Well, unless there is a gift card involved. Which there was.
"For the love ... Let's just hope it's no one's birthday," I said as we drove up the hill. The idea of the wait staff going flash mob -- all that chanting, clapping and jazz hands -- it was too much.
"My pupils are the size of quarters," Chuck responded. We had just spent the late afternoon in a dark living room, eyeballs deep in a "Sopranos" marathon.
It was a quiet night. Not a lot of activity on the roads. We saw two cars, back to back, on the way.
"What's with all this traffic?" Chuck asked.
The song "Friends in Low Places" was playing when we got there. The place was packed. Like this very weird answer to the question "Where is everyone?" wherein everyone is everyone you've never seen in your life.
We had a decent amount of dinero on that gift card and no plans on ever returning, so we started with:
1.) fried bite-sized balls stuffed with liqudized cheese and jalapenos. Like a salt fiend's answer to the Cadbury egg.
2.) We had deep fried slices of pickles, which I was on my way to inventing in the late 1980s when my favorite food was Ruffles topped with Gedneys.
3) I had a house salad.
4.) I had bread rolls with cinnamon-flavored butter.
5.) I had breaded catfish and at heaping mound of mashed potatoes.
6.) Chuck forked me a super meaty mushroom slathered in flavor to see if maybe I've broken through and suddenly like the taste of moldy basements. It wasn't terrible. But I'm probably not going to, like, subscribe to a mushroom newsletter or anything.
Limping out of the restaurant, I wondered if there were enough exits in my body to accommodate what had just happened.
Chuck slipped into a food coma, and I watched "The Towering Inferno" and thought about how the 70s were so much naughtier than the 80s. And I decided to never climb higher than two stories in any building.
I also finished a book. Went to a used book store. And we drove around and looked at some super dismal vistas. It is so gross here in March. Bare trees and dirty snow scabs covering everything.