By Wyatt Earp | June 18, 2011
So, Tuesday my friend Code Monkey came into Philly, since my little burg happened to be her layover stop. We’ve known each other – online, at least – for six years . . . the entire life of the blog. Six years, and we’ve never personally met. Weird.
Those of you who know me well know that I turn into a freak show when I meet someone for the first time. Wyattpalooza was a nightmare of stress and nerves, even though it turned out to be pretty great. Still, I was freaking out when I picked her up at the airport. It wasn’t that I thought she wouldn’t like me or that she would think I was a tool.
No, I was worried that she was a knife-wielding psycho.
Luckily for me, I have installed metal detectors on the Wyattmobile – aka my Saturn SUV – and only found lipstick, a pair of brass knuckles and her artificial hip. So, we were golden. We only had a few hours for the grand tour of the most
fabulous dismal town in America, and since CM demanded a cheesesteak, we headed to Geno’s.
Almost immediately after she got into the car, CM said, “Boy, I can’t wait to go home.” Nice, huh? You could tell she wanted to pull the words back, but it was too late. I responded with, “Dude you just got here!” (And yes, I actually called her dude.) As we were arguing over her verbal faux pas, I missed the turn onto N/B I-95. Instead, I was headed west toward the Platt Bridge – taking me out of my way. What resulted was a comical scene of me slamming my hands on the steering wheel, shouting “F**k, f**k, F**k!!!” (It’s okay, she knows I swear.)
The wrong turn was actually a blessing, because I got to show her our overpriced stadiums. You know, the stadiums working guys like me can never afford to enter? After that, we drove to Penn’s Landing to check out the rotting USS Olympia and take a gander at the Battleship New Jersey, which is moored at a real waterfront . . . in Camden.
We meandered over to Geno’s Steaks in South Philly – yes, it’s touristy, but hey, she’s technically a tourist – and had lunch. CM made me order because she didn’t want to do it wrong and get yelled at by the Soup Nazi. So, we each had a cheesesteak with whiz and without onions, and they were awesome. Almost as awesome as what CM saw next.
I nudged her and said, “Look to the left.” There was Joey Vento, Geno’s owner, behind the grill, working as always. She got a kick out of that, saying, “Wow, Joey Vento is actually making our steaks!” While Joey is something of a celebrity in these parts, he still – in his 70′s – comes to work every day to slave over the grill. He’s hardcore.
We ate in my car, because everyone knows you can’t get an outside table at Geno’s. We talked for a while, laughed a lot, and made fun of my commenters.
*It’s okay. We didn’t make fun of you. Just other commenters.*
We finished the magical mystery tour with a quick stop at Independence Hall and a few lesser-known touristy places. It was cool to show someone the places most people never see. When we were done there, I was pretty much sick of her, so I took her to the airport, slowed down to about 35, and made her do a tuck-and-roll out of my car. Last I saw of her, she was searching for her smashed laptop, yelling, “YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE LAST OF MEEEEEEE!”
All in all, it was a pretty fun day.