When we last left our hero, he had just picked up his rental car with visions of sugar plums still dancing in his head. But a couple oddball moments….
It was some scorching weather in Iowa, so on Wednesday I wore my ironic Costco golf shirt. When I arrived at the client’s office he said, “Nice shirt.” First, he doesn’t seem to be the type to offer such a compliment. Second, not only did it cost me just $10 or some other ridiculously low amount, but I don’t golf and I hope I didn’t give them the impression that I do golf. I don’t think they got the irony. Crap. I need to remember only to wear it around people who know that the only time I set foot on a golf course is to roll around on the fairway when I’m feeling nitrogen deficient. My only hope is that he was meeting my irony with a dose of satire.
Next, on Tuesday night I headed over to my Cedar Rapids hangout - the Irish Democrat Pub & Grill. Good food, amusing servers/barkeeps, and a nice flat screen to keep me occupied. I had gotten a giant salad there the night before – it was in one of those deceptive bowls in which pasta is usually served where you eat and eat and eat and forty-five minutes later it doesn’t look like you touched your meal. But I was looking forward to the baby back ribs the following night. Fall off the bone deliciousness. As I approached the area I noted some trees down due to the storm that had passed through and some traffic lights were also out. The parking lot was unusually empty and when I walked in the manager told me the power was out and they were closing down. Crap. It was like a no-smoking sign on your cigarette break. And I wasn’t even wearing my ironic shirt.
So I capitulated and ended up at Texas Roadhouse, for lack of knowing any other options for my BBQ fix. The food is decent and the service is pretty good, but it’s just a little too cheesy and packaged for my taste. This coming from a guy with crushes on Crystal Bernard and Shania Twain. But I digress.
I mosey in and take a seat at the bar, and I’m greeted by the bartender with “Hi, can I get you something to drink, maybe a Fat Tire?” That’s cool – I don’t mind being mistaken for a guy who might enjoy a Fat Tire rather than the margaritas they seemed to be pushing on everyone else that night. I later found out there was a drink contest going on - you know, where they offer some sort of prize like sex with the assistant GM for the server who pushes the most specialty drinks that night. After I ordered, she then asked, “I’m sorry, I forgot your name.” I told her and she said, “I know I waited on you before.” She was correct – it was a slow night last time and, like oh so many others, I got most of her life story. But I still thought it was odd that she remembered me from one visit back on April 13. I looked it up on my expense report. That’s over two months. So that means she remembered me after all that time because I was either incredibly good looking or incredibly creepy. Crap. I know I’m not that good-looking. But I couldn't have been that creepy. Right? She spent most of the time standing over by me and initiating conversations. Some of the other servers even came by and joined in. All I know is that I’m paranoid now and I’m afraid to go back.
The general rule of thumb if you ever see me – just pretend you don’t know me. We’ll all be happier that way.