Wednesday, July 19, 2006


We ate lunch Monday at one of Austin's most-loved and longest lasting restaurants.

The food is quite good, and always has been, but the service is just as bad as the food is good. We sat down and waited. And waited. The fellow who wound up being our waiter must have walked right past us at least five times without even a glance.

"What is it about this place?" I asked Gloria. "The waiters here all remind me of Night of the Living Dead. They're doing the zombie shuffle and the thousand yard stare. If this place caught on fire, they'd never make it out alive."

"They do seem sort of lethargic," Gloria said.

"That's redundant when you're talking about zombies," I said. "Lethargic is implied."

When we did finally order, Gloria ordered a Caesar salad. With shrimp.

"You ordered shrimp?"

"I did," Gloria said.


"Yes, I believe I'm here," she said.

"You've gone all Shackleford on me," I said.


"Led a doomed expedition to the Antarctic. He survived, but only after a terrible ordeal. Just like you and that salad."

Final verdict on the salad: "not very good."

I was in the lobby after we ate, waiting for the team bathroom visit to finish, and I heard a woman hollering at her son: "Come ON, Montana! We're going to the car!"

What is that? Why in the world does someone name their child after a state? I'm just waiting to hear someone yell "Rhode Island, get your ass over here!" And is this strictly an American phenomenon? Does anyone in England name their child "Staffordshire" or "West Sussex?"

Probably due to the Montana incident, I was about 1400 yards into a swim yesterday when I had this sudden and uplifting revelation: if Tennessee and Kentucky were forced to merge, the new state would be called Tennesucky.

That's why I swim. Mental clarity.

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