuzi, vegan body builder/personal trainer/brother from another mother.  I spent the next 30 days only eating a plant based diet –yup- I went vegan, and before you trip and tell yourself it’s too hard or too crazy or I need my meat or the most popular response “WHAT ABOUT MY PROTEIN!!!

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Just stop and take a breath and think about it.  Your ass is fat you could miss some protein, don’t rest on the food pyramid as your reason for not changing your diet.  When you were in second grade the food pyramid was a legit way to sell the idea of including dairy and meat in every meal- things change- you should consume way less animal products than you currently do.  Sorry if that upsets the inner child in you who loves carne asada or baby back ribs, but get over it – they lied about the food pyramid in second grade and they lied about the planet Pluto, too.  

It isn’t that humans shouldn’t eat meat, it’s just we eat too much meat and the manner in which it is produced is “grounded” in a profit based model.  If you have a Dad Bod you’ve been eating and drinking AND working out most of your adult life and you have very little positive results to show for it except you look like a normal fatty American.  So stop and hear me out.  The food you are eating right now is probably not real and definitely not good for you and if you want to change the way you look and feel you have to eat more plants. Period. Eat food that will eventually rot- that’s proof it was real, eat food that never had eye balls- mass produced animal products just aren’t good for you, drink less milk –because no other animal drinks another animal’s milk, it’s weird.  Plant based diets work.  Not because you care about the animal’s feelings and not because you care about the environment, but because you care about playing with your grandkids one day and if you’re too fat or too dead, that ain’t happening homie.  

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Now, I’m not saying we should change the name of this website from BIGBrownDad.com to PapaFlaco.com but if we do not open our eyes and realize that the food industry is mostly about feeding poor people fake food full of sugar and preservatives, well…you’ll be a big brown dead dad way before your time.  

RESULTS

After my 30 day Hashim Vegan Challenge ( look up #TheHashimChallenge via Instragram) I lost 15 pounds in four weeks, had the energy of an out of shape 20 year old, stopped snoring so load that I woke myself up, and didn’t recognize my pantry or refrigerator (because all the crap disappeared).  It is important to note that I incorporated a small stretching and push up routine but in no way would I consider what I was doing a workout.  My results came from one source, eating a solely plant based diet and drinking expensive craft beers aka I chose conscience over ease.  It has changed my life; I still drink like a champ but that intervention is for a different blog.    I haven’t gone back to meat or dairy, I’ve been plant based for 8 weeks now and have lost a total of 26 lbs as of August 22th.  

There are a few things I think about that culturally I have clung to as habitual eating behaviors that I still miss, but whenever I crave food from my status quo days, I just look in the mirror, suck in my now smaller gut, and smile.  I no longer have a “dicky-do” (*a dicky-do is when your gut sticks out more than your dicky-do), I can see all my toes, and I don’t have to walk around with a permanent ab flex to mask my spare tire.  

I bought some coconut oil and pan fried my tofu, bought a legit blender from Costco for smoothies, used a dab of sesame seed oil for my vegetable stir fry, and copped a large rice cooker.  I looked up local vegan spots to eat at, these chefs are professionals, the food will be delicious and they are a great resource for recipe ideas.  Planning out your meals always helps, but if you’re too busy just stop and think about each meal before you eat it and pay attention to what you put in your body.  If nothing plant based was available, I waited, you can afford to miss a few fake food meals-you’re fat remember.  Start slow and if you slip up try again next meal.  

Going vegan isn’t a cult or a religion, actually it’s both, but you won’t get kicked out for food adultery. Good luck dads, and remember, you’re children are watching you – they want to be just like you- give them something healthy to look at. #BeBetter  

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Eddie Gorton is the lucky dad of Xavier and Lorenzo, the last two years have been filed with tears of joy and pain as his life is an array of endless daddy duties and sleepless nights.  Eddie, a two time “#1 Dad” award winner, is an Instructional Coach for LA unified, rocks a psychology degree from Occidental College and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Cal State L.A.  He looks forward to the day when his two sons are old enough to wash the cars. 

How To Hack Your Snacks

At Big Brown Dad, we eat like our lives depend on it.

Did you know there’s a right and wrong way to re-heat your pizza?

Looking to turn your lukewarm soda into sweet, icy cold relief…in seconds?

Tired of dropping popcorn all over the place?!

Then you’ll want to watch the following clip, featuring the lil cuzzo and shot in Big Brown Dad’s test kitchen.

 

Fries With That Shake

BloodyMcCrueltySign

She eyeballs me as I approach the soda fountain.

I’m cute… for a 40 year old, I assure myself.  That explains it.

Her hairnet sits tightly atop her head and cuts off circulation.

Well, maybe THAT explains it.

And then she makes her move.

Excuse me, sir. You can’t get soda if you have a water cup!’

‘B!t*h, this is a soda cup,’ I murmur.

‘Huh?’ But..but this..this IS a soda cup!’

I grow bolder with each step and I’m indignant by the time I reach the fountain.

‘Why, are you the damned soda fountain police or something?”

My volume goes from 7 to 9.

‘If so, get on filling the ice because this shit is empty.’

I march stridently back to my table.

When I sit down, I compare my kids’ water cup to my soda cup and what ya know?  Same damned cups, same damned size.

But that’s on them tho.

Forty Days Till Fit or Fat @ Forty

oe3bottles

Old like really, old like old with an E, Olde!

Shit.  I turn 40 in 40 days.  And it strikes me that I have a choice to be either fat or fit by forty and I have exactly forty days to secure my fate.  Fuck.  Forty.

I need to do it for me.  I need to do it for my wife and kids.  I need to do it for my mattress and box spring.

I’ll document it here to help keep me accountable.  Research suggests social pressure (in the form of not wanting to appear to be a fucking failure) increases my chances of following thru, even if only negligibly in my case.

I’m essentially following the guidelines laid out in Tim Ferriss’ 4 Hour Body.  I’m eliminating sweets, wheat/carbs for 6 days a week and focusing on lean meat, beans and greens.  He calls it the slow-carb diet.   But I would love to hear what type of books helped change your way of thinking about food, nutrition and the body.   I know by keeping my head in the literature, I’ll have more reason to say no to all the tasty shit screaming my name.

this is on the kitchen counter, right in front of me, right now

this is on the kitchen counter, right in front of me, right now!

 

My 40 day hit list includes:

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

Omnivores Dilemma by Michael Pollan

Salt, Sugar, Fat by Michael Moss

What should I add?

Grill N Chill: Rib Eye, Aye, I

When Big Brown Dad launched the Grill N Chill series I had one thing in mind: food …and learning how to cook it!

And I’m a Progressive.  I commiserate with both pork-forkers and beef-teethers. Even the chickenese are welcomed in my home.  It’s America for heaven’s sake!

raise it up!

raise it up!

Our next fire starter in the series is Chino (aka Wing, oka Pookie,  fka Chente, ska LilBigVince).  He’d appreciate it if you played his favorite song during the reading of this post.

patriot

Uncle ChinoWingChenteLilBigVincePookie Wants You to Join his Army! And by ‘You’ he means all single ladies 18-25 1/2.

And ChinoWingChenteLilBigVincePookie is stepping to the plate with that bone-in Rib Eye from Stater Bros. His first order of business is allowing the meat to get to room temp.

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meet meat, mate.

Then he uses an LA County Fair Blue Ribbon winning family recipe gleaned from Uncle Dale: salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder–a combo ChinoWingChenteLilBigVincePookie says is impossible to overuse before cooking since it serves to encrust the steak. (Yes, excessive seasoning after cooking will kill your dish.)

The coals are lit w/o using lighter fluid as it can seep into the taste of the food.   The coals are then spread evenly through the pit for direct grilling.  Rather than using a timer, he’ll put each steak through a touch test to determine how cooked it is.

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Big Brown Mom came thru with the mash potatoes, french bread and basil, tomato and mozzarella.

ChinoWingChenteLilBigVincePookie looks for color definition when he cuts open his steak…and as you can see… we got a winner!  And bone-in means your pooch grub, too!

This steak was hearty, flavorful and moist. And it probably tastes better than yours.  You disagree?  Then come over to Grill N Chill! We’ll have these waiting:

paloma and chela.

 

Big Brown Dad

Grill N’ Chill: Pork Tenderloin

I shan’t front.  My BBQ skills are mad basic.  (Insert obligatory meat handling joke here.)

well, done.

well, done.

 

Summer ’14 might be swimming to a finish but I’m not setting aside my BBQ grill just yet.  I need to learn how to grill sumptin’ grate great.

So I decided to enlist the help of the homies by initiating Grill N Chill, a series of posts where friends roll thru Big Brown Dad HQ to grill their signature slab of protein while cold, cole, col’, chilling.

The first fire starter is Justin Gutierrez, my homie since our college days of passing out the 4 Spiritual Laws in Old Town Pasadena!  I’ve been to his house enough times to know that this dude don’t play on the grill.  I was gonna learn something.

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The first pointer, create a pile of charcoal on one side for cooking over direct heat and leave the other side empty for cooking over indirect heat.

grill indirect

JG came thru with two 3 lb slabs of Pork Tenderloin.  The first was marinaded overnight with Trader Joe’s 21 Season Salute and the second with apricot jam, garlic pepper and salt.

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looking rather…um, loin-ish.

Justin seared the tenderloin by cooking all 4 sides over direct heat for 2 minutes before moving it to indirect heat for 8 minutes on 2 sides.  He was serious about keeping to time, too.  He used a stopwatch… and pistol.  Bang!

Justin’s wife, Connie, came thru with the cauliflower mash and pastrami salad.  It was my first time trying both and they were out of this world.  If that wasn’t enough, she also brought some delectables from her business, Brown Box Bakery, a diabetic friendly, gluten-free sweet spot based in Highland Park.

Orange Bunditini named after their propensity to magically disappear.

Orange Bunditini named after their propensity to magically disappear.

We chased our eats with equal parts wine, beer, tequilla and Dr Pepper.  We laughed at our in-laws, recounted poor bedside manner and laughed at our in-laws again.

The inaugural Grill N Chill was a blast and set the bar high.  Now, you’re up!

Coffee Battle: Jack in the Box vs McCafe

It’s 5:30 a.m,  the wife and kids are asleep and  in between tossing and turning all I can think about is the first cup of coffee filling my gullet.

eye need coffee, now.

eye need coffee, now.

But I can’t get up and make my own.  I’ll make too much noise.   The click, click, click of the stove and the  electro-whir of the grinder is reportedly, ‘…too damned loud right now.’  Reportedly.

So, where should I go for my fix of Joe?  I had two choices: Jack in the Box or McCafe?  Since I’m a baller, I decided on both.

Jack In The Box

As it happens, In N Out isn’t the only spot with an off-menu, menu.  At JITB, you can order the unlisted, discounted Senior’s Coffee for $.75 instead of the MSRP of $1.19.  And they (usually) don’t ask for ID!  And if they did, you can say (as some reportedly have) ‘…it’s for my Grandpa!’

My Grandpa put the G in Grandpa...b/c he thought Randpa sounded wack.

My Grandpa put the G in Grandpa…b/c he thought Randpa sounded wack.

Now, I drink my coffee black, Jack.  Adding sugar and cream is like drinking a pink, mixed-drink….at a club named Metro…while wearing skinny jeans, nahmean?  But a friend of a friend likes sugar and cream and to my, er, his, er, her chagrin, JITB refuses to add them directly into the coffee.  They’ll only hand you the packets.  Now that’s some ol’ un-American bullshit if I’ve ever heard it.

Sip.  Sip.  Swish. Spit.

Judge Judy ain't bout that life.

Judge Judy ain’t bout that life.

The Verdict:

I regret to inform you that this cup of coffee tastes like it was made at a Motel-8, biked over in the rain and then microwaved.  And I didn’t know microwaves had a lukewarm setting.  Keep your $ .75.  You might need it for later.

McCafe

First things, first.  The McDonald’s drive-thru menu is a beauty to behold.  The colors, the images, the layout, the packaging…it’s mesmerizing…as if they’d spent millions and millions of dollars researching which layout compels us to spend more money [insert sarcmark here].

While the McCafe doesn’t offer a senior discount their Dollar Menu has fed more old folk than the local Elk’s Lodge.  Never mind Ronald McDonald House, the Dollar Menu was Ron’s  greatest gift to the world.

Strike that.  Putting cream and sugar directly into your coffee is Ron’s greatest gift to the world.

I grab the coffee, place it between my legs and drive-off while pumping my brakes intermittently.  Now this feels go000od.

I pull my first sip.  And then a second.  A third.  And then it hits me.

This is why they invented Starbucks!

 

 

Covina Eats: P&G Super Burger

Chris. Tommy. Jim. Victor. Manny.

Chris' sign is here rather than P&G because I have a disease called representationitis.

Chris’ sign is here rather than P&G because I have a disease called representationitis.

If you grew up in the San Gabriel Valley then your neighborhood had a local burger joint named after a fat uncle from Crete.

My gyro!

My gyro!

My approach to these greasy spoons (wait, that IS grease…right?) has always been to eat at the one nearest  you.  For us, that’s Covina’s P&G Super Burger on Citrus.

Now let me just come out and say it because I can’t restrain myself for much longer: these mofux straight charged me $.50 for a second 1 oz container of salsa.  My face turned redder than their watered down Tapatio.  I wouldn’t have been so upset if their salsa wasn’t so…damned…good!

With that said, the primary problem here is at the register. The women who know most about the menu knows least about the English--and that’s not a xenophobic, nativistic diss either.  It’s just the sober analysis of a former long-term substitute instructor for BUSD Adult Ed ESL  1-2 who had an impossible time adding bacon to a cheeseburger, nahmean.  I’d recreate a conversation below but I never know what in the hell any of them are saying–and that’s not a xenophobic, nativistic diss either.  It’s just the sober analysis of a former long-term substitute instructor for BUSD Adult Ed ESL  1-2 who had a hard time adding bacon to a cheeseburger, nahmean.

Peep game, I will not post pictures of their food.  You’ve seen a $3.00 hamburger before, right?  Same thang, right here.  Chili-fries, onion rings, pastrami…everything an artery needs to call it quits can be had here…or at Chris’, Victor’s, Jim’s…ad nauseum.

So, if you’re in the neighborhood and craving a burger….drive another two miles to IN N OUT on Grand.

Big Brown Dad

 

 

 

Flashback Friday: One Tuff Taco

The event detailed below is not for the faint of heart. While it took place a couple of years ago, I still have nightmares–mostly over the opportunity of lost money!

 

I'm hard on the outside and fake on the inside.

I’m hard on the outside and fake on the inside.

Today, I was standing in front of a taco truck on Wilshire Blvd waiting for my order to be served.   That’s when I heard  two bicycles colliding immediately behind the truck.

I peeked around the bumper and noticed a 6 ft, skinny, 30 year-old black guy standing on a bike while hanging onto the hooded sweatshirt of a smaller, similarly slender, 21 year-old white guy.  A second bike was strewn at the feet of the white guy.

The black cat hollared, “Stop’em!  He’s stealing my bike!”

Say, what?!

I’d seen this kind of thing on TV and for a second I wondered if it was a hoax.  My producer-sense told me it was just the kind of inverted racial stereotype that would make for good TV–on some, What Would You Do type tip.

But before I could survey the street for hidden cameras, the thief  broke free from the victim.  He pulled himself away so violently, the hood ripped right off his sweatshirt.  The black dude held it in his hand.

Free and with a wild look in his eyes the thief ran right in my direction.

With no time to deliberate, I slipped into JV linebacker mode: I shifted laterally, squared up, lowered my shoulder, hit and then wrapped the thief into submission.

I put the patented Chicano fat-guy bear hug on him while some wimps, err… bystanders called 9-1-1.

I held him oh so tight.  The thief struggled oh so little.  He then admitted he was caught and said he wouldn’t run so (against my better judgement) I let him go.

And he didn’t run.  And a  crowd started to gather.

That’s when shit got very funny.

The victim looked at the thief and said,  “Man, I should beat your ass right now. How much money do you have in your pocket?”

“Man, I’m broke,“ the thief pouted.  He took out his wallet to prove it was empty.

Ah shit, I can’t even front, I started to feel bad for thief.

“So, you’re broke? That’s why you’re doing this?” the victim asked.

Ah shit,  he can’t front, the victim is starting to feel bad for the dude too.

“But I can go to the bank. “

He pulled out his Chase card and pointed across the street.

“How much can you get out?”

The victim looked to me as if to imply we’ll share the dough.  I WAS a hero after all.

“$30.”

$30?  I’m thinking dude should take it.  His bike looked shitty.

I grinned.  It started to look like lunch might be free.

“Nah, man.  I’m going to need a $100.  That’s about what you would’ve gotten for my bike if you sold it.  I’m going to let the cops talk to you.”

DAAAAMMMMMIT!  

“Senor, your tacos are ready.”

I grabbed my tacos, paid my bill and exited to the sound of police sirens in the distance.

 

How To Eat For Free, Forever (In 24 easy steps)

late_night_jack-fireplace

 

I outfoxed that circle-headed Jack N The Box and figured out a way to eat for free, forever.

This entire ruse is built on @GoldPeakTea (which, btw, is as good as industrial Ice-T gets).  I take about 5 to the face each week.  Participating JNTB’s are selling 44 oz of that elixir for only a dollar.  That’s love.  And if that’s not enough, enterprising fast food fiends like you and me can turn that dollar into two free tacos, literally, ad nauseam.

Every JNTB receipt invites you to take a phone survey.  Your reward?  You guessed it, two tacos for that fast-food fix.  And as one in perpetual pursuit of the come-up,  I wondered, could I game this system?

I had 4 valid receipts that met the 3 day purchase window.
Each purchase was a dollar. How long would it take me to run through 4 consecutive phone surveys and claim my 8 tacos? Were they going to stop me? You’re about to find out!

 

read'em and weep.

read’em and weep.

  1. Survey 1: TRT 3:00 I ran through the entire gauntlet of questions and was given a redemption code.
  2. Survey 2: TRT 1:27 After inputting general receipt data, I answered one question and was shuttled to the end and given a redemption code.
  3. Survey 3: TRT :50s Only input general data and then given code
  4. Survey 4: : TRT 45s ditto
Total Run(s) TIme

Total Run(s) TIme

Now, I just have to find someone with the intestinal fortitude that wants to eat these pieces of shits.

Playdate: Chuck E Cheese’s

 

You can’t front. Before the home gaming systems explosion of the late 80’s, Chuck E Cheese restaurants were the lick. Tempest was my joint. Centipede, my jam.

Launched by Atari founder, Nolan Bushnell, in 1977 the chains 500 restaurants have seen brighter days.  As it turns out, switching Chuck’s swag from hip hop to rock had their dough looking like their dough.

Chuck lost...weight, a hockey jersey and street-cred.

Chuck lost…weight, a hockey jersey and street-cred.

 

This past Saturday I was sitting on some left-over tokens from a b-day party earlier this month.  So I rounded up Maya & Joaquin @ 8:45 am,   determined to be the first in line to squeeze life from this 8-bit reliquary.

Chuck E Cheese is fashioned after old-time Vegas casinos: alternative currency, absence of clocks, robo-tainment and disgusting food. But it remains a great place to keep  kids occupied.  Always the concerned Father, I established two inviolable rules:

  1. We leave as soon as we run out of tokens.
  2. Don’t put your mouth on anything, especially the pizza.   CEC has always been more petri dish than deep dish.

 

holding a half-hour in my hand.

holding a half-hour in my hand.

Gimme the loot! Gimme the loot!

Gimme the loot! Gimme the loot!

Score!

Score!

Beep. Buzz. Bam.

Alashazam.

22 minutes later,  we were ghost! And 45 minutes later, Joaquin asleep.

 

 

 

 

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