The Hater and I have had an interesting evening.
This afternoon we went to a perfunctory rite-of-passage ceremony. Let's pretend like it was a wedding (except that it really wasn't). At a wedding ceremony you would imagine hearing some pretty typical things about love and hope, but imagine instead hearing a homily about how sad it is when someone dies. How death is depressing, but if we are still alive we should be glad that we're not yet dead.
Yep, you read that correctly. And imagine that while wondering what they were smoking before they thought a downer like death would be appropriate at a wedding, the speech itself was bad. Not bad as in tacky, which it was, but bad as in poorly organized and about 15 minutes too long. It was so bad that The Hater and I wrote notes to each other saying how bad it was... but waited, politely, until we were in our car before we gave our heated verbal critique.
If it had been my wedding, or if they had been talking about my loved one who had died in that way at someone else's wedding, I would have gotten up and left in the middle of the whole thing. It was poor, tasteless, and utterly tacky.
Twenty minutes later we're being seated at Redrock Canyon Grill in OKC, a snazzy nice restaurant on Lake Hefner. We usually only go there to eat when we are celebrating something, but tonight we were going because my father-in-law had sent me a gift certificate as a belated birthday present. We were still dressed up from the wedding, so it was only natural that we'd take advantage of being out and hungry with a gift certificate.
As we're eating and sipping our perfect margaritas, which I assure you they are, we discuss what a good blog post the bad speech would make. We start to notice that the restaurant getting smokey. The floorplan of this place has the kitchen open and in the back; you can see the cooks from anywhere inside. The waitstaff started running around in circles. They open the doors. No big deal, really -- we continue eating.
We start coughing before we're finished with supper. We notice that there's even more smoke and people are starting to get up and leave. I look over The Hater's shoulder to notice that two people are awkwardly shooting fire extinguishers, while I can still see a faint orange flicker up the wall behind the oven. The cooks are all outside of the kitchen area, looking at each other, and watching the extinguishers. I begin to tell The Hater that the roof is on fire, when I am interrupted by our waitress...
the blonde: It's just a little flame up behind the stove, but it's causing a lot of smoke.
me: They have out the fire extinguishers. You can see the flame from here.
the blonde: It's just a litle fire. There's no reason to evacuate yet. I have the tickets ready for all of these tables.
By the time we get back our change, both The Hater and I are hacking up our lungs. Billows of smoke follow us out the front door; we can hardly catch our breath. Before we leave the parking lot six fire engines report to the scene.
We grumble all the way home about how we now stink of smoke, how we were rushed through our supper, how we should send them the bill for dry cleaning our smokey clothes. We didn't start the fire; Redrock Canyon did it, but they won'd admit it. And as long as we're pointing our finger at poor acts of judgement tonight, not comping us dinner tonight while we cough from smoke inhalation at a smoke free restaurant is as bad as giving a death sermon at a wedding.