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Metaphorically Speaking

Maison de Merde

As the political situation in Egypt heats up, you might be finding that your food cools down. Our resident foodie David Blanks wonders what it’d take to end our on-again/off-again relationships with our delivery guys…

Given the title of this week’s column, and the social upheaval we’re living through, you are probably assuming that I have switched from food writing to writing about politics. Ummm, no. I’m way too shallow and self-absorbed for that. But my topic this week is a result of politics. Because of the shit that’s going down around town all my parties and dinners were cancelled and I’ve been stuck at home watching food porn—Gordon Ramsay: “This is Master Chef, not masturbate!” (true that)—and being forced into the unenviable position of having had to do a lot of ordering in. Hence, as a foodie, I’m pissed.

Ordering delivery blows. Every once in a while you get lucky and something shows up that is hot, juicy and delicious but, nine times out of ten, these random nighttime hook ups end in tears and disappointment. By the time it’s over, you feel cheap and used. Worse still, deep down inside, you know full well that in a couple of weeks, when you’re really needy and desperate, you’ll call the bastard again. 

The problem is that our delivery system is flawed. This is why from a foodie perspective we need a regime change. Elsewhere in the world you cannot get that much stuff delivered, even in the big cities. If you want sushi or Chinese takeaway or even like, KFC or Subway, you actually have to peel yourself off the couch, put on your pants, wipe down the remote, and go get it.

Here, sure, we’re lazy, and we’ve got low labor costs, and we can order just about anything we want including a nurse with a stomach pump, but somehow with fast food delivery between their kitchen and yours it all goes to hell. It’s all that time your order spends weaving in and out of traffic that destroys any and all possible pleasure you might have gotten out of it.

“Would you like some exhaust fumes with your burger?”
“Yes, please, I’m hoping they will kill the bacteria that will start growing during the hour and a half it’s going to take you idiots to get it from one side of Zamalek to the other.”

In the U.S. they do have pizza delivery at least and it is greatly improved through the use of advanced technology. You can still get crappy pizza, but the odds you might get a good one are greatly enhanced because companies implant their delivery guys with GPS microchips so they don’t get lost and fasten tracking devices to their ankles so the store manager knows when the kid has stopped along the way to smoke up with his buddies while your pie dies a slow death in a little metallic black box plugged into the lighter on the dashboard of his car.

Some companies used to advertise thirty minutes or free, but that had to stop because of all the lawsuits. Seems like when you’re young and stoned and trying to get somewhere quickly there is a pronounced tendency to smash into things. Thirty minutes or free as it turns out was not a good idea. Can you imagine what would happen if they tried that here?

What we do have in common with America is that pizza orders go way up on certain nights, like on New Years’ Eve or the day before Thanksgiving, or during the Oscars or the Superbowl or the grand finale of Arabs’ Got Talent . . . or if the government’s about to fall.

If you get hungry tonight you’d better get your order in early because it’s going to be delivery guy hell out there today. Just who owns these food delivery companies anyway? Are they the same ones calling for revolution and counter-revolution and keeping us off the streets? Who is profiting by this? Hmmmmm …..

Anyway, like so many other housebound foodies out there, once again I’ll probably get stuck and desperate; once again I will have to live down the memory of how dissatisfied and cheated I felt last time; once again I will go slinking back to the phone and dial that number to my eternal shame.

“Hello, Thomas? It’s me. Why do you keep treating me like shit? We’ve known each other for twenty years. I’m beginning to feel like you just don’t care.”


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