2010-08-24: All You Can Eat
Summary: Zandra cons.. suggests that Fang volunteer to model for her art class after meeting him at an all you can eat Asian buffet.
Location: Asian Buffet Queens NY
It is late evening and people are heading home, or rambling towards restaurants to find some food. Zandra is one of those people looking for quick, good and cheap food.. and she spots an Asian-American buffet having a special. $5.99! Figuring she's in the mood for some noodles and other stuff she saunters in, sketchbooks and book back in hand.
A taxi stops in front of the restaurant, the rear door opening and a rather tall imposing man unfolds from inside, causing the over sprung suspension to perform the "sloshing vehicle" dance, and earning a curse in Armenian from the driver. An apologetic reply in the same language, and a bill is tossed to the driver through the window. The man turns and brushes his hair back out of his face. His approach to the restaurant earns a quick mutter from the staff, and the old woman at the door says, "You gotta buy three, you eat too much last time." A laugh comes from the tall man. "Sure, you got it, Zoumou, as long as you still have that szechuan beef."
Zandra has at this point sat herself down and placed her sketch book upon the table and placed her book bag onto the chair besides her spot. The place isn't terribly busy due to the late hour but there are a small handful of folks about. She's headed to the food bar when the conversation catches her attention, as does the very tall man. Dang! she wonders if he's a pro wrestler!
Not even stopping to go to a table first - the tall man hands a twenty to the old lady, by way of a tip or a bribe, and then he's at the steam tables, loading up. A wistful glance at the rice, but instead he loads up on fried fish, chicken wings, and what's left of a pan of szechuan beef, and sits at the only table that actually works, one where his legs won't be jammed under a booth. It's close to the blue-haired woman. A double-take at that, "Nice look," and he smiles and starts eating ... the bones barely escape being swallowed.
Zandra smiles a bit at the large fellow. "... Thanks.. " she says as she looks him over. She doesn't really watch most sports, but any one that big generally is in to some kinda professional entertainment. Or a bodyguard.. or well the list goes on. "Don't forget to breath man." she gently teases as he wolfs down his dinner. "Don't take this ..ah the wrong way, but you should totally volunteer to be a model at our art department.. the people we have to draw from are really boring.. it'd be nice to sketch some one who isn't flabby or has no muscle tone at all for once."
The big man grins, and pauses to inhale and exhale flagrantly. Stopping to breathe. At the suggestion, he startles and the grin fades for a moment.
"Volunteer artist model, huh? That's an easy one. You seriously want me to do that? Well, it would satisfy Hera and it's not the hardest thing I've been asked to do." The man considers, nods and reaches over, offering a hand to shake. It reaches. "I'm Fang, uh, Frederick. Fred Ounze. Where is this school and who do I contact to volunteer?" Leaning into the light, the man's eyes are a light brown color, nearly amber in the odd colored light inside the restaurant.
Zandra totally expected the dude to blow off the idea! Proff Jones is totally going to owe her big time. "ahh.. " she blinks "Columbia university.. " she says giving the hand a shake after a moment of concentration. It might seem like hesitance at first glance. "Ask for Professor Jones in the art department and he'll let you know the times.. it sure would be awesome.. " she grins brightly.
"Happy to be of service," Fang says. SO much better than mucking out the bilge on that freighter he booked passage on. Who knew the chief engineer's wife would ask such a thing.
He returns to the food for a moment, then looks back up at the blue-haired lass. "What's your name, by the way. I'd hate to tell Professor Jones that I was referred by a blue-haired lady, he'd be sure to misunderstand."
Zandra think blinks as she catches something she missed during her surprise of his acceptance of the idea. Hera? "Ah.. who's Hera?" she asks "Your girlfriend? publicist?" she laughs "No he wouldn't know which one actually. It's an art student thing.. If it isn't dyed black it's red, purple or blue.. sometimes green. There's a virtual rainbow if you go into the art department.. hell if you go into the drama department too." she grins. "I'm Zandra..it's nice to meet ya Fang? " fang? so maybe it's like Dog, the Bounty Hunter?
Girlfriend? That earns a sudden surprised laugh from the big man, and his hair slips forward, getting in his way. "Gah! Phththth! ick," he reaches into a pocket and pulls out a fat rubberband like the ones they use for produce, and wraps it back, elbows coming dangerously close to one of the waitresses, a slip of a girl who probably weighs about what that arm weighs. "Girlfriend? Ah, no. Her husband would kill me. No, Hera is my godmother. She's not so much a publicist. Promoter, maybe, but amateur. She does know how to get me in trouble but it doesn't usually pay well."
Zandra arches a brow and smirks "Oh... sorry.. " Godmother? wow.. But she shrugs. Some people do have big families. Or families in general! "General busybody huh? " she chuckles after she nibbles on some of her food. "So.. if you don't mind me askin'.. what do you do? " if the Godmomma's a bit of a promoter, maybe he's one of those mixed martial arts fighters?!
What does he do? At the moment, EAT! Fang has taken advantage of the moment to clear off the rest of the chicken wings from his plate, and a disturbing pile of bones with the ends bitten off is stacked where they were. In his defense, the way they fry them makes the ends crispy and delicious. "She has her reputation, but the whole lot of them do," Fang agrees. "I'm. uh." He thinks for a moment. "A freelance troubleshooter, I guess is the best word for it. Kills the boredom."
Zandra mmms softly. "Ah.. " that's kind of unnerving. ".. trouble isn't going to follow you to the college if you come visit..is it?" she asks. Trouble shooter in this day and age can range from some one who fancies themselves as a superhero spandex guy to ex-military A-Team dude. None of which is good if vexed enemies decide to drop by for revenge in the middle of figure drawing class.
"I hope not. It's hard to shoot trouble when you're holding a pose for a room full of art students." The grin returns, and Fang glances over at the frowning old woman. A hand gesture or two and he mouths, "Tea?" silently. Returning to the subject at hand, he asks, curiously, "So, are you full-time art student? You don't have the smell of despair and angst so I'd say you're not a drama or business major."
Zandra smirks at the fellow. ""At the moment yea..art tends to be a full time gig anyway.. other students write long papers.. we have to buy massive amounts of supplies and paint our way to an A. And of course there's the hell that is art history." she shudders.
Nodding while eating. The szechuan beef here is quite spicy, so one or two tears may be seen force their way out of his eyes and any moment cartoon smoke may start coming from his ears. But it's all good. "Yeah, I kinda stuck with the non-art history myself," Fang admits, and as tea appears, he takes a swallow. It doesn't help, now he's scorched and chemical-burned.
But spicy is so tasty! However she hasn't gone for anything super strong just yet. Maybe the second go around. "Normal history is a lot easier.." she chuckles. "There's actually less dates to remember and it's all in english.. " she says with a grin. As he's gobbling up her dinner she begins to study him a bit more. Being so buff and tall doesn't automatically qualify one of being a mutant or meta.. there are plenty of norms who are that way through diligent effort. But if he is ..well he may be furtherly helpful. She takes a peek at him with her aura sight, trying to discern if he's more than meets the eye.
Blithely unaware, apparently, that he's become the subject of sophisticated magical inspection, Fang begins and ends with the fried fish. A surprised look, "Huh, I'm out of food, how did that happen?" He winks at the old woman across the room, stands, and goes to attack the buffet again. Next: oh, that's nice, they made hot and sour soup. Fortunately only a small bowl of that. And another two plates, one cashew chicken, one with a small amount of fried rice and a larger amount of two meat things. "Why you not eat your veggies, you stunt your growth," the old woman scolds and he just laughs and sits back down.
Not magical Psychic! but where does that line really end or begin? Either way she arches a brow at him briefly. Interesting aura this one. There's little reason to suspect that funky aura belongs to some boring old mundane! "You use the internet much?" she inquires.
Fang looks up from smelling the soup. "Hmm? Moi? Non. I mean, no, not since college. I wasn't really that into them then. Any particular reason?" The soup disappears in one prolonged sip. Blink, blink-blink. JUST hot enough. Another glance at the girl. "You're not eating. You should eat, it's an all-you-can."
Zandra is eating.. just slower.. at a normal pace. "The place isn't closing in the next ten minutes.. I can take my time...and actually taste my food." she chuckles lightly. "But yes.. there's a website that you might find interesting..maybe it'll help you find some trouble shooting gigs" she suggests. And see, she takes a bite of her general Tao's chicken!
"I can taste my food, honest," Fang says laughing. "I'll have to get a computer or ... something. Any suggestions? It's been too long I'm, how you say it," and he assumes a greek accent, "Ai newwwb." The rice is then gone in three bites.
Zandra chuckles softly. "Ahh naw, not really other than just a PC.. macs are over rated..unless you got the money to burn. " because they will cost more! "There's plenty o' shops around.. just get an issue of consumer reports before ya buy anything..they've always got decent reviews." she says. She pulls a piece of paper out of her sketch book and writes down a url. "Check it out some time at the library or whenver you get hooked up with a computer." she says with a grin. "
The big man looks at the paper, nods, and folds it, puts it into his back pocket. "I'll do that. Library. Good idea. There's probably one near Columbia, I could go there tomorrow after I talk to this Jones fellow."
Tea. More meat. Second plate clean. Fang leans back, inhales, holds, exhales. "Now that I'm not hungry enough to eat a small rural farm, I wonder if I can order off the menu. Have you ever had pan fried carp?"
Zandra shakes her head. "Nope, I haven't actually gone to a lot of asian restaurants.. I like it.. but I haven't always had the opportunity.. " she says with a bit of a shrug. "I thought carp was kinda full of bones anyway?"
Fang thinks a moment, and then nods. "It is, but they're easy enough to work around." He waves to the old woman, who grumbles her way over to the table. A quick muttered conversation in Chinese and the woman signals one of the wait-staff, this one an emo teen boy who would rather be smoking out back. He slouches to the kitchen and yells incoherently. Noises continue for a while.
Zandra smiles with amusement, watching the interaction between the blond guy and the staff. "I'd rather not have to work around them to begin with.. shrimp and shellfish are less trouble and taste better." she grins widely, a hint of fang visible.
"They are indeed, but the fish is already started. It's my favorite thing they do here. I tried the peking duck but it wasn't really crispy. It has to be crispy.
The noises in the kitchen are replaced by a cart being wheeled out; a fish, a wok over a propane burner, and a grouchy old man who looks exactly like the woman at the door. He's wearing a chef's hat that should be honorably retired or burned, since it has apparently never been washed. Or perhaps that's just smoke. The man does something with hot oil, knifes come out of nowhere and SNIKT-SHING the skin is scored in hatchmarks on both sides, then it slides into the oil, SZZASS! and various things are flung onto it. Showy. It takes about four minutes per side, and Fang watches appreciatively.
Zandra also watches.. interesting! who knew they did that type of thing here! or any where really! And since the dude is other wise occupied, Zan takes this opportunity to sneak back to the buffet to snagg a few more niftie things to nibble! When she returns the fish is likely ready for consumption. When the chef has retreated back to his kitchen Zan inquires "Do they cook other things out for show like that too?"
The fish is on a showy silver-like tray with decorative vegetable matter around it. No time for the fancy cut-up stuff, and Mr. Big Eater didn't eat the carved lovely vegetable thing anyway the day before, so kale and chard is good enough. "Yeah, but this is their best." He leans over to whisper conspiratorially, "They don't do as well with the super complicated, but a simple salt-fish, it's perfect."
He uses the forks to remove two bite-sized (for him) pieces of the fish to a small serving plate, removes the bones with a deft "yank" using a chef's tweezer (part of the service-set) and pours some of the hot oil plus a few scallions for scent, across the fish. It sizzles again. He offers it to Zandra, "If you would like to try it." Whether or not she accepts, he'll leave the plate on her table and return the few feet away to his own, where he begins methodically preparing more of the fish for his own plate. It seems that you could probably feed three, perhaps four, with a "tasting" of fish from a carp this size, or finish the evening for one oversized man with an appetite. The fish itself... cooked perfectly, light and flaky, bones actually all gone. Even the very fine ones.
Zandra will give it a try, sure why not! She accepts with a thank you and with a fork she gives the fish a nibble. "Hey that's pretty good! better than what I expected.." she says with a smile. "I'll have to keep it in mind for later." when she's got some extra cash! "A lot better than any other fish I've had before anyway.. it's usually over buttered, or under cooked."
Fang smiles. "And another one joins the pescivores!" Meanwhile he's finishing the de-boning, pours still-hot-oil on the fish he's rendered safe, and closes the lid on the small burner candle that was keeping the oil hot. "Maybe next week after art class," he days around his own first bite of fish. The rest of it doesn't last long, but he does pay attention to each mouthful. It would be disrespectful otherwise. Zandra smiles and gives a nod. "Maybe, could be fun.." she says. "We might even convince a few of the others to come with us.. you'll have a mob of fans afterwards I'm sure." she chuckles. "And more if the drama guys catch sight of you."
That earns a raised eyebrow. "Are they that bad?" Something has him puzzled, and he hasn't quite figured it out. Something... would have to put on the hat for that, and then these nice people would NEVER let him come back here. So not worth it. A quick hand-signal, and he gets the check, and Zandra's as well, if he can. After all, this will be his easiest Labor in months! (What could go wrong?)
Zandra grins. "Considering our last few models have been A: fellow classmates, B: an old tweaker prostitute and C: a guy who's got less muscle tone than a string bean, Yes.. y'll be a roaring success." she says. "As for the drama dudes.. they generally take no for an answer, but be prepared for a few pouts." she chuckles and some how manages to catch her own check. She's sneaky that way. And Prideful. As for her meta status.. who knows. Those eyes ARE awfully bright.. and even her eyebrows are blue. But she could just be hard core into FX and have contacts and careful dyeing solutions!
"And none of your fellow classmates are good looking or willing to be drawn at the same time? That's sad." That's definitely a teasing tone of voice. Fang is defeated at buying his benefactor her meal, alas! But that's fine, she at least got a taste of the best thing they make here (in his personal opinion anyway) so the only other thing needed is to make sure he's shaved and washed up for the art class, and of course, needing to get that scheduled with the teacher FIRST. Probably some kind of release required.
Zandra smirks. "Sure there's a few good looking faces.. but artists as a general rule aren't sports people.." she says with a chuckle. "And if any of them are kinda sporty, they are also in a frat.. so they tend to get a beer gut.." she sighs, shaking her head. "No one I've seen has any sort of buffness.. Bean poles? yes.. a bit of extra padding.. a whole lotta that.." she says as she takes a sip of her soda.
"Hm. Oh, right, Columbia. No mandatory sports or athletics. Well, maybe I'll inspire them. I used to be an 85 pound weakling, y'know." He says that without any hint of joking. Standing, he makes sure he's left enough to pay for dinner and an additional tip, flourishes a courtly bow to Zandra (again nearly colliding with a relatively tiny chinese girl as she serving-ninja's around the room) and with an "Andio'sas, macherie," he strolls for the door. There is a taxi to hunt down and ... ride in.