Monday, March 28, 2005

Guest Speaker Series, No. 1

Tempe Strip Mall
by Carl Koschmann

we didnt land on the hispanic strip mall - the hispanic strip mall landed on us. John was itching to do laundry and directed us the Arizona State campus in Tempe - we parked the van and john/fredo promptly picked the oldest washing machine available which promptly stopped working. In fact, the spinning apparatus dislodged itself and the only movement was a slight current created by a jirating nubbin at the bottom.

i myslef, lured by the promise of "the best fadez n' temp" entered what turned out to be a barber shopped staffed and patronized entirely by latinos. my stylist Hector was a stout, happy young man who expressed confusion at my wisconsin flop, but pressed on, spending a clear 45 minutes on the trim around my neck - which, i am told, is nothing short of artwork. hector expressed that "he doesnt mess mith california" as the winters are too cold. i told him we blew a tire outside of vegas. hector expressed that he doesnt mess with vegas either. too hectic for hector, it would appear. he filled me in on the spanish talk show that was on - but mostly expressed disdain for the topic, confiding in me that they watch it to placate the female boss. he finished a while later, with all manner of product in my new crew cut. i am no longer the same person.

back at the laundramat, things were going no faster, so fredo and i posted up in the kids video lounge to watch Toy Story 2 with two hispanic kids who explained the plot to us and shared a large bag of doriotos. as we waited for the dryer to finish, john took us to a smoothie establishment, where he promptly fell in love with the smoothie operator. she was a tall attractive black woman in runner's tights, and john quickly ascertained that she ran the 100, 200 and relays for both for ASU - johns eyes lit up - but they lit up only long enough to discover a large rock on her ring finger.

people's lives were changed in that hispanic strip mall - albeit only slightly.


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