I met up with Kara on Saturday for lunch at one of our favorite joints in Pittsburgh, The Zenith. We’ve been lunching there since 2008 and I honestly can’t think of a single bad visit. Between the never disappointing all-vegetarian menu, the crazy tea list, the eccentric owner and waitstaff, and the collection of (definitely haunted) antiques and weird shit to peruse after you eat, it’s definitely an adventure every time.
This is where I bought my beautiful, institutional wheelchair and one of the sexiest pictures of Jesus of all time.
Needless to say, Henry positively cringes when I tell him I’m going there.
On this particularly prosperous visit, we sat at a table across from the most handsome clown painting hanging on the brick wall.
“That’s really horrifying,” Kara critiqued, fanning herself with her invisible art history degree.
“I want it,” I said dreamily, flagging down Elaine, the owner. She wasn’t sure offhand how much it was selling for, and said she was going to call her daughter to find out. In the meantime, some dumb hipster couple came slowly skulking through the dining room, presumably in search of vintage mason jars. I didn’t like how long they lingered near my clown, so I started to grip the sides of the table in the anger, preparing to use the Chinese stars I keep tucked into my Tom wedges at all times.
Kara, god bless her, just sat there and laughed but I know what she was thinking: No one else wants that nightmare in a frame, don’t worry.
Elaine came back and said it was $25, which was a lot less than I expected for that prime slab of circus hunk. I had the cash whipped out of my wallet with a swiftness, thanks to my gospel aerobics-spawned flexibility.
And this is how Abaddon (of course I named him!) wound up joining us for lunch. I had the Seitan Burgandy and Kara had a Malkin Melt, which she gushed about being the best sandwich she’s ever had in her life, and now I regret not ordering that myself. It was my back-up choice! We both got a pot of tea, of course (mocha double chocolate for Kara; mocha orange for myself) and vegan cake, which Paul Eugene and a brisk walk around Brookline helped me burn off later, DON’T WORRY LAW FIRM BIGGEST LOSER TEAM.
Meanwhile, Kara posted a picture of Abaddon on Facebook, which got Henry’s attention:
Henry came to pick me up and was leaving that comment right as Abaddon and I were walking down the sidewalk toward him. The exhausted smirk on his face when I opened the car door was priceless. And it got even better when I said, “We’re done eating, but not shopping. BRB.” Chooch wanted to come back in with me and I let him, but the whole way back down the sidewalk I kept Army-chanting, “WHAT AREN’T WE GOING TO DO??” to which he would respond, “Touch anything.”
He spotted about 278476 cat things that he wanted, right away. Then he found some old tin yo-yo that Elaine let him have for free, probably because it’s cursed.
I tried SO HARD to get Kara to buy this dress. She promised that if I set up a photo shoot, she will come back and buy it.
I feel like the one thing my house is missing is a rusty saw collection.
I was happy that they still had some Christmas decorations up, especially this army of Nutcrackers, which I immediately took a picture of for my friend Kristy, who is terrified of Nutcrackers. That’s just me, being a good friend, is all.
One of my favorite pictures I have ever taken happened in the owl bathroom back in 2008. I must have 100 pictures of that room, but no selfies! Until NOW. Bam.
I wish the walls were still blue, but this is still one of the best bathrooms ever, no matter what.
Fake-pooping with cursed yo-yo in hand.
I want everything on this wall so much that it hurts.
Chooch’s first ever Zenith purchase:
On the walk back to the car, Chooch dragged the yo-yo along the sidewalk, which made a terrible scraping sound.
That was probably some kid’s only toy during the Great Depression, and now look at it.
Kara vehemently suggested that Abaddon should be hung in the basement, but I made Henry hang him on a wall adjacent to the basement door. Close enough.
In other majestic clown acquisitions, I purchased this hand-drawn plate on Etsy a few weeks ago, which made Henry sigh because he told me to wait to buy it but I was like, “Oops, too late.” I didn’t want some other asshole to get to it first, OK?!
I showed Kara a picture of it when we were still at lunch and she was like, “OMG NO! I’m on Team Poor Henry with this one. That’s just terrifying.” So then I sent her this picture that night, which she mistakenly looked at right before she went to sleep:
Next on my list is a holy water font for the bathroom. I haven’t found one that speaks to me yet. OK, that’s not true. There was one…but it was $600. IT WAS ITALIAN, OK?!