An Irrational Journey [Daily Game]

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I had a taste for something salty and not-healthy around 5:15 PM on a recent Friday. A slice of pizza, a Philly pretzel, some fried chicken wings or similar. Knowing there wasn’t anything within walking distance to satisfy my desires, I started googling.

Just for fun, I googled “philly cheesesteak” to see who would, in Miami, be claiming to have such a product. And who knows, maybe there would be someone who had the real thing. There’s a Philly guy in Fort Lauderdale who has a Philly Pretzel shop, after all; I used to buy from there all the time when I was closer to him. There’s a Rita’s Water Ice (based just outside of Philly) in Palm Beach. And I remember saving the location of a Philly Cheesesteak place, owned by Philadelphia natives, in Yelp 4-5 years ago. Maybe they were still around, or someone similar had come around since.

Luckily, I found a place called Philly Grub that was closer than my Yelped Philly Cheesesteak place (which is still open). Philly Grub was a quick 18-minute drive to the north. I browsed the menu on their website and they had cheesesteaks, and even offered Philly pretzels as a side item. I hopped in the car and drove to get my Philly Grub.

I walked in the open door at their shop. Instead of dining customers and food, I saw a bunch of tools laid out on the floor. All the stools were stacked up on the tables. The man in charge came out from the back and told me they were not open; in fact they were in the process of changing the place over into some hot dog-type place set to open the following Monday. But, he added, there was another location in North Miami that was open and had the same menu. I Google Mapped that place. With growing rush hour traffic, it was about 26 minutes to the north.

Then the rain started.

Rain showers are normal in the summer months in Miami; it’s hurricane season after all. This storm was both harder and longer than usual, though. The sky turned super-dark and visibility was low. Anna texted me to make sure I was OK, as the rain looked really bad from home. I made it to the North Miami location still, and as soon as I stood up out of my car n the still-coming-down rain, a woman called to me from across the street.

“No! Closed!!”

She was walking back towards me and the shop, which nevertheless had a flashing “OPEN” sign in the front window. She explained that the rain had knocked out all her cooking stuff, and she “couldn’t make any food if [she] wanted to.”

So here I am, an hour of time already invested, and no food to show for it. And still hungry. Philly Grub did, however, have one more location: in Pinecrest, which was (at the time) 54 minutes to the south. I was smarter now, and I called down there to see if they were 1) open and 2) serving food. Jen answered and affirmed both.

I told her I was on my way.

I arrived at Philly Grub Pinecrest at 7:30 PM. There was no one else working, and no other customers. Jen and I small-talked about our shared Philadelphia roots and she made my food. I finally walked out with two cheesesteaks, three Philly pretzels, two orders of fries, and several side cups of Whiz.

For Your Game

  1. I could have just found a different place to get food — wings, pizza — or went home after the first failed location. But I was already out, and my sunk-cost bias kicked in strongly. I could not have come home without a meal to show for my efforts. That irrationality has shown itself many times in my life — some bad, but many good.

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