the Bucky Four-Eyes Cotillion

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Don't worry, vegetarians -- I get mine soon enough

Don’t ask me what the occasion was, because I don’t particularly remember that, but I do remember that the night was special enough to warrant our having dinner at the Redwood Lodge. The name is completely accurate; even though the place is fairly huge, the atmosphere is warm and intimate, as long as you’re not creeped out by the ubiquitous taxidermy. It’s a brewpub with some tasty varieties of beer, and they have a swanky little cigar bar in the back where jazz bands are featured on the weekends. The best part, though, even better than a cigar bar with jazz, is the fact that the RL features different wild and exotic game every night.

Anybody who knew me as a child will probably read that last sentence five or six times and wonder who wrote it. I was terribly meat phobic when I was a kid (oh, I’ve gotten over my fear of meat, nudge nudge, wink wink), and wouldn’t try anything the least bit exotic, probably not even at gunpoint. Actually, for a long time, if it wasn’t pretzels or lemon drops, I wasn’t really interested. My culinary horizons have since expanded exponentially, and I try to give new foods the benefit of the doubt. It doesn’t always work, of course; I never need to have alligator again. The RL, however, hadn’t disappointed me yet.

I was kind of hoping for emu or buffalo when we walked in that night, but the notation of “Kangaroo” on the Daily Specials chalkboard piqued my interest. We were seated quickly, which always seems to be our luck at the RL, even when there’s a big crowd waiting for tables. Do you think they’re afraid to let us mingle with the other potential customers? The waitress took our drink orders, and I snagged the Specials card from the table. According to the card, the wild game dish for the night was ostrich London broil, which sounded pretty irresistible, too. We decided that Jim would get the kangaroo and I would get the ostrich, so we could try both. At that point, I was beginning to feel a little lightheaded, but I hadn’t eaten much that day, and figured I’d feel better as soon as I got some fuel in the tank. We ordered our meals, and some onion rings for an appetizer, and as the waitress left, I started to feel a little worse. It was starting to become apparent that maybe it wasn’t just hunger, and I excused myself to the restroom, just in case anything untoward was going to happen.

After about ten minutes, I figured I was safe and returned to the table. Jim could tell I wasn’t spewing my normally sparkling banter, and that I was even whiter than usual, if you can imagine that, and asked if I was okay. My response was accompanied by one of those weak smiles that just has “I’m going to vomit.” written all over it. I tried to drink my iced tea, and it tasted kind of crappy to me. My head was starting to spin ever so slightly, and I was beginning to wonder if I’d make it to dinner, or if something really, really awful was going to happen in the restaurant. When the nice lady set the onion rings down right in front of my face, I wondered no more.

I pushed the crunchy, battered, normally heavenly aromatic appetizers away from me with a vigor usually reserved for repelling would-be rapists. My eyes met Jim’s, and I didn’t have to say a word, but I did offer up a meek, “I really have to go now.” before I pushed back from the table and made my way across the restaurant, down some stairs, and out the door. When I say “made my way” I’m not really sure what my speed was, or what the expression on my face was, but judging from the looks I was getting as I passed, people knew somethin’ was rotten in Buckyland. I was doing my best to avoid breaking into a full-out run, not only because it would make things even more embarrassing, but because I am inherently clumsy and would likely trip and crash to the ground if I put too much speed on it.

The Goddess Biatch must’ve been looking out for me that day, because I made it to the car, let myself in on the passenger side, away from the restaurant windows, and even had time to find an empty plastic bag in the car seconds before Technicolor symphony began. A car or two drove past me as I spilled the secrets of my lunch, and I did my best to hide behind the car door so as not to put them off their dinner plans. I am nothing if not a polite puker.

When at last I was done, I set the bag down on the ground next to the car, lit up a smoke, and slumped back against my seat like a drunk in the back of a piss-covered taxi. Or is that piss colored? Either way, I figured it would be at least a half hour before the food was cooked, boxed, and paid for, so I settled in for the long haul. Imagine my surprise when, roughly five minutes later, Jim came strolling out the door with one small styrofoam box. He’d been able to stop the order before the kitchen started our entrees, so we were only stuck with the onion rings.

He was kind of laughing, too, and he told me that when I’d made my sudden and obviously distressed exit, people and wait staff alike were shooting all kinds of evil looks at him, like maybe he’d broken up with me or confessed to fathering numerous bastard children. As he walked out with his food, it was through a gauntlet of eyes that said one thing: “You prick! You made your wife run out crying!” For a minute I thought about offering to go back inside and announce, “He didn’t hurt my feelings, and I wasn’t crying – I was pre-vomiting!” Then the thought passed, and I decided it was just easier to let everyone in the restaurant think Jim was a callous bastard with a sweet, vulnerable, defenseless wife.

Of course, the onion rings rode in the back seat on the way home.

5 of you felt the overwhelming need to say somethin':

Blogger Mr. Bloggerific Himself said...

This is a wonderful story of the alligator regurgitater that had to hurl the squirrel, spew the caribou & emus, & upchuck the duck.

Breathmint anyone? Altoid? Lozenge perhaps? Floss?

10:28 PM, January 29, 2005  
Blogger Katy Barzedor said...

Don't forget jettison the venison!
Hey, doesn't asonance count for something 'round here?

10:31 PM, January 29, 2005  
Blogger Mr. Bloggerific Himself said...

It counts, but I'm not sure of the weight. Perhaps a vote is needed.

Now it's off with me to check out more of Billy Corgan's "Blinking with Fists"

10:36 PM, January 29, 2005  
Blogger Katy Barzedor said...

You don't eat yak -- you just rent it.

11:59 PM, January 29, 2005  
Blogger Mr. Bloggerific Himself said...

After all these years, I finally come to understand the line:

”Yakkity yak, don’t talk back”

Thank you both for that.

10:22 AM, January 30, 2005  

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