Monday, October 03, 2011


We went out to dinner after Eli had hockey on Saturday (he was very, very sharp in goal), and we went to a local burger eatery that is conveniently located on the way home. It's a sit-down place, but it's casual, and the food is usually excellent, with the best tater tots in town.

Tater tots will be the subject of a column some day.

Usually, the service at this place is passable, but this time, it was genuinely awful. The waiter took forever to show up, our food took forever to show up ("the kitchen manager is freaking out," he said), and he generally acted like a modern adaptation of the I Love Lucy Show, while entirely lacking the charm.

Trying not to unload on the guy, at least when Eli 10.2 was around, I defended him. "Well, he's probably a student," I said to him, "and he's just trying to make a little extra money to cover his school costs. He's not a professional waiter or anything."

"That seems right," Eli said.

"He probably won't be a waiter for very long," I said. "His career will be short and sweet."

Eli thought about that for a moment. "No," he said. "Just short."

"Eli, it's time for your shower," Gloria said. "Let's go up." This was later that same night.

"Not yet!" he said. "Dad said I could go up at eight fifty-five, and it's only eight fifty-two."

"Ah, and the bargaining over minutes begins," I said.

"Three minutes is three minutes," he said.

"Your Mom's going up with you tonight, not me, so it's on her schedule."

"Oh, come on!" he said. "That's not fair."

"I don't think 'fair' extends to time-periods of three minutes or less," I said. "It's just not worth arguing over that."

"It's not?" he asked. "Then what IS worth arguing over?"

"Well," I said, "let's say that you've just picked up the phone. Your Mom walks downstairs, sees you, and says, 'Eli, put up that phone. You don't need to call anyone.' Then you say, 'But Mom, I need to call 911, because Dad says the house is on fire.' "

Eli burst out laughing.

In that case," I said, "it is definitely worth arguing."

Gloria said, "Your Dad: always ready with the likely scenario."

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