Tuesday, August 14, 2007

our dinner with kel

We went to dinner with Kelly the night before leaving for London and I didn’t post this until today (from London):

First off, I’d like to begin with the disclaimer that I do not watch much television, very few movies, and never read pop culture periodicals.

I probably wouldn’t even recognize Lindsay Lohan if she ran over me with her Mercedes.

But that’s just me.

So… we went out to dinner with Kelly tonight. It was so great to see her again.

We went to some little trendy Italian place on the West Side where the waiters were all Hispanic, but barked out orders in Italian.

When we get there, the place is entirely deserted. The hostess asks me if we have reservations. I laugh and say, “Apparently it looks like we need them.”

She laughs and goes to talk to the maitre d’, a man who moved over to the foyer with amazing agility considering the telephone-pole sized stick he had up his ass.

And he looks at me seriously and says, “I can let you have a table, but we will be very busy soon so you can only have it for a little while.”

Look, I’m thinking: 1) I am a writer who is going out to dinner with his wife and another accomplished author 2) I am wearing black, which is, like, the official national color of Brentwood, and 3) This guy has a freekin stick up his ass. The place is deserted. It’s not going to fill up in an hour, Chef Boy-Ar-Dee.

And I have a motto that has served me well over the course of my life. It goes like this: That’s what you get for trusting me.

So we sit down. And I was fully intending to have an unhurried dinner, even to the point where we dismissed our waiter to study the menu over a few glasses of wine, and all the while Armani-suit-telephone-pole-boy kept glaring at me (well there was no one else there to glare at) like he was expecting me to say, "You mean to tell me you DON'T have chili cheese fries in this freekin dump?"

But I don’t want to have my kneecaps busted by a baseball bat just hours before getting on our plane, so I have another glass of wine and order our appetizers.

Then, a couple walks in toting a highchair-sized toddler, and I’m thinking, “Oh, this place is really jumping now.”

And, by the way, the guy-half of the couple is wearing a white tee shirt and a backwards black yo-homey-g-dawg baseball cap. He looks like someone I’d hire to re-do the tiles in my freekin bathroom. And… he was wearing a white tee shirt in a province where not wearing black is like quoting Michael Moore at a Republican fundraiser.

And I swear all through dinner he kept looking at my wife’s boobs, too.

So we have our dinner. Then dessert. Just us and the tile-setter’s family. Right next to us.

The maitre d’ fumed, circles of sweat appearing in his armpits.

And when I put my credit card down on the tabletop, the maitre d’ swooped down on it like a school of plastic-eating piranhas.

And we left. The place was empty again.

Then my wife says, “That was Ben Affleck next to us.”

Tile guy. Homey G. Ben Affleck.

Go figure.