Living Retired — ‘What’s For Dinner?’
Living Retired — “What’s For Dinner?”
By Gary Chalk
Jan and I have reached the end of our basting brush!
Two long years of Covid Couple Confinement trying to dream up interesting meals to make for dinner every night has, well, taken a bite out of our relationship.
We have pigged out on pulled pork prepared in the instant pot, wolfed-down ribeye steaks sous vide, chowed on crockpot chicken cacciatore, and binged on sheet pan Szechuan chicken with glazed Brussels sprouts.
“Jan, I have searched through the entire internet looking for recipes. The only recipes left include tofu! I’d rather have nofu than eat tofu!”
“Gary, lets make a reservation to go to a nice restaurant where waiters with menus will treat us royally?”
“Well okay, just as long as the waiter does not stand on top of a chair waving a white table linen at the smoke alarm. I’m not going to tip someone to do what we do at home every night.”
The next night we arrived at the restaurant. “Welcome. We need to see your proof of vaccination and photo ID.”
My proof of vaccination is on my iPhone filed in ‘Photos.’
“Jan, my glasses are all steamed up! I can’t find the ‘Photos’ icon on my iPhone.”
Five minutes passed. The line of diners stretches out the door. They are becoming restless as I scroll through thousands of photos on my iPhone looking for my proof of vaccination. Damn it is in here somewhere! I have photos of me crawling underneath the dining room table smacking my head trying to find missing jigsaw puzzle pieces, the selfie I took with a red sticky overtop my left eye before they took me into the operating room for cataract surgery, and numerous grainy photographs of, well, nothing taken when I sat down with my iPhone in my back pocket!
Finally! I found my proof of vaccination. Then, I fumbled through my wallet for my photo ID — my drivers license. The restaurant host quickly glanced at the photograph and double over in laughter!
At the table the waiter introduced himself: “Hi. I am Cory. I’ll be your waiter tonight.” (I thought to myself: I am seated at a steak house, you are wearing a floor-length white apron, you have a notebook tucked in your apron string, and a corkscrew— and you tell me you you’re going to be my waiter? And all along I thought you were a Rotor-Rooter technician!)
If you think I had difficulties using my iPhone to enter the restaurant — well that was just the beginning. The Covid Cops disposed with paper menus. Now to see a menu you hover your iPhone overtop a ‘QR Code’ — which looks like the black and white blob your grandchildren painted that is taped on your refrigerator door. I knew right away that I was going to be in a pickle trying to order my meal.
“Gary, simmer down. We can order using my iPhone.”
“Jan, what happened to Cory the guy who said he’d be our waiter tonight? He’s been replaced by a QR Code?”
“Gary, Cory will be back soon to make sure we connected to the restaurant menu and if we have any questions.”
“Yeah, I’ve got a question: “Cory bring me a real menu with dried chipotle sauce stains on it. That’s part of the ambiance at a restaurant! What kind of half-baked idea is an online menu?”
We were enjoying our meal. “Jan, please call my iPhone.”
“Gary, why on earth would I call your iPhone? You are sitting maybe two feet in front of me?”
“Dear, I’d like to order another glass of wine but I need to find my iPhone so I can find the QR Code. I also can’t find my glasses and keys — but they can wait until later.”
Cory did show up asking that question every waiter asks, “So, are we enjoying the first few bites?”
“Cory, do you mean bites of food? Or the number of bytes my iPhone chewed up ordering my seafood linguini?”
At the end of the night Cory brought our bill. He had pencilled a happy face below his name. Or maybe it was Rotor-Rooter plumbers wrench!
In the restaurant business here’s hoping the QR Code menu thing is a flash in the pan.