Wednesday, July 26, 2006


This evening, She Who Must Be Obeyed and I grabbed an early dinner at one of the local eateries just outside the Perimeter. We had been downtown visiting the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon who, not much more than a month ago, was carving upon SWMBO’s delicate jawbone. Conveniently enough, our friends G and JoAnn joined us, both heading to the restaurant in their separate vehicles directly from work.

A number of restaurants in the area offer an Early-Bird Special, with a two-course dinner offered at $10 or $11 to those who can get there before 6 p.m. It’s a substantial discount, and you don’t even have to have an AARP card to take advantage of it. Heh.

It’s only a matter of time, I suppose, before SWMBO and I end up going out to dinner at four in the afternoon, bitching at the waitstaff, stealing the Splenda, and cramming the extra dinner rolls into our Cargo Shorts, the waistbands of which will be up to our nipples. Fuck, we’re getting old.

If we lived in Texas, I guess it’d be about time for me to lay in a stock of Texas Old-Man Jumpsuits. It’s the Standard Uniform for Lone-Star Geezers. But, as usual, I digress.

So here we are, the four of us, at the restaurant in time to enjoy the Early Bird special. And, being the Careful Eaters that we all are, we all order the grilled salmon, which comes dressed in a lemon caper sauce and sitting on top of a pile of garlic mashed potatoes. Eschewing the standard issue, I get sautéed spinach in lieu of the ’taters. I’ve just gotta be a pain in the ass me.

Lo and behold, when our main courses arrive, we notice a strange, unpleasant pong. Something is fishy in Sandy Springs.

I recall a Business Trip years ago, during which a colleague and I set out in search of a sushi bar in Mississauga, Ontario, hard by Pierson International Airport. We scouted out one likely place, walked in the door…and each of us made an immediate U-turn and headed right back out without even breaking stride. If a sushi bar stinks like old fish, you do not want to be eating the sushi there.

We, all four of us, bent low over our plates to administer the Whiff Test. Phewie! The salmon has, as the British are wont to say, gone off. Even the restaurant manager wrinkled his nose when we presented him with the Offending Platters.

Unlike the Swedes, who know how to appreciate truly Stinky Fish, our sensibilities are unequipped to deal with Piscatorial Pungency. We risk disaster if we eat That Which Is Nasty. And I don’t plan to fuck up my 35-year No-Puke Record. Not yet, anyway.

We sent the Stink-Fish back and ordered alternatives, none of which involved seafood. And the rest of the dinner proceeded uneventfully...except for the incredibly confusing scene that took place right after a busload of blind lesbians crashed into the restaurant’s kitchen.

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