Thursday, February 26, 2004

I Think They Left My Meal With the Corkscrew

"What are the specials tonight?" Tammy asked me.

"It looks like chicken parmesan with mostacoli or chicken flamenco."

"What's that?"

"No idea. Here comes the waitress. Let's ask her."

The waitress, who's round, olive face was framed by brunette hair, walked up, ready to take our orders.

"Miss, what's chicken flamenco?"

"It's breaded with a sauce on top, but we don't have it. We don't have chicken parmesan either. Our supply truck didn't make it."

"Okay. Can we get a bottle of wine?"

"No. I'm sorry. We don't have our liquor license. But you can go down to the liquor store and bring a bottle in."

Trish and Cathy jumped up and made for the door. "We'll be right back" drifted back to us.

Five minutes later, we stared at two bottles of wine. They stood in the center of the table, taunting us, tormenting us - because we couldn't get into them. No corkscrew. We asked the waitress for one, but after searching for ten minutes, she couldn't find it.

"We threw a party on Sunday and someone must have moved it."

"Brian, do you have a pocketknife?" asked Dan. "No," I replied. "I only brought my gun. No knife."

Jeremy held the bottle out in the air, presenting a target, and I took aim with my fingers. "I can see it now -- BANG!! Quick! Put it on ice!!! They can reattach those now!" I shouted as Jeremy pretended to clutch his hand.

"I'm going to go," said Cathy, and she and Trish jumped up and made for the door. As they rounded the corner, the waitress brought out a corkscrew. We were happily drinking a toast when Trish and Cathy returned. With another bottle and a corkscrew.

Conversation was loud and animated - it had to be. Smooth jazz blared out of a speaker over our heads. I don't think the three other customers in the restaurant didn't mind too much.

Quite a while later, all of our meals (except one) came out lukewarm and fairly tastless; the wayward meal found its way out. We really weren't hungry anymore; we'd been laughing, pouring the wine and breaking out the bread.

We paid our bill and left the waitress a nice tip. The service was okay, but the restaurant was a mess. Despite the poor menu and no liquor on hand, I had a great time. Trish, who picked the restaurant, was mortified.

But I don't think she has anything to be mortified about. It doesn't matter if you're in a great, mediocre or horrifying situation; when you're with friends, any situation is better.

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