Comedy Stories

[Poem] In Search Of


Mad Adam left the loft—

A quarter after eight. 

His consuming need to 

Nosh made him quite irate.


A tourist new in town

Not used to trash waist-high,   

Sought advice from Elmo 

On city streets nearby.


His guide knew Adam’s quest,

Wanting the “Best Pizza,”

He did not know Elmo 

Came from Srebrenica.


Jumping over puddles,

The ones that never dried,

Adam vowed to find chow 

Without a Michelin guide. 


Down the long avenues

Cross streets of piss and phlegm,

Crowded like McDonald’s 

Near high schools—3:00 p.m.


Now into the subway: 

So dirty, hot, and late.

No money in his hand, 

Poor Adam hopped the gate. 


Exiting the station, 

The homeless had increased,

With smells of truck exhaust

And months-old kitchen grease.


Looking for restaurants, 

Just one that he would love,

Pausing to wipe his eyes 

From A/C juice above. 


Famished to annoyance, 

He hit a pretzel stand.

High-glycemic carbs—gross! 

Unsalted, stale, and bland. 


Walking across the street,

Oh! Adam had to prance— 

The bikers rode like hell, 

Like in the Tour de France.


Passing by bodegas, 

His resolve did harden.

25,000 places— 

Please not Olive Garden! 


Walking by old delis,

And immigrants in tents,

Locals’ favs all shut down— 

All due to rising rents. 


He wandered to the docks; 

Fishboats had long come in.

He declined the seafood

Because of cadmium. 


Though tempted as he was, 

Crab smelled quite delicious,

But PCBs are found

In hepatopancreas.


Irked with tummy grumbling, 

He sat down on a stoop.

Wet warmth on his bottom

Revealed fresh brown dog poop.


Grabbing old newspapers

Stuck on a heating grate, 

His search to nosh—to eat— 

Had gone on far too late. 


Few caveats he had

Feeding his poor belly.

No C-grade restaurants.

No charges at delis. 


He came to NYC

For one single reason:

To find a menu with

Asparagus (in season). 


Adam munched on popcorn; 

The bag cost ten whole bucks,

Would his evening meal come

From off a foul food truck?


To dine on city streets

Would not be paradise.

He didn’t want to share

With roaches, rats, and mice.


In a world-class city, 

Over eight million souls,

Finding good cheap dining

For people? Common goals. 


Different citizens, 

Races and religions.

Surely there was more here 

Than aggressive pigeons? 


Perhaps he should travel 

Over the distant strands— 

Calzones from New Jersey?

Or wings from Long Island? 


Maybe take a chance on

Where all the people go. 

But there were no hours

To spend at Trader Joe’s.


He could steal from DoorDash— 

Food right off from the rack.

But police arrest you 

When pilfering Shake Shack.


More angry as he walked,

Inflamed to level nine!

In search of daily bread.

In search of good red wine. 


Lobster, Waldorf salad, 

Maybe a stale cronut?

Homemade chicken parm would 

Be welcome in his gut.


Vichyssoise or chili 

Would cure his food cravings.

Chops, steak, and a cold beer

Ceases wild ravings. 


His anger reached the point,

Searing enough to cook.

A quest for a great meal;

No good place left to look.


Traversing Manhattan 

Was quite a weary slog.

Adam finally settled 

On “dirty water dogs.”




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