Everybody likes to go out for a meal once in a while. Maybe you’re sick of cooking, maybe you didn’t have time to get to the store, maybe you just burned the shit out of whatever you were making. The point is you find yourself about to step in to a place you may or may not be familiar with for the purpose of purchasing food, and possibly enjoying conversation with your companion(s). It’ll be a great time!
There’s one small hitch with this plan. Some damn addle-brained twit decided in a moment of utterly epic idiocy to hire a fucking minstrel.
Is there a factory churning these atonal, barely competent pseudo-pstrummers out? It’s always some slightly-underfed, facial-hair sporting jackass with a guitar that looks like it came from a late-night infomercial strumming the Greatest Hits Of Songs That Make People Kill over an amp that sounds like a microwave oven set to overload. If that description didn’t pop half a dozen examples of this fucking pod-creature into your head, I want to know where you eat. Is there a mold somewhere we can destroy? Some vat they’re grown in that could be poisoned? Whatever the source, I will happily take up arms to destroy it. Astute readers may have surmised by this point that LabRat and I were subjected to this torture yet again this evening. What’s worse, it came from a restaurant which had previously been noteworthy for its attempts to actually improve their service and food. This may not sound significant, but in Los Alamos it’s an outright miracle. Most places here consider “surly” to be more than adequate for the waitstaff, and cooked-to-order only means you have a decent chance at getting the entree you requested, cooked however the chef felt like. After a noble effort to learn the meaning of “medium rare,” this particular establishment opted to lure patrons in with promises of better-than-mediocre, only to fling a giant bucket of steaming shit at the dining room in the form of an inept bard.
Who in his or her right mind thinks hiring these creatures is a good idea? The miserable little fungus-creature abusing our eardrums with the three chords he learned from a bargain-bin “Teach Yourself ____________ While You Crap” manual invariably has a voice that could only sound good if used underwater. Preferably attempting to scream “Help help, I swear I’ll never play another note!” If you’re fortunate enough to ever hear one of these abominations unto music actually say something to that effect, do not be fooled! Keep your boot on top of its head until it has ceased twitching for at least two minutes! Our particular anti-entertainment this evening raised the bar though. Instead of simply being atonal, he made a very credible effort at being outright averbal as well. Between us, LabRat and I counted maybe two dozen actual words over the course of dinner. The rest was just garbled phonemes, seemingly random combinations of pseudo-consonants and half-formed vowels.
Sadly, this is not the worst part of things. One of LabRat’s least favorite songs is Neil Diamond’s “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon,” of which we were of course given a rendition. Personally, Neil ranges over the spectrum from “Am I in a Gitmo Torture Room?” to “Hey, that’s pretty damn good!”, but a lot of that hinges on the fact that Neil Diamond has that distinctive voice, as opposed to garbled off-key blitherings that sound like they’re coming from an acid-tripping raccoon with a high voltage electrical transformer. For most of the evening, the rest of the dining room had the good sense not to encourage the embarassment to his mother with applause. Unfortunately, no one threw anything at him either, but there was a large plant blocking my shot. After several further minutes of attempting to talk to LabRat, each side of the conversation consisting mostly of “What? I can’t hear you!” because it’s federal fucking law that if you’ve got an amp that sounds like a winch under load you damn well better turn that fucker up to 11 to compensate, a new family arrived. Of course, they had a baby with them, ’cause hey, let’s add actual screaming to the mix! Think we’ve hit bottom yet? Guess again, bucko.
The fucking kid made some happy noises after whatever his next song was supposed to be (I think the title was “How To Make Diners Attempt Suicide #897″) and the family started clapping. As the clapping died down, there came a moment of horror so perfect, so pure and clear that I could finally understand the oft abused literary device “I could feel my sanity slipping away.” The fucking kid spoke:
“Pway Cat in da Cwadle an’ Siver Spoon!”
I’m going to go see whether I can blast the horrible out of my head first with “Bark at the Moon,” “Cowboys from Hell,” and “The Dethalbum“, or if the neighbors will call the cops before the urge to stalk music shops with ballpeen hammers goes away.