Posted by: jamesthethickheaded | March 14, 2010

Lunch with Steve

Went to Phoenix for the sun and heat. Like the guy in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who doesn’t know he’s a rain god and is simply puzzled by the clouds that rush over to show their “love” and adoration by raining on him, we’re just not sure yet what’s going on. Maybe we could retire early, visiting one resort after another… to help them speed up their rainy seasons and assure their guests that the rest of the year will be safely spent in sunny weather… or something like that. Only then of course… it wouldn’t work out either, and I’d sound like one of those guests my Poppa used to complain about visiting him in Florida who’d say something like: “Just one dadgum sunny day after another… doncha want some disappointment somewhere? doncha want some cloudy days in here? maybe some rain and disappointment? Bah!” Yeah, Poppa loved the sunny weather day-after-day. Beats fishing and golf in the rain, cold, snow…

On the other hand, my conference in Phoenix had a lunch break followed by a snooze session on “Annuities with Structured Estate Options”, so I opted instead to see if I could arrange an opportunity for plate admiration with resident and fellow Orthoblogger Steve Robinson. Lucky for me, Steve was free and we went to the Phoenix City Grille to see if we could share a few beans as part of our Great Fastbreak. They’ve got great china, glasses, and set a mean table. Fact is, taming that puppy’s something we spent most of the time working on… as it wouldn’t even let us sit down. It’s long fangs and sharp claws kept us busy ordering and throwing food at it …just so’s we could  slide around to a chair. When at last we managed it… we remembered that of course this time of year, food is completely optional, so Steve ordered: “Just bring us the Prison Special: bread and water.”

Afterwards, apparently Steve arranged to have this picture taken… see here... where the attribution is the “Hotel Concierge” who in his kindness snapped our pics. But the sad truth is somewhat different. In fact, this picture was presented as “Evidently My Dear Watson Photo #12” in the case of People of Phoenix vs. The Desert Pirates or maybe that’s Dessert Pirates? I never could keep those “S” things straight. Anyway, seems they weren’t kidding when they said they really had one of those stinkin’ overhead anti-thievin’ varmint cams… and so  we were caught by the cam on our way out the door . I guess the waiter spotted something missing… like  the china, glasses, and the mean table (now tamed and hiding under my coat  – Steve’s hand on my shoulder is actually dropping more food morsels to the ravenous critter).

“Rattling dishes? What dishes?”
“I didn’t hear any rattling dishes. Did you?”
“Nah. Might have heard a table or something… but no dishes.”
“And that under your coat?”
“Ah… those dishes! I thought you meant the waiter. No, I don’t think they were rattling… “

Of course, the view from behind obscures this rest of the sordid tale… much to our attorney’s great relief. And the truth is we don’t really know how it happened. Just one minute we’re throwing food, next Steve whispers:

“Sure we can do this thing! We just go out the door and it looks like we’re arm and arm, but really I’m holding the table up on your shoulders underneath the coat.”
“Number one… this is not a date. And number two… this works?”
“Dude… of course. And maybe… actually… no, it hasn’t worked yet… but it’s still a good idea. It’s our anniversary… my wife’s working on this collection of mean tables… this one’s been on her list a long time, man … and like, you’re from out-of-town and all… if you get caught…we say it’s your idea, you’re from out-of-town, you’re a tourist… everyone knows tourists are nuts… sunspots, sunstroke and all that…  and you just didn’t know any better. You’re out…in what… couple of days at worst.”
“I don’t Steve. Couple of days in a holding tank is a loooooong time… even if you are with me on this… and trust me… you will be with me. But y’know… I just don’t think this silverware’s in my wife’s  pattern.”
“Hey… trust me on this: she’ll love it. In or out.”

Of course… when they CHARGED us for lunch… especially all the tidbits we’d had to feed the table… okay and maybe the  bread and water, too… well.. I started to think maybe Steve was on to something.  So what if  some  call it thievery… on Wall Street it’s just a little “creative borrowing”. So I’m in…. we decide to make it four place settings and call it even. And I guess that’s what did us in: reaching for that second set of place settings on the table next to us. Kind of gave away the whole thing… y’know… lost the subtlety and all.

Good news of course is that while getting to know some of our new Great Fasting friends in the “tank”, we actually got cast in… no kidding… there really is gonna be a sequel to the “Pirates of the Caribbean… Again and Again Already Part Four” called “Johnny Depp and the Sand Pirates of Phoenix!” Of course it will be rated Rrrrrr! so maybe y’might not be takin’ yer little tykes to see ‘er, harrr! But she’ll be a fine, fine treasure of a film.. that she be. And if you’d only seen the front side of us as it appeared in “Evidently My Dear Watson Photo #12”, you’d a seen me peg leg, me eye patch, an’ me missing teeth…  had me parrot flying somewhere… and by golly I might even look a touch like a pirate! Rrrrr! indeed! Just the guy you want to sit next to at your next conference, huh?

By the way, Steve was wonderful (Thanks!). I’m not sure about the two hours… I mean… I thought we were sentenced to something more like two days. But y’know the next time you’re in Phoenix… bring your own silver. Steve will pull your leg… off. One less to contend with in the race up the ladder? Don’t know. Clearly I fell off long ago.


  1. How I wish I had something witty to write in this little comment box…but alas, I failed “witty” in creative writing class. Though I desperately want to make a naughty comment about ‘had me parrot flying somewhere’ but since it is Lent and supposedly a ‘sobering time of reflection’ which I also failed in creative writing class – I shall refrain.

    Glad you had a good time together!

    • OMG!!! ROTFL! Whew! Hadn’t actually thought about THAT! But now that you (don’t) mention it… Lord Have Mercy!

  2. I bow before your chronicle of our lunch. I didn’t want to bring all that up, I mean you have a professional image and all to keep up… me, heck drug addicts and ex-everythings hang sheetrock, I just fit in with the rest of the crowd. But heck, I’d spend two days in the slammer with you anytime. Thanks for making bail! And I will send your peg leg back to you via the parrot… I hear the airspeed of a laden homing parrot/pigeon is about 20 knots so it should be there by Pascha.

  3. Steve: Thanks for your discretion and all that… but you know how these things come out. My publicist… well.. underemployed as she is, leaked it all to the inside pages of “The Star” and the rest is history. But thanks for sending ol’ Polly Two-Cracker back my way. She’ll have a ton of charges afore she hands over ol’ pegger. Even try to bill me for the mileage on her sidetrip “date” with that fellow from Capistrano.

    How’s the wife liking the new table? We’re really digging the place settings.

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