Flashbacks

Brotherly Moments (Example #1)

Obviously I’m not very good at posting at a consistent rate. The last time I actually wrote something was over four months ago; I’m almost as bad as some of the Youtubers I watch.

However, I just read over More Than A Year and it brought to mind a recent event that I think would be nice to share with my zero readers. I do have this loose thought that someday I’ll be recognized enough that people will look to this blog and read over my posts from beginning to end in some sort of attempt to get to know everything they can about me. Yeah, right.

But back to the event I’m thinking about. L is in college and she has this journalism class that she’s pretty much failing due to her poor ability for making deadlines. She told me all about this a couple of weeks ago and I laughed at her for it. To make up her grade, she asked her professor for extra credit, who then told her that she had the option to do five projects to bring up her failing grade. One of those projects was to write a review for a restaurant.

If you haven’t already guessed it, I live in Las Vegas. L’s first thought was with food, but her second thought was to bring us all along with her to go eat that food together. My parents left to church on a Saturday around 6:00 PM and a little over an hour later, L, J, C, and I got dressed and left for the restaurant.

The reason I remembered this particular event from my previous blog post is because the restaurant we went to is Paymon’s, the same restaurant we went to for my 17th birthday. Originally, L wanted to go to Denny’s to write her review, but we told her to stop acting like we’re poor and can’t afford a real restaurant. The drive over to Paymon’s was hectic. J was driving on account of him having the best car ( a 2013 Ford Laramie) and some guy cut him off on the freeway, which prompted him to tailgate the guy and cut him off rather haphazardly just past Las Vegas Boulevard. We drove with the windows down, letting the wind hit our faces until they became numb. L and I played slug bug in the backseat the entire way, leading to a lot of cursing and angry punches.

When we finally arrived at Paymon’s, C  was let down on the fact that in order to enter their private hookah lounge, you needed to be at least 21 years old, and therefore none of us but her could enter. Let me clarify: C is 23, J is 20 (but he’ll be 21 in a week), L is 20, and I am 18. Once we entered the restaurant, we were seated towards the middle of the eating area.

One of the unique characteristics of Paymon’s is that it has dim lighting. However, where we were seated, there was barely any lighting at all. We took our seats and stared at our menus with squinted eyes. L had it worst off because the restaurant is divided down the middle by a row of plants with a tree at each end. They are actual trees growing from giant pots, another unique characteristic. But the point is that L could not see anything while C and I at least had the slight lighting from the chandelier hanging over the booth behind us.

This made for a lot of complaining from her about how dark it was and how she couldn’t see her menu. J had gone to the restroom and when he returned, he said the same thing. He was looking down at his menu angrily, muttering about how he would need to take his cellphone out to see it, when a waiter passed us by. I was the only one who noticed, but I didn’t really pay attention to it because I found it so funny that they couldn’t see the menus. L pulled out her phone and tried to use it to light up her menu, failing because she always has it on its dimmest setting. It was then that the waiter who had just passed by suddenly appeared next to me and held a small, silver flashlight out over our table, offering it to my brother. We all looked up, startled, then we suppressed the urge to laugh as J accepted the flashlight and aimed the beam at his menu.

Once the waiter left, we laughed. We thought nothing could be more embarrassing. We were wrong.

During our previous visits to Paymon’s, we ordered an appetizer called the Athens fries. If you ever find yourself at Paymon’s here in Las Vegas, order those fries. They are delicious. But the point of the matter is that we’re all pretty big in size and we usually order two for the four of us. When the waiter came back with our drinks and asked us if we were ready to order, we ordered our main courses and asked for the Athens fries. J, though, forgot how many plates we usually get of the fries so he asked the waiter for his opinion on how many we should get. The waiter has a name, but for privacy purposes, we’ll call him Matt. So Matt looked at my brother with raised eyebrows, not wanting to answer his question. We waited patiently, curious to see if he’d actually answer it. Then my brother smiled and shook his head before saying that two was fine because otherwise it wouldn’t be sufficient.

C asked if she could keep one of the menus because we discovered teas on the back page that we wanted to take a second look at. Matt left once again and we were left to ourselves. We complained to one another about the order thing because L was vehement on the fact that we always order two plates and that if she had known J was going to ask that question, she would have gladly put aside any doubts he might have had before Matt came up to take our orders.

Matt returned a short while later with our fries and we thanked him. It was then that the third embarrassing moment of the night occurred. We had debated the tea thing and every single one of us wanted one. C, L, and I each got the same one, and J wanted the Ginger Peach tea they offered. Matt wrote down three teas, then asked J which one he wanted. He hadn’t known the name of the tea, just the main ingredients that L had recited to him, so he turned to C and L for the name. C was holding the menu and she looked down at it to find the name, but she didn’t know which one it was. L then told her it was the one that had peach and ginger in it. They literally could not find it. Matt glanced down at the menu after C kept repeating that it was the one with peach and ginger in it, and pointed at a name down at the bottom. “The Ginger Peach tea?” he asked. And I couldn’t help it. A soft laugh escaped my lips before I could stop myself and he did the same thing.

After Matt left, we dug into those wonderfully delicious fries. Now, since we had arrived, I’d been suppressing the urge to go to the restroom, but I just couldn’t hold it anymore. So I went to use the facilities and did a makeup check while I was in there. When I returned to our table, two waitresses had appeared with our food. They were both crowded around my seat, but there was a small space through which I was sure I could squeeze through and sit down. I did not expect the second waitress to move, though. We both moved towards the table at the same time and she apologized, letting me go through to my seat. Just as I was going to sit, the first waitress set L’s plate down and so her arm got in my way. In order to avoid hitting her, I squatted until I was in a sitting position, then edged my way onto my chair. I think I pulled something.

We started eating, the table pretty crowded from all these plates. Matt came back with our teas. We thought they were going to be these simple little teacups, but we were wrong. Each of us got our own little teapot about the size of a softball on an oval plate that came with a small teacup and a plastic carton of honey. It was adorable, but four of these things take up a lot of space. Our table was practically overflowing from all the dishware it hosted.

The tea was delicious, though.

When we finished our meal, we stayed seated drinking our tea. Overall, it was a nice experience, sitting there and talking about…wait, no, we complained a lot about our parents, actually.

Anyway, the bill at Paymon’s comes in that standard little pocketbook with the receipt and a place to put your credit card or cash. They also have this little card which you can mark up to review the service you received. This little card has three columns, one for bad, one for average, and one for good, to grade different aspects of their establishment and the food and the service. J filled it out. He added an entire column which he named ‘Superb’, checking every single box except the pricing, which he had marked as ‘Average’. A small section at the bottom has three lines where you can leave comments. His comment: “It’s as dark as my soul in here, but the flashlight helped.” On the back, C added: “Your staff has good hearing! Thanks for excusing our social awkwardness!” which might or might not have been a direct quote from me.

After that, we left. It was a nice end to a nice night. Except for the fact that on our way home, C looked out her window in the passenger seat to the truck next to us and said, “Hey, J, that kid has the same-” before cutting off and looking back at J in a panic. I didn’t understand her reaction until I looked at J in the rear view mirror to see that he had his eyes looking decidedly forward and he was gripping the steering wheel pretty tightly in his hands. When we looked back at the kid in the other truck-who looked to be the same age as J-he was doing the same. When the light at the stoplight turned green, both trucks shot off like bullets.

Boys are dumb.

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