What started out to be just a nice friendly visit and dinner, of course, had to develop into something else altogether. Mike made a lunch date with an old friend and ended up driving 30 minutes to a great restaurant in Bellevue, Mangiano’s. This sets Elaine to clock-watching when, at 4 o’clock Mike has not yet returned from lunch, and I, of course, start with the “so what’s this stripper’s name he went to lunch with anyway?” stuff. I’m getting a lot of mileage from my gleeful sarcasm because Mike is responsible for making the Thanksgiving stuffing and he is no-where-NEAR started on it yet. Then we hear that Brian and Alyssa are fighting a flood in their kitchen with frozen pipes. Oy. Mike finally arrives home and furiously starts hacking up turkey innards and other things for the stuffing. I can’t actually tell you the recipe, not because it’s a secret but I’m not sure it’s that same recipe every time. The rest of us are in the middle of our favorite card game, “Thrashing Rob”. This is ANY card game where then entire family gangs up to beat Rob. He always wins the overall contest, of course, but great satisfaction is garnered by the one who can whip him at even ONE hand. You’ve never heard such cheering, except maybe at a South American soccer match or an Irish birthday party in a Dublin Pub.
Fast forward to the restaurant. First, let me note that this is exactly the SAME restaurant that Mike had lunch at. He has spent most of his day driving icy roads back and forth between Kent and Bellevue, go figure. While it was dead at lunch time, for dinner it’s really busy as evidenced by Mort’s observation “You’d never know there was a recession, really!” which he observed at least a dozen times while we were there. All goes pretty well until our dinner finally arrives. Mike’s soup is cold and he goes a few rounds with the waiter and the manger on that issue, and we can barely get in one bite of dinner before the alarms start going off.
Have you ever been in a restaurant when the evacuation alarm goes off? Lots of people start staring at perfect strangers all around them as if one of them is going to offer the answer to “What the heck is THAT?” After a few minutes of either trying to figure out what is going to happen, or in my case jamming food down my gullet in anticipation of the inevitable, we get asked to step outside. Here’s a great shot of Mike who has the veracity to remember to take his wine with him. Actually, I’m pretty sure he didn’t even think about taking it with him, it just stuck to his hand and went along. Cold soup, bad. Cold wine, good! For this little piece of brilliance, we are declaring Mike our Person Of Interest for this Thanksgiving blog.
Fire engines came. I love fire engines. They take me back to my childhood when Jeffrey Liu and I burned down his garage playing with matches. So we all waved at the firemen and tried to stay warm.
And all too soon they were gone and we got re-seated.
They took away all our food (I also anticipated this and ate all the large cold pieces of lobster from my Lobster Carbonara before they took it away) and replaced them with fresh hot plates. Mort made sure his would be fresh by cutting an “X” across each piece of his chicken picatta, and letting the waiter know he had done this. “Don’t you just microwave this and bring it back, I’ve marked it you see”. He’s a genius. Anyway, it turns out that it was a broken pipe somewhere in the building, and now I’m suspecting it isn’t about Mike’s cold soup after all. Shoot, we’re sitting with the King and Queen of broken pipes! AAHH! There is no way we’re inviting them to see our rig until all the bad frozen-pipe mojo has worn off.