Friday, September 03, 2010

Reality Python

Where John Cleese answers the phone
Mrs. Pop phoned our favourite Tex-Mex restaurant the other night, Uncle Julio’s Rio Grande, to ask for a table. They don’t take reservations, but you can phone before you set out and put your name down to avoid waiting around outside on the pavement.

It was seven o, clock, and she asked if we could get a table at 7.45. No, she was told, you have to phone half an hour before you want your table. We’re about to set out on our bikes, she said. Could you please just put us down for 7.45? It’s not easy to use a cell phone on a bike. No, it has to be half an hour before. She should call back in 15 minutes.

What about 7.40, asked Mrs. Pop, always keen to compromise (except in the odd domestic matter)? No, it has to be 30 minutes. Okay, she said, if it has to be 30 minutes we’ll go for 7.30 and pedal really hard.

Sorry, said the girl, there are no tables free for 7.30. The earliest I can get you a table is 7.45.

Yes, that will do nicely, thanks.

5 comments:

No Good Boyo said...

If it makes Mrs Pop feel any better, the doorman at the German Embassy bar in 1988 ran a similarly strict but pointless policy, although it - like so much Teutonic waywardness - did not withstand a visit from the US Marine Corps. I feel a blogpost coming on.

Gorilla Bananas said...

This sounds ridiculous on first inspection, but phoning early is essentially another way of making a reservation, which they supposedly don't allow. Once they started allowing customers to phone early, they blurred the definition of what a reservation was, allowing your wife to confuse them with an early early phonecall. They'll need a logician like Spock to sort this one out. Try eating somewhere else until then.

Mark Sanderson said...

I hate to veer off-kilter; but cycling to a restaurant? That's a very novel way, to me at least, of doing things. I get the impression I would be hankering after a good few rounds of Marmite toast after my return.

Stay-At-Home Indie-Pop said...

Boyo - I like the idea of a bar where you have to let them know in advance that you're coming. Then they can announce your name as you enter. They should have it in English pubs with well-spoken bouncers: "The right honorable Kev 'Scrapper' Smith and his companions Hammer, Knuckle and Beefneck are entering the pool room. Bilious behaviour to commence in no less than 20 minutes."

GB - we're loyal patrons, and won't let illogical policies deter us from such excellent beef fajitas.

Mark - I'd be lying if I said we always cycled when we eat out. There has to be an alignment of good weather, good moods and spare time to make it work. There's also a handy former rail route between our house and the eaterie that makes it a pleasant pedal. Although the post-prandial ride home was fun as it turned out I'm the only one in the family who has lights.

Nathan said...

http://www.newyorker.com/talk/financial/2010/09/06/100906ta_talk_surowiecki