Have I become a grumpy old man? Take this scenario:
You’re at a restaurant. You’ve had your meal. The waiter or waitress comes over with the credit card machine and as you’re waiting for the transaction to proceed there is the obligatory small talk that occurs. The server says, “So, have you got any plans for the rest of the day?”
I find myself increasingly becoming annoyed with that question. I have only had a relationship with this person for about an hour. The deepest discussion we’ve had is what the special of the day is and do I want more coffee. Why do I want to tell this relative stranger what I’ve got planned for the next six hours? Do they want to come with me? Are they taking a survey to determine if a person who goes bowling after a meal is an important part of the restaurant’s demographic? I often will say, “Well, I’m a serial killer and I’m picking my next victim. Please don’t tell anyone.”
I know they’re all just trying to be nice and perhaps it’s part of their training to engage with the customer in a friendly way but I wish they’d stick to “What a beautiful day it is out there” or “I hope you have a great rest of the day.” Or even, “I love that tattoo.” (I don’t currently have one but if I did, I wouldn’t mind that.) I just don’t want to tell them what I’m doing. I’m sure they’re fine people and if this was a different scenario I’d be more than happy to reveal that I’m actually going home to have a nap.
It seems I get that question more and more even at other places like at a grocery store check-out or mini mart. I’m never mean about it but I find myself getting uncomfortable when the question arises. I mean I really don’t care what that person is going to do for the rest of the day so why do they care what I’m doing?
I think I’m becoming my dad.
I threw out the question on my Facebook page the other day if anyone remembered the stand alone restaurant that existed in the old Super Sam parking lot on Columbia Blvd. on the West Side. I specifically recall a hamburger joint that was the very first restaurant on the West Side but I couldn’t remember what it was called. Thank you Ken Lewis for coming to the rescue. He reminded me that it was called The Zebra. He had high praise for the place:
“Served the finest hamburgers west of the Oldman River (out to Moon River Estates). I still remember so vividly the deep contrast aesthetics of black and then some white. In our 39 years of being Westside residents (pioneers some have said) the Zebra remains a signature moment for the formative years of West Lethbridge.”
That reminder definitely scratched an itch in my cerebral cortex that’s been bugging me for a long time.
Also on my Facebook page was a reference by Jim McNally to my interview with Dr. Robert Morrison. Jim remarked, “I thought he would have mentioned that Chordin’ Gordie Norton would have been a turning point?!”
I had a good laugh with that. Chordin’ Gordie Norton was a character in an episode of a comedy show called Gagmen which was produced by what was then CISA TV (Or whatever the hell the station was called 30 years ago.) Jim was involved in that production which incidentally won some industry awards. I don’t remember the entire story behind the character of the great Chordin’ Gordie Norton but I do remember that it was pretty darn funny. The entire show had some great bits. Hey Jim, maybe you can post it if you’ve got a copy?
I’m looking forward to upcoming interviews with local promoter guru Todd Lacharite, The Geomatic Attic’s Mike Spencer and acclaimed documentary producer Michael Jorgensen (Coalhurst boy) in upcoming Blogs.
I’m off to do something else now but I can’t say.