Over the last 24 hours it’s been a good idea for me to take deep breaths, if you get my draft. Nothing really bad has happened to Hot D***a, but the world is sure spinning fast around us.

Some of you may know this, some of you may not, and some of you probably will find this highly controversial. On a fairly regular basis I visit a strip club. It’s not what you think, though. A customer of mine happens to be a stripper and I make frequent fruit shake deliveries to the hotel lobby attached to the club. She’s a nice person and even strippers need to eat, you know.

So, anyway, I was learning to play chess yesterday. This other customer of mine, who looks younger than me (think Asian Doogie Howser), but is apparently a doctor was teaching me how to play. If you’re wondering, I’m not very good at chess. I think I’ve learned how to play at least six times. Despite that fact, I just kind of make a move and see what happens. It’s great fun to be cavalier when losing has no real consequence!

As our game transpires, the phone rings and it’s delivery time. My young-chess-teacher-doctor-friend is very intrigued with where I have to go and asks if he can make the delivery. This actually is a great help to me as there are other customers in the store and, seriously, I think he HAS to be at least three years my elder. I explain everything to him, and let him go. I hope I haven’t corrupted him for life. Truthfully, that club is a dark and dreary place. Taking a trip there is, in my opinion, quite sobering.

Then today happened. Wow. We have this other customer named Norma. Norma, for some reason thinks that we specialize in gazpacho. When she sees our sign she must misread it as “hot gazpachoma.” I think this because we once catered her 60th birthday and she requested that we prepare gazpacho to be served hot. As far as I know, a big part of what makes gazpacho, well gazpacho, is that it’s served chilled.

So, by now you might have guessed we don’t have what it takes to make gazpacho on hand at Hot D***a. Nonetheless, Norma called the store at 11:30 last night requesting that we have gazpacho and some other very much miscellaneous items prepared for twelve and delivered to her home, in Squirrel Hill, today at 5:00 pm.

I ride my bike to work, and Megan takes the bus. We’re our only employees and we don’t close until 5 pm. Well, with the help of some friends we were able to make her order happen. Let me tell you, if Hot D***a had no friends, we would not exist today. Don’t get me wrong, we appreciate Norma’s business, but whenever she interacts with us it guarantees an adventure for the day. No matter what else happens.

Needless to say, other things occurred today.

1) I discovered an old wheat penny from 1930 worth $25. I have subsequently misplaced it.
2) A very nice banker we just started doing business with informed us that he was fired on Friday, three days after he parted ways with his fiancee.
3) A man, whose Santa suit failed to be delivered, borrowed our hot dog suit to take pictures with children. As he did that, he collected $280 in donations for some charity and handed out many of our business cards and menus. When he returned the suit he wanted to buy a sweatshirt from us, but we didn’t have a large enough size for him. He said he was “hoping to expand over Christmas.”
4) KDKA TV called us, and the entire ownership of Hot D***a is scheduled to be on “Pittsburgh Today Live” on January 3.
5) A crazy homeless man I’ve mentioned in this blog previously, and who had been MIA for approximately six weeks, had someone help him reclaim his stolen identity. He’s receiving his social security check once again. His photo ID is something else.
6) There were meowing cats performing Christmas carols several times throughout the day on the radio. Literally.
7) Around 1:30 pm a woman we know came in with a “roll away piano.” It’s a synthesizer that folds like a t-shirt. In the midst of several other things I’ve already mentioned unfolding she unfolded her piano on our counter and began performing a “live Christmas card” for us. It, too, was something else.

As you can imagine our ambience was quite delightful today, and I’m pleased to report that no one passed out on the floor! Where else but Hot D***a can you get this stuff? You’ve got to come down and see what you’re missing!