Thanks to Yelp we were heading a few miles across the big city to a deli I had found to surprise my wife. It sounded like the kind of place she would really like. So naturally we arrived and they were closed, even though Yelp and the sign on the door indicated they should be open. There was no note offering an explanation why, either, yet inside my wife saw someone who was studiously ignoring the fact that we existed. Nice. Such is a typical night out with the Guru.
I thought about giving them a one-star review to express my displeasure but, like always, found a way to restrain myself. I am nothing if not centered and calm.
We put our heads together and came up with Plan B: Drive around aimlessly until one of the myriad of assembled shitholes called to us. Adventure is our new norm and that’s how we roll.
So it was that we came to a shady joint not far from our new home and decided to try it out. And, get this, without Yelping it first! I know! Oh heady adventure. What surprises lie in wait?
Inside was a typical bar/restaurant with beer signs and TVs tuned to sporting events. We cozied into a booth and were soon nursing our trendy pale ales and half-pound burgers. Both surprisingly good.
About this time we became aware of two things. First, a basketball game was on. With a bit of observation I was able to glean that it was an officially sanctioned NBA event. Game Six of something or what not. And secondly, some of the denizens seated at the bar were keenly interested in the outcome of said event.
Keenly. Who knows? Maybe he bet his life savings of $42 on the game.
As in periodic shouts of “bullshit” and “no fuckin’ way” and so forth. Shouts that pierced the night. The barkeep wandered over and admonished the fellow, saying something about it being a “family” place. But when I looked around I saw no such thing.
Apparently everything that one team did was bad and everything the other team did was good. Such is pinhead logic, I guess.
The dude was a study in stereotypes. Atop his bulbous head was a baseball cap. His face was unshaven with a stubbly beard. He was wearing a shirt that proudly proclaimed, “I. P. Fuckin’ A.”
Agitated by his admonishment, the dude whipped out a cigarette and popped it between his lips. Hate no smoking laws much? Ha ha! He and his girlfriend stepped outside, went about six inches from the door, and puffed away like there was no tomorrow. And there I reluctantly sat with a front row seat.
He quickly got his groove on. Smoke. Spit. Smoke. Spit. Such a lovely sight to see. I tried describing the scene to my wife. “This is what he’s doing,” I said. “Smoke. Spit. Smoke. Spit.” I’m nothing if not a gifted storyteller.
“Shut up,” she said. “I’m trying to eat my dinner here.”
“I think that woman has a dog in her purse,” my wife added. Holy shit. Really? What a bunch of friggin’ loons.