05/18/2005: "Elegant Night Out"
Scene: Husband and wife out to celebrate her birthday. “You’ll love this place, Honey. We took some clients there last year and it was to die for! I can’t believe I they took my reservation when I called last week! Joe was telling me that Sales calls this ‘the world’s most exclusive club.’ They’re famous for taking their time with every meal, sweating the details, making sure they get it right. They even have two chefs, who take turns at leadership. They’re famous for how well they work together to create culinary masterpieces.” “It sounds wonderful, Brad. What did you say it was called?” “It’s The Senate, Barbara, and it’s right up here on the right.” Brad pulls up to the front of a building that exudes faded elegance. On the front are the words “The Senate,” but Brad notices with shock that the letters are actually shadows left over from the removal of sculptured lettering. The valet also seems to be absent, but the lights are on and Brad can see people inside, so they park themselves. A big shock awaits them inside, though! Gone are the tasteful appointments, the string quartet, and the tuxedoed wait staff. The lights are bright, the place is noisy, and, worst of all, the fine dining has been replaced by a cafeteria-style buffet! “What’s this!’” exclaimed Brad to a bored-looking cashier at the entrance. “Is The Senate closed?” “Nope, this is it, Hon. We made some improvements, is all.” “You call these improvements! How could Bill and Harry go along with this?” “Yeah, well Bill and Harry are feuding, so we had to find a way to keep the doors open. We call it the new clear up and down option. We cleared out some space so people can just walk straight up so we can plop down their grub. We specialize in popular favorites, the stuff people tell us they want. No more of this artsy fartsy trying to tell people what they should like. Take tonight’s special: macaroni and cheese, pot roast, and succotash. Stick to your ribs cookin’! Most people, they get what they’re hungry for fast, they leave stuffed and happy, and tomorrow they’re back for more.” “Look, if I wanted something like that I’d just go to the House of Pancakes.” “Look, Hon, there ain’t nothing wrong with the House. They’ve been serving straight up and down grub since day one. They pay attention to what people want and are only too happy to give it to them. It’s about time the snooty Senate woke up and smelled the Folgers, if you ask me!”