Some more exciting Fargo stories. We ate at a new restaurant - there’s a new one every other week, I swear, and many of them seem to be indistinguishable. Big, woody, modern-but-classic, tasteful art. In the end it’s the usual menu with a few twists. Shrimp appetizers - with peaches! BLT - with guac! And so on. Friendly Fargoans! Big smiles! And a hair in my sandwich. I don’t know how you get hair in food. NO HAIR IN FOOD is pretty much the top rule in kitchens. But there it was. The manager came out all apologetic, and said I wouldn’t be charged, of course, and did I want anything else? I said no; pretty much done in the eating department, what with the hair in the guac, so no. Did I want a free dessert? I declined, because I didn’t want to give them the satisfaction.
Not accepting the free dessert sends a message. I cannot be bought. Then I stood up and formed the letters Y - E - L - P like they do for that Village People song, and a small stain appeared on his khakis and spread fast.
Well, no. I wouldn’t. Everyone was friendly and nice and it wouldn’t be right to nail the place with a bad review because one doofus in the kitchen couldn’t keep his follicles to himself. Let the place stand or fall on its food and service. It seemed bland and ordinary to me, with no particular reason to exist, but let the Judgement of Fargo make the final say.
I sent a letter telling them what happened, singling out the staff for the way they handled it. No response.
So it's Porter Creek. That's PORTER CREEK.
After dinner we went to the station to fill up my car. While we were inside I noted that Natalie had remarked that Dad sent the same birthday card this year as last year, and the fact that he wrote, for some reason, "I bought this at our store" clinched the deal. We went over to the greeting card rack, and I texted her this:
By the way, Dad doesn't just wear a Harley shirt. When I pulled up to the house he was sitting in the garage by his bike - a new three-wheeler gleaming from a fresh wax job. He'd been out driving before I got there. I know he probably wishes he was flying - he still has his license - but the plane was sold years ago. Later that night he was saying that he suspected they were holding up his hunting license because of his age, and that amused him; the other day he'd driven the transport to deliver some oil, hauled out the 100-pound hoses and clambered up on the top of the tanker to open a hatch.
As he put it:
"And next year I'll be 90." And he laughed.
For morning food we went to Village Inn, because their menu has the endpaper from a 1958 cookbook.
The restaurants have a Jet-Age vibe without seeming like a Johnny Rockets soulless copy. Unfortunately it took forever to get waited on, even though the restaurant was empty, and it took forever and several additional forevers borrowed from alternative universes before the food arrived. Our waitress disappeared at one point, and I went to the cashier to ask if she might drop by. She went into the back and disappeared. I figured it was possible there was a robber in the kitchen collecting the staff one by one, but even so, he could make me some eggs. Asked another waitress, who found our waitress sitting in a booth talking to someone. Ah well. No letter sent. Because no hair.
You get a lot of good will when you don't put hair in people's food
The Strib is coming down. The scoops are on their way! The scoops are on their way!
Bonus points for anyone who identifies that line in the comments. I was driving by on Monday and saw the claw start to bang the side of the building, and when I went back a few hours later it had taken off half the facade and was trying to knock off some ornamental granite. A woman was on her phone, irate. From the sound of it I gathered she had called the construction company managing this entire vast project and was yelling at them for tearing the building down, and I gather she was talking to a receptionist who had no idea what the woman was on about.
“They’re tearing it down for the effenheimer Dome,” she said.
“The stadium is over there,” I said. “This is going to be a park.”
“They’re tearing it down for a parking lot,” she yelled.
“A park,” I said.
“They tore all those buildings down in the 80s and didn’t give a bleep either,” she said to me. I share the sentiment but I have already let this building go, and there’s really not much the receptionist at the construction company could do about it.
“THAT’S ART,” she shouted. To me, pointing at the three ornamental flowers over the door: “That’s someone’s art. It belongs to them.”
“We don’t know who did it,” I said. “It was commercially produced over 70 years ago.”
“Yeah well the family might find out and then they could SUE.”
Unclear on things, she was.
Ten seconds gives you the construction update for this week.
As usual for Friday, the Music Cues. Of course we begin with the Couple Next Door, with its cheerful soundtrack of the mid-century domestic scene.
A bit more poignant now that Peg's gone.
CND Cue #567 More Modern Shopping Music, but it's . . . a bit off.
CND Cue #568 From the same suite. It's so rote.
CND Cue #569 This one threatens to turn into something familiar, bit can't.
Here's the first in a series of Public Service Announcements that ran on the Armed Forces Radio service. They served no purpose whatsoever, except to make GIs homesick.
Billings: it's still there!
Finally, our ad of the week: Alka-Seltzer in its days as a marvelous cure-all. We know it cured .
One thing you can say about the Seventies: class all the way. This no doubt thrilled the high school lads when it showed up in the bargain bin at Woolworth's:
She seems rather chagrined about being in a room with instuments and insufficient clothing. Aside from a boa. You've seen "Last Tango," right? Nothing but boas and lutes.
It's going to be the Songs of Love this month, so get ready for lots of Romance, 101 Strings Style.