beignets and chimneys

last night after work in larkspur i walked down to the silver peso (i also like to call it the wooden nickel) for a manhattan. when i walked in i noticed on tv people were in the middle of a beignet eating contest. i found this amusing. i mean, why didn't they call it a doughnut eating contest? i know beignet is just the french word for doughnut, but even the idea of an eating contest strikes me as quintessentially un-french. so anyway, these people on the television were cramming themselves with beignets, and i remembered the night at work had been unusual in that alot of the people who ordered the beignets we have on the dessert menu mispronounced the word when they ordered. Some said "we'll have the been-yets." or the "beige nets."
i took an open seat at the bar beside a thin oily intoxicated man with curly fingers. a man with a domino's pizza was circling the bar offering pizza to everyone. he addressed me and the two women on the other side of me as "mah-dames" which also struck me as odd. we declined his offer. tom the bartender made me a nice manhattan and the man beside me recognized it for what it was. "i know things when i see them," he said. he credited his astuteness to the fact that he used to be a bartender. and a chef too. now he cooks for and takes care of a disabled person who, he told me, "eats like a chimney and smokes like a fi--(he stopped himself from saying fish before the 'sh')-- chimney."
in my big box of french words, earlier in the day, i had randomly pulled a few cards to determine the words i would learn for the day. chimenée was one of them.

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