Philadelphia: Rants & Raves

Scene from a Philly Sandwich Shop

Four twelve-year-old boys take the last open table in a small sandwich shop in South Philly. I’m leaning against a wall, wearing sunglasses and a blue shirt that reads “Race to Wrigley 5K.” Five more twelve-year-old boys enter.

Kid  1: Did you run here from Wrigley?

Me: Yup.

Kid 1: Whoa. Guys, she ran here from Wrigley Park.

Kid 2: In New York?

Me: In Chicago.

Kid 3 and 4: Whoa.

Kid 5: Really?

Kid 6: I know someone who biked here from Harrisburg.

Kid 7: That’s not as far as the state of Chicago, idiot.

Kid 8: Chicago’s not a state, idiot. It’s Illinoise.

Everyone in the sandwich shop turns to look at me. Could it be true? (No. Of course not. Idiot.)

Kid 1: How long it take?

Me: Long time.

Kid 9: How long it take?

Me: Years.

Kid 2: Like two or three?

Me: What do you think?

Kid 3: Five?

Me: Yup.

Kid 3, 4 and 5: Wow! Five years!

End scene. Audience applauds politely while frowning over the current state of education in America.

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