Last night, we decided to go on an impromptu date. (That’s the advantage of having older kids. You can just throw food at them and leave them while you go out.) There was a mystery shopping assignment available, and we decided to grab it. We had gone to the location’s sister restaurant in another part of town last week, and we enjoyed it. We thought we would go out for a nice, quiet evening without the kids. What we failed to realize was that the restaurant was located in a major party area of Tampa. We realized it as soon as we approached the door of the location.
Last week, we were greeted by employees wearing black shirts and black pants. There was music playing, but we could certainly hear the employees and each other over the music.
This week, we were greeted by pirates. These were not any pirates. These were scantily clad girl-pirates wearing fish-net stockings and not much else. Mr. Everything said he liked the place already. I wasn’t so sure. The music was so loud that we could see the windows pulsating to the beat.
Since I had taken the assignment and didn’t really have a choice, we decided to be brave and go in. Mr. E was much more eager than I was. He said it was because he was really hungry. Uh-huh.
The hostess was friendly enough and led us through the tables to find a seat. There were about 4 inches between the tables. While her skinny little butt slipped right through, my mama-sized tushie was a little harder to fit. I bumped a man in the back of the head with one of my butt-cheeks. I’m not sure if he was happy or horrified. I didn’t look to find out.
We were seated, and Mr. E said, “What do you want to eat?” I said, “WHAT?!?” He said, “WHAT DO YOU WANT TO EAT?” I said, “I’m thinking about the pizza.” He said, “WHAT?!?” I said, “I’M THINKING ABOUT PIZZA. HOW ABOUT YOU?” He said, “I’m not sure.” I said, “WHAT?” And that pretty much sums up how our conversation went for the rest of the meal. At one point, I considered going to sleep just to block out the noise.
Beside us was a table of college girls who were hanging out and seemed to be having a little too much fun. The one nearest to my ear had the most high-pitched, screechy voice I have ever heard. When she spoke, it was though someone was driving a spike through my ear drums. I wanted to buy her an appetizer sampler just to fill her mouth.
At one point, we both got excited because a song we recognized, “Walk Like An Egyptian,” came on. Then, we realized the two other songs that were playing at the same time were drowning out the tune. The song only played for about 30 seconds anyway, and then another song with THE Word came on. I recorded the Egyptian song for you, but then I remembered I’m technologically challenged. While I could ask Mr. Everything to put the file on my blog for me, and he would get around to it eventually, I wanted to publish this story sometime this year. So, you’ll just have to imagine the loudest, thumpin’est version of “Walk Like An Egyptian” you can think of. Now double the volume. Double it again, and you are close to the real-live version. (You’re welcome for not making you listen to it.)
Our pirate, we’ll just call her Barbie, was very sweet. She really was. She offered us a free dessert or a round of shots since we were first time guests. Since I wouldn’t even know what shot to order or how to drink it and because brownies would taste a whole lot better, we went for the dessert. (That wasn’t a hard call for me to make.) However, by the time dessert rolled around, I just wanted to get out of there. My ears had taken about all they could handle. We had dessert, but I didn’t taste it. We just scarfed it down so we could leave.
I tried to get a few photos for your viewing pleasure, but it was so dark in the restaurant that it was nearly impossible. I asked Mr. E to take a photo of a pirate and reminded him to turn off his flash. About that time, the flash went off and stayed on for a few seconds. “Hey, way to be inconspicuous there, Mr. E.” I wanted to get a photo of the screecher behind me, but I couldn’t. She was too close to me, and I would have had to hold the camera way out away from me to do it. I figured that might be too obvious.
Speaking of holding things way out, you should have seen me trying to read the menu. I really need to consider getting bi-focals. I have become one of those old women who complains about the lighting being too dim in restaurants. But, seriously, could they not afford brighter light bulbs? It was so dark in that place. I just took Barbie’s word for what was good on the menu, because I couldn’t read the food descriptions. I honestly just told her to pick something for me, and she did a pretty good job! Barbie might be a size negative-zero, but the girl knows how to eat!
There were posters on the windows advertising an upcoming “Naughty Pajama Party.” I’m pretty sure when Mr. Everything was playing with his phone during dinner, he marked the date on his calendar. I’m going to have to talk to him about that. With the costumes they were wearing, I can’t imagine what could be more naughty. I don’t think I want to imagine.
Mr. Everything said he was playing with his phone to blend in with everyone else. He had a point there. We were surrounded by college-aged people (I'm resisting the urge to call them “kids”), and they all were looking at their cell phones. I’m a little worried about the newest generation of grown-ups. They don’t look at each other. Eye contact is a thing of the past. Of course, if they tried to look at each other, they wouldn’t be able to see each other in the dark anyway. They don’t speak to each other. The music is too loud to allow for that. They just sit by each other and use their phones. We have raised a generation of sociopaths. Thank you Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs for helping us create a completely screwed up generation. They were all probably texting each other and tagging each other on Facebook, so there was no need to talk.
So, all in all, it was an interesting experience. My ears are still ringing today from the “music.” Luckily, I don’t have any of the songs stuck in my head. (They would have to have an actual tune to get stuck in my head.) I guess no permanent damage was done (other than to my ears), but I don’t think we’ll be visiting that restaurant again anytime soon. If any of you are looking for a fun pajama party to go to, I can suggest one, but you’re probably going to want to go shopping for new PJ’s. -Al