Van & “Days Like This,” maybe?

Today in “how to keep your head from exploding:” My consort and I were happily chopsticking through another typically great lunch at Jin Ramen on Amsterdam when “Stand By Me” came on the sound system. Noodles and soul — what could be American-better? Next day Bob’s studio manager came in after a week of skiing in Vermont and said she and her husband had mostly cooked (after provisioning from their fancy Brooklyn meatmonger) but every day would have lunch from a food gondola run by a Japanese woman and her American husband. Because it was ramen and because it was good. And that hummus-and-guacamole reality reinforced how unpossible it is that the #MAGA crowd can really take a country backward when it is so consumed with moving forward at the table. Overcooked steak or no overcooked steak, this pot will always be melting. Ketchup, after all, is un-American . . .

“Mad Men” in large Jersey women’s sweaters

It was an Albanian waiter in a fancy Italian steakhouse who first made me wonder if dark days might be coming. This was back in about October, at lunch with a client. An officious tip-dependent fuck took it upon himself to lean in as my client and I were finishing our mediocre meatballs and volunteer: “How about that xxxx! He’s got the right ideas!” Client and I both politely kept our pieholes shut until we were walking back to the train and marveling: “That guy thinks he’s going to be better off? That guy?” We’re certainly paying for our arrogance now. I’m not a Christian, but I still think it would be wrong to hope he pays even more. He could be deported in a stone-cold heartbeat.

Won’t be working on Carter’s peanut farm

And I’m still waiting for the check that will cover my Audi for showing up at three demonstrations so far, but I can see why the “paid protesters” BS has taken off. On the late afternoon of the women’s march, the stalwart I went with suggested we stop for a drink and snack at the bar at the Modern, her previous canteen but kind of out of my league in my all-Twitter/no-cash life. I worried we would not be dressed appropriately, but as soon as we were seated I could see almost everyone around us, with their expensive highlights and haircuts, was in jeans and sneakers. The woman on the next barstool, and on her fourth sparkling wine, was babbling about having come out for her first protest ever: “Everyone here was at the march!” Some of them even still had their signs with them. I was lucky because Mary insisted on picking up the tab for our shared (excellent) foie gras and tarte flambée and my white from Lanzarote, which looked downright affordable when we remembered service was included because some people believe in equality. Surely, surely, everyone else was covered by Soros, though. That would be easier for the biggest loser to accept than the sign we spotted in a resto afterward: “DT: Your hometown hates you.”