“How about Thai?” I suggest simply because the Thai restaurant next door looks open.
Our regular Vietnamese restaurant was closed.
It was the place that we lovingly called the “Vietnamese Bistro” because it just looked like there had once been a French bistro in the location that had closed and the Vietnamese restaurant moved in leaving all the French decor exactly the way it was; wall murals of lavender fields and plastic grapevine stapled to trellises. I couldn’t pronounce the real name anyway. I’m a firm believer that ethnic restaurant names should simply reflect a city in the country of origin just so there are no surprises with the menu. Example; If I’m hungry for pad Thai – Bangkok City, or chicken masala – Bangladesh Cafe, or pirogies – The Old Warsaw. Pretty simple, Am I right?)
Didn’t really matter what we called the place, or why, because we weren’t eating there tonight.
I know that my dinner date, Kylie
, doesn’t really care for Thai food. She says it’s “too peanutty.” and I know that she was already focused on a big steaming bowl of Pho with the little meatballs. But I’m hungry, and Asian food is Asian food to me…..so we give the Thai place a chance.
It’s instantly sketchy. There’s really not much ambiance. The walls are grey, the tables and chairs are grey, even the koi in the grungy fish tank are grey. Maybe the tank wasn’t always this packed, but the fish are so well kept that they’ve fattened themselves out of sheer happiness. Probably not likely, but that’s what I’m telling myself.
There wasn’t a single customer in the restaurant, just a solitary little boy (the owner’s son, I assume) doing his homework at a table by the wall. I hate being the only people in a restaurant. Either the waitstaff is nowhere to be found, or they’re directly on top of you for the entire meal. Of course, we’re seated at a table next to the boy, Kylie’s back to him.
About 2 minutes after we ordered our food, the restaurant owner’s wife (I’m assuming again) settles herself down at the table directly behind Kylie, pulls out a pair of nail clippers, and proceeds to cut her son’s fingernails.
“CLIP,” small pause as she moves to the next little finger,
“CLIP”, small pause as she moves to yet the next little finger,
7 more “CLIPS” and Praise Buddha – at the little alter by the cash register – she’s finally finished.
Wait a minute, no she’s not. She yanks off his shoes and socks, plops then on top of the table, and starts on his little piggies too.
I’m fascinated by this show going on over Kylie’s shoulder. Fascinated and disgusted.
When she’s finally done with all his digits she starts squawking in the direction of the kitchen door and after what seemed like 10 straight minutes of her clearing her sinuses and screaming in tongues, a tiny pig-tailed girl appears wearing her school uniform. Either it was her school uniform or this little chick had very Communist taste in fashion.
Apparently, now it’s sister’s turn. She creeps up to the table and takes big brother’s place at the receiving end of mother’s nail clippers.
I think about this time someone serves us some food.
I’m having a hard time concentrating on what Kylie is talking about so I mostly just nod and agree with her. I’m pretty sure that she’s just telling me what her coworker does wrong.
“Yeah, What’s her problem anyway?” This should gain me a few more minutes to catch up with our conversation.
I wish I could say that little sister was the end of the child-maintenance show.
Ohhhhh how I wish I could say that.
But apparently she has a younger brother. And y’all know it…..little brother needs a mani/pedi in the middle of the restaurant too.
Oblivious to the grooming ritual taking place behind her, Kylie continues to slurp on her flat noodles……wishing they were something else.
I’m wishing we were somewhere else, because I lost my appetite about 2 19/20 kids ago.
This time I honestly saw the little crescent-shaped toenail fly by the top of Kylie’s ear.
I’m one of those people who only wants to be around a pedicure if I’m the recipient of said pedicure. Not dodging shrapnel from it.
On the drive home I finally told Kylie about everything that had happened at the table behind her while
we she was eating.
She was driving at the time and had to pull the car over and laugh,
She was dry-heaving.
Ever since then, Kylie picks all the restaurants we eat at.