Date Ape

Eye twitch

Not a fan of dates. Many reasons. Here are a few:

So. It’s Christmas Eve babe and I’m not in the drunk tank. Yet. I am on a date though. Christmas. Eve. Babe. What else would you be doing. Eve, the girl I’m on a date with, is looking unreal. Savage dress. Best I’ve seen. Special occasion, me going on a date and all.

Restaurant. West Hollywood. Classy, fancy, prancy. Indoor-outdoor-patio-garden-cellar kind of place with that lovely date ambiance I’ve read so much about.

Hostess. Fake smile. Nod. Compliments Eve’s dress. It is that good. Passes us off to another hostess.

Leads us to our table. Out the back in the indoor-outdoor-patio-garden-cellar part of the restaurant I requested. Asked for the nice corner table not near any doors or drafts if possible. No problem, they said. Right this way, she says. Past the table by the door. Past the tables by the drafts. Leads us to our table. Two tables away from the corner table. A table that is almost touching another table with a party of four. Feels so close it’s like we’re joining their table. They all look up at us as the hostess puts menus on the table. I apologise for some reason. This is kind of cramped, isn’t it? They look at me like they don’t speak English/can’t understand my accent.

Awkwardly ask the hostess, Is that corner table free? I kind of was told that’d be our table, you said no worries when I made the appointment, told me it was penciled in. “Sorry, it’s not free I guess. Someone else must’ve booked it.” It looks free. There’s no one else sitting at it. It’s free. “Sorry, it’s not. Enjoy your meal.”

Pull out the chair for Eve. Sit down and feel my shoulder rubbing off the Russian guy at the table next to me. Grunts at me. Grip our table and waddle it away from them as much as I can. Get up and move Eve’s chair over a few inches. Ahh, now. This is better, isn’t it? Actually, sweet Jesus, now I’m right under one of their fire blasting heaters that’s shining down on the crown of my head. Funk me, I’m dying already. I’ve been sick all day with a head cold and blocked nose and this is making it worse. Ugggh-

Around now is when I realised I’ve been sitting there for far too long in silence, eyes closed, holding my head, wincing and moaning slightly over my throbbing blocked sinus. Look up at Eve looking glorious but confused in her glorious dress. Smile. Nod. Ask her how her day was and isn’t this weather a bit cold but still roasting which is weird because it’s Christmas and I’ll never get used to Christmas in heat?

Before Eve can answer our waiter pops up looking all nervous and meek. Johnny, is his name, and he’ll be our server for tonight, can he get us some drinks? Eve orders a wine. I scan the beer menu. They only have bulls**t dark ale Belgian wheat free craft bulls**t beer it seems. Not a commercial one in sight. No hope of a Guinness. I’ll have a wine too, please Johnny, this white one that I can’t pronounce, the second cheapest one so I don’t look like I’m intentionally being cheap, even though it’s still $17 a glass. I’m hopped up on cold medicine so not in the mood for boozing or even being out but Eve is mighty and sound and looking dancing in that dancing dress so I can’t say no or cause a fuss. Oh sorry, yeah that white one please.

Johnny leaves us with the menus. Explains quickly that it’s a one-off special set menu that they’re having tonight, one of ten restaurants that are doing this prestigious menu so we’re very lucky to be here tonight and he’ll be right back with the drinks. OK? What about the normal menu with roast chicken? That’s why I picked this restaurant. Because I’m a fussy eater and this restaurant is one of the few classy restaurants in West Hollywood that serves a roast chicken with some potatoes. Again, realise I’ve been sitting in silence, trying to figure it all out for far too long.

Look up at Eve. Back to the menu. Over to the Russian guy on my left. Up to see a new set of people being brought to the closest table that is in a draft to our right. Where’s Johnny? Why is there so much heat blasting right on my head? How much is too much cold medicine? I’m confused already. Look at the menu. Don’t understand half the words. Mostly French. Some Arabic. Few ancient Hobbit phrases. Pretend to know what I’m doing as I mumble and spell out letters to myself.

Ask Eve what she’s thinking. First Eve wants to give me a present. A present? Oh Jesus. I didn’t get any present. Oh Christ, why no present, why?! Eve hands me a box. Please be crap, please be crap, then I won’t be as big a presentless prick, then I won’t be as big a presentless prick. Open. Funk. Balls. It’s unreal. Eve has gotten me a savage chain. It’s mighty. Slick. Two skulls. Cool as funk. Just the best. And I’m the worst. Especially as I try to say “My presence is a present?” as my gift to her.

Thankfully Johnny returns swiftly with the wine. Cheers. To the wine! And my presence. And your actual present, I tell Eve, is still being delivered, hasn’t arrived yet. Dose. Feel really bad. It is nice though. Can’t wait until it gets here after I go home and order it off Amazon. First date with Eve. Didn’t think presents were part of the ritual. I’m great.

Back to the food. Eve’s still thinking. And reading. And figures out this is the set menu, we are getting the food on the menu according to Johnny, that’s our only option. Huh? No, surely not. What’s going on? I’m preoccupied with my mighty new chain. I’m going to go find Johnny and ask him what’s the jam with the menu. I need the bathroom too.

Bathroom. Pat my hair down. Fluff it back up. Take care of business. Pose in the mirror. Back to the table. Food has already been served. What the- Is Johnny here? Eve says another waiter brought starters over. Bread. Salad. Some weird deep fried looking things. Wave Johnny over. Explain the menu again please…

“Set menu. $100 each. All seafood. Deep fried batter. Rich creamy sauces. Thick heavy pastas.” All stuff I don’t like. Won’t eat. No interest in. For someone who could drink most about anything, I have a fussy feck of a stomach when it comes to food. Thanks to my motto Eat what I must so I can drink what I want, I now actually enjoy porridge, chocolate protein, chicken and turkey sausages. Anything that strays too far from that makes me feel dodge. I’m a weak feck.

Johnny has basically described everything I dislike about food. Which is one of the main reasons I don’t go on dates, especially when dinner is involved. Ask Johnny, is there any way I could order something from the usual menu, chicken? “No. No other option. One-off set menu. This is the only choice.” Well, now, Johnny, you’re not being very helpful. “Sorry, this is it.” OK, I won’t have any of that so. I’ll just sit here and booze. “Can’t allow that I’m afraid, no sharing allowed and you can’t sit here and not eat. Restaurant is fully booked.” Actually, Johnny, that corner table is still free. And I’ll probably get sick if I eat most of the stuff you’ve just listed out. Johnny just stands and smiles at me.

By now I feel like I’m being very awkward. And not making this fun for Eve. So I just look at Johnny. Let my eye twitch. Smile. And say OK. Thanks Johnny. Turn back to Eve. Smile. Feel my eye twitch again. And say tuck in. Tuck. The f**k. In.

While I’m enjoying some lovely salad and delicious white wine, I see Johnny come by our table again. Actually, he’s taking the order from the draft table next to us. Hear one person at the table tell Johnny they’re allergic to seafood, can’t eat it. Hear Johnny tell them “Oh. OK. Well in that case there is the option to get a burger, a steak or a roast chicken if any of them work? I think they’re all in the $20 – $40 range.” I hear what’s being said but I don’t really cop on.

Instead I’m listening to Eve who’s in dancing form. Flying out of the saddle with wit, banter and stories. And then there’s me sitting across the way from her. Slowly processing what Johnny told that table. Interrupt Eve halfway through a sentence – Sorry, ehm, that’s weird, ha ha, I’m sure I just heard Johnny the useless waiter tell that table next to us that they didn’t have to eat the set menu, they could get other stuff. That’s weird, isn’t that weird?

Before Eve can say a thing I get up and go find Johnny. Find him by the kitchen door. Repeat what I heard. See Johnny, the meek, nervous, timid little waiter, realise he’s been caught for the lying rat that he is. “Did I not tell you you had that option too?” No you funking did not. “Oh. I’m so sorry. I definitely think I did. Would you like to order something from that other menu?” Yes I would. The roast funking chicken. “No problem… Oh well, the thing is I’ve already put the order in for the set menu so that’s being made so I can add the chicken to your bill.” You want me to pay $150 for that seafood muck and for a roast chicken. “Yeah?”

Did well not punching Johnny. Called for the manager. Another toad. Backed up Johnny. Now I’m fuming. Piss being taken. They ask if I want to pay the bill and leave or stay and pay at the end? You bastards. Look over at Eve. Some dress. Swallow my pride. Tell them to serve me whatever they like. Not ruining Eve’s night. You prick, Johnny.

Needless to say I ruined Eve’s night. Plate after plate of sardines and seafood and garlic oysters and cream cod and more sardines and more garlic cream, I couldn’t hack it. Head cold pounding. Heat had me dying. Slowly but surely I drained Eve of most of her joy. I am some laugh. Some date ape.

In the end Eve even split the bill with me. That’s how bad a date I am. I tried to insist but Eve insisted more. She didn’t want to have to owe me anything. So that was nice. Haven’t heard from her since. Then I went home. And puked from the one garlic oyster I did try.

On the upside, I do have a mighty new chain (forgot to offer it back). And, I just went and complained to the general manager of the restaurant who wasn’t on that night. Looks like I’ll be getting a full refund of the $480 bill. So if that happens, and Eve still hasn’t replied back to me, I’ll be up money. And really, isn’t that what it’s all about? Merry Christmas!


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  1. Dulce
    9 years ago - Reply

    at least you didnt throw up on her?

    • Mark Hayes
      9 years ago - Reply

      Always a plus!

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