Tuesday afternoon I’m sitting at the Longhorn Steak House having lunch (salmon Caesar salad and some of the best coffee available), contentedly reading my newspaper (NY Times — excellent article filleting Ralph Nader and his legion of fans like me made miserable by his inflexible, political tone deafness) when the lights go out, the ceiling fans stop spinning, and the place goes quiet. Whatever it was, I learn later, took out power from Daytona Beach to the Keys.
Ironically, the ghastly Muzac tune at the time was, “Dancin’ In The Moonlight.” I like Longhorn, but the country motif includes some really bad music. I don’t mind sitting under the glazed stare of a stuffed heifer’s head, or whatever that hairy beast is, and I can comfortably ignore the assorted tools of the cattle trade that decorate the tables and walls — hell, I have some of the same leashes, boots, and whips in my bedroom closet — but country music sucks raw eggs. IMHO, of course.
I change tables to take advantage of a window and keep reading. The floor staff opens the front doors to let some air blow through — a good idea because this is, after all, a steak house and meat farts are chokingly acrid — and go from table to table to tell diners that the register and credit card devices would be inoperable — can they pay cash? I wonder to myself what happens if they can’t. Maybe that’s where the leashes and whips come in.
But it becomes moot when after 15 minutes, power is restored.
I finish the article, the salad, the excellent coffee. I sit an extra moment to digest it all. I pay in cash, and out of respect for the house and its specialty, I deposit a farewell fart in the foyer on the way out. S.B.D. of course: I got class, and I respect other cultures.
Aaaah. It’s good to be back.