It’s because I spend it.
If I go by a Love Store and they’re having a sale on Gleem, I come out with 8 tubes. The fruit vendor suddenly starts looking good to me as I load up on apples and bananas. And don’t let me near Macys when they’re having a triple coupon day.
My wallet empties like it’s got a slow leak.
So where do hot dogs come in?
It started when I was reading Kitchen Confidential where Bourdain mentions The Papaya King on 72nd and Broadway, famous for their franks.
I don’t as a rule eat hot dogs, but they were on my mind in a big way on Saturday afternoon. Nothing like a first-class foodie to woo you into a bun.
It was raining but warm, taking a stroll to the West Side under the pretense of going to Bed Bath & Beyond to buy Swiffer refills. Had a crisp 20 in my Barbour pocket feeling like I was headed for the slots…and I was, just in the shape of a sausage.
When I found myself on the Papaya’a corner, it started to pour. Its narrow walls were now packed with people trying to stay dry. What was of particular interest to me, was they were mostly homeless with the exception of one guy in a suit, and a woman with a little boy screaming for a hot dog.
A portly Mexican comes out from behind the counter shaking his head saying, “No, you moost leeeve Pa-yi-a King,” to the group of vagabonds, as my dear mother would have called them, who were now occupying all the stools.
“Peeing coo-stu-mers oonly.”
The kid is still screaming.
No one at this point is a peeing customer. Not me, not the suit and certainly not Wheezer who by now deserves a good smack.
I watch the 4 homeless men gather their plastic bags heading for the door.
“Wait a minute,” I say, so loud I scare myself, “who wants a hot dog?”
Of course Wheezer was the first responder. Out came that cash I really shouldn’t have had while 7 wieners slipped elegantly into their buns like mink stoles causing the Mexican to take pause
“Moosterd, rolish?” I said, playing hostess (would you believe he didn’t laugh at my grand imitation of him).
I even bought the suit one who could have easily picked up the tab.
Oh, I just didn’t care.
I felt like a soggy saint as the sky continued to open, that 20 disappearing into the ethers forever.