Last night, everything did not go right.
The first part of the plan was to meet up with some friends at a Restaurant That Shall Not Be Named at around 6:30. This plan was immediately complicated by the existence of April 20, which used to just be the day in April between the 19th and 21st but somehow in the past few years became 420, a big party in Golden Gate Park near our house where a bunch of stoners stand outside and smoke pot inside of sitting in their living room and smoking pot like normal people. As a result, thousands of brain-damaged youth get someone to cover their shift at Carl's Jr and drive their cars from Concord or Antioch or whatever into a tiny corner of the city where my house is. A trip of about 10 blocks leaving my house and heading for the Mission took about 15 minutes. We were going to be very late.
[Not sure why this GG Park thing started. It didn't happen a few years ago. I blame Facebook.]
We got to the RTSNBN a little before 7:00, so actually not that bad! It was very crowded. Very, very crowded, which seemed odd for a Monday. But the waitress appeared relatively soon and we got our drink orders in by say 7:00 p.m.
The FIRST INSTANCE OF CREEPING DREAD came when the waitress disappeared for the next 30 minutes. No drinks, no taking our orders, nothing. HERE is where I should reveal the rest of Date Night: we were going to see Porchlight, a monthly storytelling series at Verdi Club. As it happens, one of our friends would be performing. To make it more interesting, he was going on first, at 8:00 p.m.! There's no way we wouldn't be done with dinner by 8 if we arrived at a nearby restaurant at 7, right?
Drinks appeared around 7:20, brought by Someone Who Was Not Our Waitress and in fact did not seem to know the names of the drinks. We still have not ordered food.
The SECOND INSTANCE OF CREEPING DREAD came when I managed to flag our waitress down like I was a Semaphore Flag Operator in the Navy in 1942 so we could order food. Now, at this point, I'm thinking, "OK, 7:30, get the food by 7:45, choke it down violently like a wolf eating a dismembered rabbit, and we can still make it by 8:00." I asked for the check as we ordered to make this impossible dream feasible.
The THIRD INSTANCE OF CREEPING DREAD came when we passed 7:40 with no sign of food, waitress, drinks, anything. I pulled out my Flare Gun and shot a flare at the ceiling. It bounced back onto floor and spun crazily, sparks shooting out in every direction. The waitress somehow saw us. "We're trying to make an 8:00 show," I said. "Is there any chance we'll have our food soon?" She said she would check.
Having already paid, we finally got up to leave at 7:55 p.m. We never got any food. There was a manager type at the door. He explained he knew what was going on, presumably because the waitress who could have been using her time getting us food or drinks was talking to him. There was some confusion about whether he could just box it up or whatever but I think we concluded he would just credit our cards back. TO RTSNBN'S GREAT CREDIT, it looks like they completely refunded the whole meal, drinks and everything.
We made it into the Verdi Club right around 8:00. Saw our friend perform. He was great. At 8:15 I walked/jogged in a dizzy low blood sugar daze to the McDonald's on 16th and Potrero and Jose set me up with a Quarter Pounder with Cheese (for me) and a Filet O Fish (for my Date). We ate them huddled in the corner of the Verdi Club like animals. It was delicious.
|Last Night a QPC Saved My Life|
By then, all the seats were filled and neither one of us felt like hearing any stories. We watched a little standing in the back of the room and split.
I want to reiterate that RTSNBN did the right thing, maybe even more than the right thing, by totally refunding us. The 2 free drinks apiece were nice. But still, man, you gotta get your shit together if you're serving the public.
There will be other Date Nights, but there will never be another QPC that tastes as sweet.