The other night my in-laws let me tag along to Red Lobster in order to celebrate Pops’ 60th birthday. Now, if you’ve read any of the previous posts that populate this blog, you know that it’s probably not a great idea to take me anywhere public. I hit my head on things, stare into space, meander into the kitchen. Red Lobster was no exception. I’m always fascinated by nautical fare, even if it’s just the plumbing department at Home Depot, or the restrooms at the Cleveland Greyhound Depot. Opening the specials menu to the very middle, I found just what my heart desired: Captain Fibrillation’s Feast (“Arrrr! Man the fryers laddy! Thare’s clogged arteries a brewin’!”). I ended up opting for the combination platter in which several items (the soup and salad) weren’t immersed in boiling oil (“Arrr! Fries and keep ‘em comin’!”).
One thing that I couldn’t help but notice as I piled on the calories (all beneficial, naturally) was that we were seated in front of the mean fish tank. These were species that look like they’d been rejected from Chrysler ads for being too Detroit. Some were missing fins, others had glass eyes and knife scars. Then there were the residents at the top of the tank. I banged on the glass with my emptied, shiny- with-grease plate to wake them up. Nope. They’d gone to the Great Hereafter (which I hope for their sake isn’t decorated like a Red Lobster dining room.) My two-year-old nephew climbed atop a chair and pointed to the fish. He didn’t care if they were grizzled old restaurant fish. “Fitties Seep?” he’d ask and some polite server would walk by and joke “They ain’t sleeping.” All in all, the evening was fun, and I’m thankful I got to go with my wife’s Pops for his birthday. ‘Can’t wait until my birthday!