The Past is Cool Because Our Present Is Too Awesome

September 8, 2010 at 12:21 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

I like diners. I guess being from New Jersey it’s on the list of things that is imbedded into my soul. Between Bon Jovi, weekends at the shore, and explaining to people that not everyone from New Jersey has a nickname, is juiced, or has Exxon Valdez hair, I love the late night Jersey diner option. Where else can you get a greasy grilled cheese from a waitress named Theresa that still has cigarette burns on her apron and Lee Press On nails?

Probably Germany.

I don’t know. Never been there.

Los Angeles doesn’t have the type of hole in the wall diners that true east coasters are used to. There are some places that say they are diners, but they offer you grey poupon and a cloth napkin at the table. Cloth napkin! That’s not gritty at all. I want my napkins to be one ply and my poupon black. I don’t even know what poupon even is, but making anything black makes you automatically seem like a tough guy.

I’ll take my coffee black.

Always bet on black.

The blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice

Black coat, white shoes, black hat, Cadillac.


In LA they have a throwback diner. It’s the closest I’ll get to a Jersey type diner and it’s called Café 50s. The whole premise is that it will transport you back to the 1950s sans DeLorean or Christopher Lloyd’s crazy hair. There’s a jukebox in there, some old timey type newspapers, waitresses in 1950s garb and electronic cash registers. That’s exactly how I remember the 50s. Electronics ruling the day. As we walked in there last week my friend turns to me and goes, “I would like to have lived in the 50s. It seems fun.” Yes, because your whole experience of the 50s is based on the fact they serve milkshakes and the fake black and white newspaper headline of Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on a bus.

The newspapers were silly. Segregation in the 50s??!?! I can’t believe that for one…oh…seems like it did happen.

The 50s: A time when blacks and whites couldn’t be seen together. I wish I lived in that era! Who’s with me?!?!


I like living in this period of time. That’s right, I said it. Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot of people (3) say that they would have liked to have lived in the “20s” or “50s” or 1400s. Of course, most of this is being said on our iPhones, Facebooks, and in our transporters that have wheels and are run on gasoline and fairy dust. Well guess what everyone? In those periods of time they didn’t have, gasp, THE INTERNET. The joke’s on you. What people really want are the best parts of those eras. We want the family values of the 50s, the fedoras of the 20s and the really cool exploration ships of the 1400s.

Nina was my favorite. Best on board cabaret.

“You would have been perfect in the (insert decade).” This is what people say to other people that don’t use technology or have debilitating drug addictions. If someone says this to you it doesn’t mean that you’re a free spirit or that you don’t have a care. It means you don’t know how to use a phone. Or you’ve never used Google. Or you’re 86 years old. Yes, you would have been perfect in the 70s because you have a massive coke habit and it’s 2010, not 1975.

I don’t want to go back and live in the 50s. Sure it was simpler back then, but that’s because, hello, they didn’t have anything. They delivered milk from a truck. Then said guy from the truck banged your wife while you were at work. This is what you want?!!? Milk man banging? Actually, maybe that’s a plus if I were the milk man. I’ll take that out of the “con” column.

If I lived in the 50s I wouldn’t know about “Chocolate Rain” or “Marcel The Shell”. I wouldn’t write a blog. And I probably would be living in India and thinking about the American dream of making people pay for Slurpees.


The next time someone says that they wish they lived in another era take away their cell phone. Destroy their computer. Hand them a polyester suit and a pair of glasses that would make Mr. Magoo proud since contacts don’t exist. Then walk away. Welcome to the past.

It’s no New Jersey.



  1. Jeff C. said,

    Looking for a great 1950’s-style diner in LA? Check out a place called the Peach Pit. Have the megaburger. Say hello to the owner for me. His name’s Nat.

    • Rahul said,

      I was excited for this until I got to the end of the comment. Sort of like my dates.

  2. Bradshaw said,

    Slurpee = blowjob?

    Nicely done.

  3. Courtney said,

    I love this. Mostly because you said poppycock. And made *another* oral sex joke.

    And also? I want to punch people when they say they wish they had lived in (insert arbitrary year).

    Also, also? I’m from the east (represent?) and the fact that the west is lacking in the diner department gives me the sads. I’m moving out there next year. Maybe I’ll hitch up to an old school diner and bring it with me. That’s legal, right?

    • Rahul said,

      REPRESENT! If you’re moving to Portland they have plenty of diners that are disgusting. But I think thats more from the hippie stink.

  4. laurenne said,

    Fuck this blog shit.

    I love grilled cheeses and I worked at Denny’s for one weekend so I kinda know how to act trashy.

    Also, can people stop wishing for the 20s for fedoras sakes? Kinda getting sick of those. I think my mom’s going to buy one any minute now, which means they’re out. Except yours. You can wear one still.

    This post is very insightful and hilarious and I tell ya, Rahul, you’re great. That is not a funny sentence, but I don’t care anymore.

    I’m off to listen to some big band music and sew up a flapper dress. Man, I wish I lived during prohibition.

    • Rahul said,

      Our diner needs to have yellow aprons and you have to wear your hair in a bun with a pencil in it. And smack gum. Loudly. Next time Cherry Poppin Daddies is in town, we’ll go. We’re bringing Saxy-Back. I apologize for that.

  5. Zoë Blue said,

    Why oh WHY oh WHY haven’t I visited this blog in the last few weeks? Oh yeah, because I’m busy. But besides that, I mean. Seriously, I hate to be *that* commenter, the one that says “Oh you’re so funny,” and gives you the vague impression he never read your post at all but no, no, no, you ARE funny. The funniest writer I know, perhaps. And if I were a book agent, I’d give you a contract and a gazillion dollars right now. But I’m not, so I’ll have to go back to writing through my own sludge of papers. Keep being funny, Rahul. You are a precious gem.

    • Rahul said,

      All compliments are accepted! Funniest writer you know, huh? Suck on it comedy! I’m also sending this comment to my mom. She’ll be happy to know her contribution to my enormous student loan is a blog that makes fun of her. And that girls like me sometimes.

  6. Jimmy said,

    Berlin doesn’t have diners. Not sure about the rest of Germany 😛

  7. aliceinaverageland said,

    I’m going to go make a midnight grilled cheese sandwich in honor of the greasy diner. And also because I’m hungry.

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