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January 6, 2009

Impoverished Portlander attempts thrift, is thwarted by technology

Chief among the obvious "don't"s for those of us whose pockets have been picked clean by these troubling economic times is dining out. For someone who enjoys global cuisine but can only make standard Midwestern fare in her kitchen, these times of woe are quite the blow. I thus jump at any frugal dining opportunity, as previously chronicled here. To aid these endeavors, I started following a blog devoted to cheapskatery in Portland. Today it informed me that the Old Spaghetti Factory was slashing its meal prices like whoa in celebration of their 40th anniversary. We're talking $3 meals. I was all hells to the yes and commanded the gent to ready our chariot.

One of Portland's many charms is its atrocious street signage. They are very rarely affixed to stoplights; instead they are strategically placed behind bushes and buildings and only printed on one side in barely reflective type. Google maps are no match for this skullduggery, especially on a murky, rainy night such as tonight. Needless to say, I told Boyf to turn prematurely and we ended up on this highway with no exits that we always seem to get stuck on.

We had no choice but to give ourselves over to the preternaturally cheerful woman who lives in his phone. GPS Lady got us safely across the river, but I accidentally led the boyf to believe we should "bear left" instead of right. That gave GPS Lady a bee in her bonnet and she started repeatedly demanding that we "make a legal U-turn where possible," with what I imagined was growing aggravation in her voice. "We can't turn left here! Give us something we can work with!" I pleaded with her. "Re-routing," she acquiesced.

More confusion followed as her pea brain could only tell us where we'd just been, not where we needed to go. "Re-routing," she promised us, over and over again.

Forty-five minutes later we arrived at our destination, only to find out everyone and their step-uncle's brother-in-law's grandma were there. The hour-and-a-half wait was too much for our growling tums and frazzled nerves. We turned around and instead headed to an Indian restaurant about a mile from our apartment and ordered a $25 meal.

You win, stupid troubled economy.


  1. Egad! Another horror story of these troubling economic times. I shudder in fear.

  2. Tina-

    Know of any good websites for finding dining deals in the Twin Cities? I too am always trying to track down a deal so I don't end up slaving away in the kitchen every night.


  3. Another post for the book, eh?

  4. Your writing cracks my shit up.

  5. Also, your ink-stained hand post reminds me of one of my favorite E&B skit: