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Chapter 3, The Quest for Food It was 7:30, and I was hungry. The ballgame was on TV and I didn't feel like leaving the room, but room service costs were approaching NASA project equivalence. We decided to order delivery from a deli that Bridget had seen down the street. They had a menu on the internet with indications that they deliver for free, and the sandwich prices looked reasonable. "Belly Deli, hello?" "Hi, I want to place an order for delivery" "We can't deliver at this time" "OK thanks." click A few minutes later we decide that the deli is close enough to pick up the food ourselves. "Belly Deli, hello?" "I'd like to place an order for pickup" "Ok hold on" Local easy listening on a FM radio station for a few minutes. The line picks up again, and I hear someone in the background, I pick up a little bit: "they don't come pick up their orders..." "Hello?" "Hello I'd like to place an order for delivery" "OK" "I'll have a cheeseburger with..." "Hang on, hang on...is this cash?" "No, credit" "OK....see, the problem we have is, people don't pick up their orders that they call in." "Well, I'm going to pick this order up, I'm hungry!" "Well..ok." "I'll have a cheeseburger with..." "Hang on! Let me get a pencil" I'm not sure what else he thought I was calling to do, if not to place an order, but apparantly writing implements are in scarce supply in the deli's of Times Square. After waiting for a minute or two we decided to spare him the fear of an unclaimed phone order, so I hung up. The baseball game was just getting interesting, so we decided to watch the rest of it before we ventured out to get some food in person from the diner, the old fashioned way, just like the pilgrims used to do it. As the game wrapped up, it was 10:30. I was no longer craving a beef brisket sandwich and my wife wasn't in the mood for a cheeseburger. What we really wanted was popcorn. The microwave in our suite would most likely be accomodating, but we lacked the other essential ingredients to make our dream a reality. I felt like a caveman who had just discovered fire, the day after the buffalo had migrated away. You can't eat fire. Trust me. We ventured out to Broadway, noting the high-noon levels of light despite the high-10:45PM Eastern Standard Time. As we approached 48th street, I saw something I have never seen before. Something beautiful, as if my late night, brisket-deprived dreams had found purchase in the fertile soil of New York City and sprouted into a magical beanstalk of capitalist perfection. Dale and Thomas Popcorn. A whole store dedicated to the creation and distribution of nature's finest between-meal nourishment. Popcorn mixed with many flavors, chocolate, cheddar, barbecue. Barbecue popcorn. I didn't buy any barbecue popcorn, but my heart is warmed knowing that such a thing exists. We bought some Movie Theatre Traditional (salted) as a main course, and Chocolate Chunk 'n Caramel for dessert, with some bottled water. There is a place where dreams come true, my children. A city embued with magic in its constant advertisement-powered daylight. It is New York City, where you can find a store dedicated solely to Popcorn.

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