This is unusual for a blog posting, but after sharing the below email with a few close friends and family I was encouraged to publish it for others to read. So why not? What follows below is an email that I sent Rileah earlier this morning. Enjoy….
My Dear Wife-
As you requested of me, I got up at 4am and called Ralph’s on Ventura and asked for Hugo in the meat department (like you asked me to do) in an effort to order the 8-10 pound “Round Roast” that you are serving for our family and friends on Christmas Day.
As it turns out, Hugo actually doesn’t get in to work each day until after 5am. But hey, no problem. I was up anyway and the dishes in the dishwasher weren’t gonna put themselves away, am I right? I had great fun staying awake for that extra hour that I didn’t need to be awake.
I finally reached Hugo around 5:15am after several failed attempts. I told him that I wanted to order an 8-10 pound “Round Roast” (just like your text asked me to) and he responded by telling me “No man, you mean Rib Roast.”
I insisted that “No, I do indeed mean Round Roast and that is why I am asking for Round Roast and not Rib Roast- since Rib Roast is in fact NOT what I would like to order.” Hugo kept saying that “You don’t need to order Rib Roast- we have tons of it and its on sale.”
Though I appreciated the money saving inside tip about the sale on “Rib Roast”, I reminded Hugo again that “It is not Rib Roast that I am interested in purchasing and dining on this Christmas- but actually Round Roast.” He retorted again with- ”You don’t mean Round Roast. You mean RIB Roast.”
I confided in Hugo that I would never even consider giving him inaccurate information as to the type of roast that I was looking to purchase. I was calling at this ungodly hour because I was told that he was the “Roast Ninja” of Los Angeles and “the guy who can make a roast happen.” I told him that I very much meant “ROUND” Roast and that I was not lying to him about it nor was I playing a “roast joke” on him as I would never do that to anyone, friend or stranger. Roasts are not something to be fucked about with. ”I very much only want ROUND Roast.”
Hugo got kinda huffy and said that they don’t carry “RUMP” Roast at Ralph’s this time of year. Woah! Hold the phone! ”RUMP Roast?” The mere introduction of “Rump Roast” to this meat equation threw me off guard in a number of ways as that specific selection of beef had not been brought up at any point in our transaction thus far… and to be completely honest, the word “Rump Roast” makes me giggle. Hugo even gave me another free and unsolicited little bonus tip when he informed me that “RUMP Roast” is in fact what most restaurants use for “Roast Beef” during this time of the year. Though I appreciated being let in on this industry meat secret and promised to keep it on the down low, as you know, I have never ordered the “Roast Beef” at a restaurant in my life and therefore this information was of little to no interest of mine. I always opt for a “New York Steak” or “Filet Mignon” unless said restaurant has a children’s menu that I can order Chicken Parm, Chicken Fingers, or a Grilled Cheese sandwich from. Which oddly reminds me, we need eggs if you go shopping today.
Did I mention that I put away all of the dishes at 4am?
Anyway, I corrected Hugo yet again. ”Oh Hugo, my friend. It appears that you may not be hearing me correctly. I asked for neither a “Rib” nor a “Rump Roast” but in fact a “Round Roast.” I spelled the word “R-O-U-N-D” to him. “Round roast. Round Roast. ROUND ROAST.”
He informed me again that what I really wanted to order was in fact “Rib Roast”.
I asked Hugo if he is married. He didn’t actually answer the question either way but he at least alluded to the fact that he understands what marriage means. I told him that my wife VERY specifically instructed me to wake up at 4am and order an 8-10 pound “Round Roast” from him personally. I asked him if he understood the repercussions of me not pulling through with my end of this given assignment. He answered that he did indeed understand. I thought that we were on the same page, but then he proceeded to ask me if I would like for him to set aside a “Rib Roast” for you to come in and look at when you wake up later today.
I told him that I was saddened by this. Whereas it seemed as though Hugo and I were making progress with this beef transaction and even sharing personal information about our lives and the meat business, we now seemed to be digressing once again. We had come all that way but just like *that* – Hugo was back on the “Rib Roast” and essentially back at square one yet again. He was once again suggesting that I wanted a roast that I did not wish to order. It had already been established throughout perpetuity that I was not interested in “Rib Roast” whatsoever. I told Hugo that I actually hate “Rib Roast” and that I would fight one and punch it in the dick if I saw one. I told him that I am allergic to Ribs. I told him to not even bring up the words “Rib Roast” again as I had been molested by a “Rib Roast” when I was 6 and the memories are still just too painful to handle. “But you know what, Hugo? I sure really would love a “ROUND Roast” if you could help me out this Christmas. Please?”
Hugo put me on hold for 5 minutes. There wasn’t even music to enjoy in the silence. I would have used this time to put away the dishes but I had already done that at 4am. Did I mention that? I can’t remember.
When Hugo came back on the line he said that a shipment of “Top Round” is coming in today and that YOU should call him or come in around 11 to figure it out so that he can get it ready for you by Tuesday. I was overjoyed! Not only had he shared another meat secret (dishing out when exactly the new meat would be arriving at Ralph’s) but he had finally heard me and understood what it was that I was trying to acquire. I thanked him profusely for his hard work, his dedication to beef, and his amazing deductive skills. I even awarded him the “Christmas Grand Prize.” I was too exhausted to come up with an actual name for said prize however, so instead I just told Hugo that he had indeed “won Christmas.” He was very pleased.
I thought we had finally completed our transaction but then he added that he wants you to call him when you awaken because he is convinced that you want a “RIB Roast” and that you told me the wrong thing. “She didn’t mean Round Roast. She meant Rib Roast.”
Apparently Hugo knows you better than I do. Are you sleeping with him?! What does Hugo have that I don’t have?? I can’t believe I lost my wife to the meat guy. Although then again… he IS the meat guy, so perhaps I should have seen this coming. I would bet they call it “Alice & Sam Syndrome” in the business but I didn’t want to press my luck by inquiring about even more of the meat trade secrets. But this begs the more important question… what does Hugo have that I don’t have? Where did I go wrong? I confronted him straight up and demanded to know how long this extramarital relationship had been going on between the two of you.
Hugo hung up on me.
ROUND – RIB – RUMP – ROAST – Fuck this shit. We’re having turkey.