Monday, November 14, 2011

You can't make this up

This is a true story. That means it really happened.

We'd had a seriously depressing week so going out to dinner on a Thursday night was our solution to the blues. It didn't hurt that the local restaurant we chose had special drink prices. Didn't hurt at all.

I ordered a drink but C. decided not to. After the appetizers and during the entree she changed her mind. The cosmopolitan was promptly delivered. She sipped, then began coughing into her napkin. I asked "You okay honey?" like the kind and considerate girlfriend I am.

"Nope," she said, as she showed me the sliver of glass in the napkin. That's right, it was a SLIVER OF GLASS! (Reminder: This is a true story.) Fortunately there was no blood.

The waiter came over, took one look, and dashed off to get the manager. Meanwhile, C. started sending text messages to the attorneys we know. Hey, it never hurts!

The manager did the right thing -- our meal was free. But I had a dilemma -- I'd planned to pay with a credit card and I really wanted to leave our excellent waiter a tip. (And the attorneys advised us to get a receipt.) So the waiter gave me a receipt for $1, I left a $10 tip and we decided to go to a different restaurant for dessert.

This is a true story. Did I say that already?

We arrived at restaurant #2, settled down with a specialty drink and dessert menu and made our selections. I broke my own rule and ordered a stupid-tini. This one was blueberry/vanilla infused something in a martini glass. Once again, C. didn't order a drink.

I took one sip and decided it tasted like cough syrup. C. sighed and said she'd drink it. I ordered a REAL MARTINI, you know, the one made with gin and vermouth. We also ordered two very delicious desserts. (This is the part of the story where you're starting to wonder if we found glass isn't it? We didn't. Keep reading.)

The desserts were great, my martini was great, but the blue drink still tasted like cough syrup so C. didn't finish it. The waiter brought the check.

"I noticed you didn't like the drink so I didn't charge you for it," she said. "How sweet! Thank you!" we replied. I gave her my credit card.

Moments later, the waiter returned. "I have bad news," she said and sat down. "I ran the wrong check on your card. I'm so sorry for this mistake. I voided it but it will take 72 hours for the credit to appear. You don't have to pay. Your drinks and desserts are free."

"Noooooo, you can't do that!" we squealed. And so we had to tell her the whole story of the evening. "I have to have a receipt to tip you," I insisted. "And besides, this is too strange so we just can't let you not charge us."

We struck a compromise. She didn't charge us for the blue drink and gave us 50% off the rest of the check. I tipped her $10.

Final note: There have been no indications that C. ingested any glass. Attorneys were told to stand down.

You're invited to dine out with us any time.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

14 reasons why Baby Boomers are the coolest generation

Instead of focusing on how much society has in common with those upstarts, those youthful trend-setters the Millennials,
I think we should pay more attention to the generation that INVENTED cool, the Baby Boomers. Here's my own quiz.

1. Do you know all the words to the Gilligan's Island theme song? You do? Well, how about the Patty Duke Show? Really? Then do you know all of Captain Kirk's lines in the STAR TREK episode "The Trouble With Tribbles?" I didn't think so.

2. Did you ever deliver a daily newspaper on your bicycle? No? Did you help someone deliver bulk copies of your small town's weekly paper in a fire-engine red Pontiac GTO with an outta sight 8-Track Stereo while you listed to "Motown Hits from the 60s?" Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.

3. Did you ever get a free play on a pinball machine? Did you ever get so many free plays that it took you over an hour to finish? That's a lot of gaming entertainment for a quarter people and it took manual dexterity back then. We had to STAND UP to play and use both hands to push those little buttons. And banging your hips into the machine to relocate the ball too, remember that? Good times.

4. Did your house have a phone on the kitchen wall? Did you spend hours talking to your school friends every night? Did you stretch the cord of the phone so that you could get into the closet for some privacy? Did your Mom yell "Get off the phone, someone might be trying to call!" in that voice that used to make you so mad ...

5. Did you have a pen pal? In 5th Grade I had that one who lived in Colorado and she was so boring that I finally starting making stuff up about my life to get a reaction. I told her that since I lived in Kentucky I had a horse farm and about 100 thoroughbreds then she wrote back saying "I have a horse too! His name is Ginger!" and I stopped writing after that.

6. Was your first job 1) lifeguard, 2) babysitter or 3) clerk at your parents' hardware store? Because, dude, that's all there was. Well, maybe you mowed lawns for money but that's not like a job in the real world where you have to show up on time and do exactly what other people tell you to do exactly the way they want you to do it.

7. This is the one serious question I will mimic directly from question #7 on the Millennial quiz because this is not a funny issue. I think marrying people from other races is awesome cool, not just for the couple but for society at large. If you don't agree with me you shouldn't be following my blog. For real.

8. Were you ever arrested for being in a protest? Or expelled from school for leading a sit-in? Or called to the principal's office for posting an angry letter on the bulletin board about the school dress code which required girls to wear skirts but allowed boys to wear blue jeans? And did your principal tell you that if you didn't stop being so outspoken that he'd never write a college recommendation for you and to just think about that little lady -- how would your mother feel about THAT?

9. Did you ever write a message in the back of a high school yearbook? And did you go through every single page in the book and sign your photographs whether you were in the band photo or the chess club photo or in one of those goofy candid shots behind a bunsen burner in the chemistry lab? And did your friends do that in your yearbook? Hey, let's do this online and call it Facebook!

10. Did you ever go to church camp? Or sing in a children's or youth choir? Or hang out with the hippie priest who had a van and a guitar and a beard and a wicked record collection that he'd bring out when we all came over to the parish house to learn about how Jesus was really a radical if you thought about it?

11. Was your household more like "Leave it to Beaver" or "My Three Sons?" Or was your mom both widowed and divorced and everyone had to pull his/her own weight and "don't you girls do what I did" and don't ever pack a suitcase so heavy that you can't lift it by yourself because don't expect some man to carry it for you, by god.

12. How old were you when you finally broke down and decided to get a tattoo? And did you agonize about whether to have a symbol from another language or something feminine like a tiny rosebud with vines entwined around it? Or did you decide to go all out and get your dog's name put on your forearm? Because damn, that was a great dog and I cried when we had to put him down.

13. Did you have your ears pierced by your friend's older sister in their upstairs bathroom during that slumber party in 8th grade? And did she use an ice cube to numb it but it really didn't work very well and it hurt like hell and didn't heal because sterilizing a sewing needle over a flame isn't the right way to do it?

14. The first three times you voted in a presidential election did the other candidate win because this country is going to hell and nobody seems to listen to liberals? And are you STILL pissed off because the Equal Rights Amendment was never ratified and Generation X and Generation Y and the Millennials don't even understand how it used to be for women, gay people and people of color?

YOUR SCORE: You'll have to figure this out on your own.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Bibbidy, bobbidy balderdash!

I attended a conference in Orlando a few weeks ago. And, because of the location, we decided to tack on a vacation for a week at Disney World, the so-called happiest place on earth.

I didn't expect the princesses.

Because we were there during October most of the kids were pre-schoolers and I started noticing that many of the girls were wearing Disney Princess costumes. Not only that, they were wearing makeup and glitter and their hairdos were NOT those that normal 4-year-old girls wear around the house. Then I found out about Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique where parents can pay $50 to $189 (and up) for a full makeover for their daughters.

I thought I would lose my mind. Don't get me wrong, dressing up is really, really fun and I've worn my share of princess costumes in my life but the Disney Princess trend makes me worry that we're encouraging a whole generation of girls to be overly concerned about how they look.

Go ahead, argue with me.