Ben Ali, Rest In Peace. At age 82, the founder of Ben’s Chili Bowl – a DC Institution since it’s 1958 opening, died last night. He passed “peacefully” of congenative heart failure at his home. Ben and his Chili Bowl were things you had to experience if you live in DC or even if you visit for a few days. His shop was located a ways from the Mall or the Monuments or even the Museums but at the corner of 12th and U streets in Northwest the smell of chili covered half smokes practically wafted all the way down to the Smithsonian, calling you uptown.
Although I haven’t had the opportunity to go back to the store in a few years (I have visited the stand at National’s park on several occasions) I still am going to miss having a guy like Ben around. He was a special kind of genuine person which is hard to find in this town of lying politicians, bribe issuing lobbyists, and so many lawyers you’d need a forest of paper towels just to wipe the BS off of your shoes.
I plan a trip up to the Bowl real soon and if you ever wonder into the District suggest you do the same. Here’s a nice piece by the Post to finish up on.
Now on to the urinal. We’ve spoken in this space before about buzz-worthy topics such as the extra flush, the restroom sign, the germ-a-phobe and others. However today I experienced something new that I was quite unprepared for. As I was “taking care of business” a guy saddles up next to me and proceeds to drop trou and start doing his thing. Um...yeah...buddy...that thing on the front of your pants. I think they call it a “zipper”. Its not just there for show you know....you can use it as a way to get “it” out without undoing buttons, hooks, and ...eek...even belts. I’m just saying that you might want to do it the easy and neat way. What if you accidently let the pants fall...now they’re all wet with liquids that I’d rather not think about and you have to go back to your office where all of your co-workers are sure to laugh and point at you once your back is turned. Just play it simple and keep the button/belt on. If you have the unsettling urge and must absolutely take it all off, go to the stall and at least pretend that you’re laying pipe.