Skrip - tyur' - i - ent: adj. Possessing the violent desire to write.


#103 In which our hero enjoys a meal.

The Scientist and I went out to a nice restaurant last night. Just the two of us... and NO KIDS! It's amazing to me that I am now one of those people that has to make elaborate plans to get away for an evening... but I guess that's who I am now.

It was the occasion of our four year wedding anniversary. The actual date was three days previous on the 6th but, again, it didn't work out that we could go out that night, we had to make arrangements first... mostly to get someone to watch the girls. That arranged, we dressed up and headed out.

We went to Hyde Park Grill. We both admit that this place isn't as fancy as we like to think it is, but it's where we went for our first anniversary dinner, and it's become a tradition. Another part of the tradition is for my wife to call and order a special dessert.

Here's the thing: The Scientist likes chocolate mousse. As do I, but it's not like I'd go out of my way for it. When we went for our first anniversary, she asked if they had any... they did not. Now, The Scientist can be a little tenacious when it comes to stuff like this, so she asked the manager if there was someplace nearby that we could get a nice chocolate mousse. He knew of no such place. But, he said that next time we were planning on coming, that we could call ahead and request a special dessert and that they would be happy to make it for us.

Well, that kicks ass, as you can imagine. So, wedding anniversary #2 rolls around, and I make reservations. While I'm doing so, I ask if they can make a special dessert and I'm told no, flat-out. I explain that we were told that it wouldn't be a problem, and I get serious attitude and the "I don't know who told you that, and I don't know why they would tell you that." So this disgusts The Scientist and I and we say, "hey, fuck you downtown location" and we go to a different one.

This time we bring our own chocolate mousses (moussi?). We give them to the waiter and he sticks 'em in the fridge for us until the end of the meal. When he brings them out someone in the kitchen had fancied them up with chocolate sauce and fresh fruit... it was a really cool, classy move. Problem was, it was the most enjoyable part of the entire meal. We didn't dig this location, mostly because they had a smoky bar that was poorly isolated from the rest of the restaurant. Yuck.

So, wedding anniversary #3 comes along, and we decide to give downtown another shot. And this time The Scientist calls to make reservations and order dessert, if possible.

Now, I can't stress enough how many times this has happened to me: I try to do something, and it goes completely tits-up. My wife tries the same thing, and it works like a charm.

So she calls, and not only does she get them to make her a special dessert, the executive chef himself calls her back and says what a pleasure it would be to make us a special dessert for our anniversary, etc., etc., etc.

And what a dessert it was. The waiter brings out these two gigantic troughs of chocolate mousse, each one which would have been enough to choke Fatty Arbuckle alone. But it's good stuff and we eat what we can.

And so, a week ago she calls again about reservations (downtown, all is now forgiven) and dessert. This time the manager remembers us! And at the end of our meal the waiter doesn't even ask about dessert, he just brings out two heaping bowls of mousse. And this year, it's tres fancy! There's whipped cream, chocolate cookie crumbs and white chocolate sauce... all very nice and very tasty.

Then The Scientist wants to meet the chef. I'm not sure why, but she asks the waiter and he sends out the chef. He's a very polite, soft-spoken man that congratulates us on our anniversary and thanks us for the praise we're heaping on him for the kick-ass mousse.

But here's the thing: I notice when he's approaching our table that he's got a kitchen towel in his hand. This isn't surprising, since the guy was just in the kitchen, presumably cooking for everyone else around us. I'm assuming he's just wiping his hands. But we he gets to us, he keeps his right hand covered. And when I extend my hand to shake his, he quickly says, "I'd shake your hand but I have a thing" or something like that. He ends up giving me an awkward left-handed half-shake.

I didn't think too much about it at the time, it could have been a lot of things... maybe he was just handling raw meat and didn't want to risk contaminating us. Maybe he had a big bandage on his hand and didn't want to gross us out with it. Could be a lot of things. He was so nice that it didn't really matter.

But then, on the car ride home, it's all I can think about: what's with that guy's hand? Did he maybe just cut himself, and didn't want to make us wait while he was putting on a bandage? Or maybe his hand was deformed in some fashion, and he didn't want to spoil our meal with his freaky gimpy hand? My god... could he have had a flipper hand?!

And so it goes with me... what was probably a perfectly innocent thing, by virtue of my overactive imagination turns into a bizarre Cronenberg-esque flight of fancy.

But... freak hand or not, the guy made some tasty mousse.


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