Sunday, June 19, 2005
Saturday, June 18, 2005
Yesterday, Joanna and I decided to go have a little On The Border to celebrate our eleven months of marriage. Nothing big - just a nice dinner with the two of us. We sat down without much of a wait and waited for our server to greet us. A couple of minutes passed... nothing. More minutes... nothing. Finally, Joanna pulled aside a server walking by to ask who our server was. It just so happened that the manager was walking by at the same time and asked Ryan, the server Joanna acknowledged, to take our drink orders. The manager agreed and then Ryan pushed for more. He offered to "pick up this table."
Now for those of you unfamiliar with the lingo used by those in the restaraunt world - Ryan was asking the manager if he could have our table although it was not in his section. This essentially took away a table from another server - therefore taking money (the tip, which at this point was minimal) from another server.
The manager agreed again. I should have saw it then. That would have been the best moment to wipe my mouth, stand up and clock Ryan with the pitcher of water. I didn't. Like I said, I didn't see this coming.
So Ryan took our order. Ryan, by the way, looked like he belonged on a soap opera - not in an OTB staring at my wife. He was tall, well built, good hair, and he had the ever popular soap-opera beard... scruffy enough to see definitive lines... looked like he has a beard trimmer in his back pocket.
Ryan came back soon enough to fill our water and offer more salsa - when he stopped and put his hand on my wife's shoulder.
"You look familiar."
Pause. Awkward level rises a tad - but not too much. He is staring at her - she is looking at me, then at him, then at me. I bury myself in chips.
"What's your name?" He continues.
Okay - name? What's your friggin name? Personal information... it crossed my mind to say "Her name is back hand." Then I would apply said back hand to his face - essentially pimp slapping him.
"Joanna - well it was Joanna Jones." I felt like an eye ball fell out of my face and was rolling off the table - I was so confused. Did my wife just stop in the middle of saying her name - her married name - to say her maiden name? I think she did. I have seen Along Came Polly - and when Ben Stiller's wife leaves him for the guy on their honeymoon - the conversation went about like this!
I gathered myself - "Where do you go to school?" I said to the intruder. Notice I did not ask where you went to school - no, I wanted to try an belittle him as much as possible by establishing that Joanna and I are now out of school and living a very good life TOGETHER, without Ryan the server.
He shifted his eyes to me and answered with whatever it was - I was much more interested in grabbing a light fixture and swinging through like Robin Hood to drop kick him in his perfectly groomed beard than to hear his answer.
Then I noticed he was focused on Joanna again, and she was falling for it. She was throwing out names of church camps - high schools - places they may have met. And then, instead of fighting this d-bag off with a cutting remark - she shrugs her shoulders cutely and says, "Well, I bet it will come to you after we leave. It always happens that way!"
Was she really embracing this?
Ryan chuckled slyly and agreed. I am not sure what happened next because I passed out in the salsa. I woke up to the smells of enchilada sauce not too long after that. I guess anything could have happened - I will have to assume the best. All I know is that when I came to Joanna was there - and she still had her ring on. Phew. Survived, but just barely.
Sunday, June 12, 2005
TIPS TO SURVIVING A DAY AT THE RACES
- Wear normal shoes. These venues are huge - and there is alot of walking involved. The last thing you want is to have the guy in the bucket hat in front of you asking you if he could massage your toes because he thinks they are "pretty." The offer if weird enough - but when you get asked and your wife doesn't - things get down right awkward.
- Ear Plugs. Contrary to popular thought - Target does sell ear plugs. And you WILL need them. These machines are loud. And you will seiously get tired of the phrase "Git er dun."
- BYOE. Bring your own everything. Drinks are $4 (that is a bottled water - not the $11 margarita). Bring snacks - heck, bring a boar's head sandwich from Kroger because it will beat the shriveled hot link they called a cajun sausage and charged me $5 for.
- Rent a scanner. If you have to sit for three hours with something on your head or in your ears - it might as well be entertaining. The races almost become solitary confinement - the ear plugs prevent you from having any conversation with anyone except yourself. The scanners rent for $35 (and a $100 deposit) but allow you to tune in to the pit's communicae with the driver. This is not only a way to hear Danica's sultry voice - but also a way to learn the strategies these people use.
- Embrace it. Most of the people I know wouldn't set foot at TMS unless it were in an all-inclusive suite. If you are going to be amongst the people you should become one of the people. This means standing on the first pass out of a caution - waiving or whooping for a pass - and, if necessary, making out with a blood relative.
Don't get us wrong - Joanna and I loved our experience with the Bombadier LearJet 500. Now I own an IRL (Indy Racing League) cap and our nephew has a sweet pair of checkered flag socks. This is an experience like no other and we respect it as that. We didn't put down payments on his and her choppers or make plans to rent a RV to become a groupie - but we now feel a little more cultured after being there. And that is worth its weight in empty beer cans.