A couple things going on lately that make me feel like a kid again…one good, one bad:
Last night a good friend I haven’t hung out with in a while came over to have dinner with Greg and I (Tony, for those of you who know him). At my suggestion, we went to a restaurant whose name always intrigued me…The Rusty Pelican. Before we got there, I basically thought it would be a restaurant on par with places like Claim Jumper, Red Lobster, etc…slightly above average in quality and price. As we walked up to the door, I saw tablecloths, far too much silverware, decoratively arranged napkins, and a host in a dress shirt and tie. First thought: “Oh crap, they’re going to give us jackets…that’s embarrassing.” Second thought: “Oh crap, we’re going to spend the evening washing dishes in the back because we’re not going to be able to pay for this.” Of course, by the time I realized all this, we had stepped through the door and the host saw us. I also think he heard me say, “Crap, they have table cloths.” Consequently, he offered us the discount dinner menus. I wondered why he didn’t have us change into overalls and sit in the “slack-jawed yokel” section. “You boys make it into the big city much?”
The situation didn’t get much better as the dinner went on. Fortunately, the prices were pretty reasonable for such a snazzy lookin’ joint. The parade of embarrassment began when the waitress came over and took the liberty of placing the cloth napkins on our laps…it’s not like we didn’t know what to do, but we just hadn’t gotten around to it yet. This threw a pall over the whole meal and permanently damaged waitress/diner relations. Awkwardness set in again when the waitress began to describe the evening’s specials…it sounded like Greek and all I could think of was how out of place I felt. This feeling of inadequacy of course further tainted waitress/diner relations. None of us really knew what to say after her little spiel, so we just stared at each other, probably looking like big idiots. Some more highlights from the evening: I spilled iced tea (I hate iced tea…why did I order it?) on myself, ate rainbow sherbet while seated with only Greg on the same side of the table, and I forgot to take the napkin off my lap so it feel on the floor as I walked out of the restaurant. I felt like I was a wee country lad who had no idea what was going on; the running joke was that at any time now the waitress was going to come over and cut our meal into small bites for us and guide it into our mouths saying, “Here comes the airplane!” She did point out on my plate that I missed a bit of tasty shellfish and she made sure that I ate it…THANKS MOM!
The other thing that made me feel like a kid again, but in a good way, was reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I just finished it minutes ago. Now that’s one fine book. I never really understood what the appeal of the book or movie was…why did so many kids want to line up at midnight to read? Well, I gotta say, I was really surprised. Everyone I talk to who hasn’t read it or seen the movie thinks I’m crazy. I felt like a moron sitting in the ASU library compulsively turning the pages of a children’s book. There’s actually a lot of enjoyable stuff in there for an older audience and, speaking as someone who reads a lot of literature, it’s refreshing every now and then to read something that isn’t a stinging indictment of Victorian era literary aesthetics, a masterful Petrarchan sonnet in iambic pentameter, or THE MOST IMPORTANT PROSE WORK OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY!!! I say there’s no more shame in reading Harry P than reading Stephen King or someone similar. Thanks for loaning the book to me, Michelle…I wouldn’t have read it otherwise. Now I need to borrow the other ones…I’m hooked. I think I’ll rent up the movie tomorrow and watch it.
Well, enough of revealing my inner child. Yeah, and you thought I didn’t act my age before…