Saturday, June 21, 2008

The roach that brought down a restaurant.

Disclosure: I hate roaches. They're my Kryptonite.

The wife and I decided to check out a certain unnamed fine dining establishment in downtown Austin a few months ago. We rolled up on a Saturday night and the hostess informed us that there'd be about 15-20 minute wait. No problem, we grabbed a couple drinks at the bar and within about 10 minutes we were seated at a table for two along the wall.

Now, this restaurant is in what appears to be an old house. My spidey sense had me checking out the wall vent 12 inches from me and scoping out the bookcase that was along the wall behind my wife. I also made a mental note about a small ceiling tile that was ajar. Our server dropped off some bread, and we proceeded to look over the menu. The next time I look up from the menu I notice a large roach has crawled out from the hole in the ceiling. I flagged down a waiter (not ours) and let him know what was up. He goes into the kitchen area to get his gear or whatever while I wonder how he's going to get this thing without making a huge scene.

For reasons unknown I took my eye off the ball for a second. When I checked the ceiling again it was gone. I'm on DEFCON 1 at this point assuming it's jumped to the floor and is going to crawl up my leg*. The server I alerted had also re-emerged and was puzzled by the lack of roach. I had had enough fun at this point, but my wife wanted to finish her glass of wine. As she takes her last couple sips I notice her eyes get really big and she's looking at the wall next to me. The darn thing (or a friend/family member) had crawled up the wall, and was sitting 10" from me!

I hop out of my chair, and do a quick inventory of items at my disposal for roach killin'. My cloth napkin is pretty much my only choice. I smash it and ball it up in the napkin (I hope they use bleach when they wash those things). The waiter I had tipped off earlier comes by and collects the carcass, and then comes back with a couple new (unnecessary) napkins... We leave at this point.

So what do I see a couple days ago in the local newspaper? That restaurant is closing at the end of the month. The owner's claim is that cost increases are hurting business and they're going to reopen in a month or so as a Mexican restaurant. Personally, I think the story spread about my encounter and now they need to de-roach and re-brand to ramp up on diners.

* In 7th grade I was sitting in a computer class and a roach crawled up the teacher's leg. So my paranoia is not without precedent.


Anonymous said...

In 7th grade I threw an empty Coke bottle at a substitute teacher and many other unmentionables that I don't wish to post via the web at the present.

The sad part about this whole story is that you are a big dude!

John said...

You don't get to pick your neuroses, they pick you.

James said...

It's okay, even The Sopranos had a Big Pu$$y.