Wrong restaurant, wrong night


OK, so I made a mistake, big deal.  I just thought that it might be a good time to got some decent food in mass quantities...  
       In any case I was in the mood for ravioli or spaghetti, and my wife and I invited Zot and sane guy to join us -  which they agreed.  We met at Zot's place started to walk the few blocks down to eat.  On the corner of Buttles and Park (at the northeast corner of Goodale Park) someone honked at us and we turned to see that it was James, a friend of ours who I hadn't personally seen for at least two years.  We were very pleased to see him and yelled out to him to join us for dinner - he agreed and said he would meet us on the way.  After a few more minutes of walking he caught up with us and we chatted for a while, caught up on the past few years, Stefanie (my wife) checked him soundly on his marital status and current bliss level.  It was fairly standard conversation (by standard I mean at least twelve digs on my age by everyone there - including a rather pointed one by James asking if I'd managed to find any friends my own age yet...  I was mortified...) until we hit the brick sidewalks of the Arena District...  by that time I was starting to worry if it was a mistake to go there.
    Upon reaching the inner court, by Buca, James began stating loudly that he wished he were trendy.  I started to feel sick to my stomach but kept a good face on this. 
    Hey, I know that there are plenty of places to go where one cannot avoid the trendy, wanna-be people but sometimes I would just rather go someplace and enjoy my personal space and time without pointing out just how different I am from the people around me.  I don't walk into a restaurant and immediately ask for the gay section in a loud clear voice so as not to be misheard.  Sometimes I just want to eat a fucking plate of food without being alternative or 'different'...  anyway... 
    Buca Di Beppo is the kind of place where the atmosphere is sporadic at best...  some nights it can be very sedate and relaxing, while others can be very loud, boisterous and obnoxious.  I figured that, since it was the night of the U2 concert here in Columbus, it would be pretty sedate because most of the people would be at the concert.  This was a mistake.
     First off, if you've ever been to a Buca  you're aware of the decor of the place (cheesy Italian schlock) and attitudes of some of the people who serve there are far too fun loving for them to live - they either love their jobs or they are mind numbingly brainwashed.  I opt for the second but only as long as I can get decent food quickly.
    It only took a few minutes to get seated - despite the dizzying amount of loiterers on the front patio drinking beer before the concert.  We were escorted  quickly through the kitchen, past the David, Pope and Wine rooms, past the Frank Sinatra Shrine and into the Columbus room in the back. We were seated at a crescent moon booth facing the room and slid in warily. 
    The Server's name was Adam and we all hated him immediately.  He was fun loving, good looking, and blond... VERY blond.  His speech about Buca was very good, well rehearsed and completely unnecessary...  but he chattered on incessantly about the specials, the decor, and the fact that we couldn't see the menu (it was on the wall) from where we were seated - so we were welcome to wander the area and take in all of the pictures and articles on the walls.  The only picture any of us seemed interested one was behind Zot...  it was of Luciano Pavarotti looking rather evil.  
    Adam took our drink order and flitted off through the room looking for others to annoy while we discussed dinner.  By the time he returned to the table we were starved and starting to hate the people at the center table...  they began chanting when Adam and company brought their entrees.  Zot wielded his spoon as a weapon and threatened to kill them with it...  if they were quiet it would only last four hours...  if they were bad it would be upwards of fifteen hours...  they ignored him and continued chanting blissfully.
    I finished my first barrel-sized glass of tea and retreated into my thoughts.  This was obviously a mistake, Sane guy was glaring at me, telling me that I now owed them big time and would HAVE to be there for he and Zot's E2 party...  James was trying to get out of the booth, lighter in hand, in an effort to set off the fire alarm...  Zot was holding the large spoons in both hands and said something to me about 16 hours and counting...  Stefanie sat silently sipping her pink lemonade... she can be so soothing sometimes.
    Sane guy and James left the room when 'Mama Rosa' brought out a candelabra to the people at the center table and led the entire room (sans five people) in a rousing chorus of not only "happy birthday to you", but "you are my sunshine"....  I was really getting pissed at this point because we were STILL waiting on our appetizers.
    When the other waiter announced that none of the songs counted until someone sang in Italian- Zot went to the restroom...  I'd forgotten to warn him about it.  I was too busy thinking "Just shut the hell up and bring me my God Damn garlic bread!" as the very non-Italian waiter sang some operatic solo.  This guy obviously thought he could sing well and just had to show off....  where was my shotgun?
    Sane Guy and James returned from smoking outside, Zot returned from the Bathroom (a little Pale) and our appetizers arrived as Adam danced by with another candelabra to lead the center table in another song.  
    Zot's reaction to the bathroom was very simple: "The bathroom pictures are interesting but it's hard to take a piss when you have an erection."
    We laughed until we cried - all of us.
    The mental picture this painted was of Zot standing at a urinal, hands behind his head - and a large grin on his face.
    Adam brought dinner after another long wait and we were relieved when the people at the center tale left for the concert.  Dinner conversation sparked over the fact that James, a moral vegetarian, would eat no spaghetti because it had touched meat.  I was actually pissed that he hadn't told us this when we'd ordered it becuase I would have not ordered meatballs - but the ravioli was veggan so at least he could eat something.  Regardless Zot had mentioned that, as a moral vegetarian, would it be OK to eat meat as long as the creature was aware of the fact he would be eaten and didn't have a problem with it.  Zot asked if James would have  a problem with meat if it were ...  say...  cut from Zot's arm and served by Zot....  James didn't seem to have a problem with this...  sane guy began quoting the family guy and I chimed in hoping to kill the cannibalism conversation - I failed.
    Adam began singing again and I was actually grateful this time.
    I spent the rest of dinner simply filling my plate and then my mouth...  I also said that I would do them the favor of never inviting them back to Buca for dinner to which they thanked me. 
    After dinner we walked back to Zot's in the rain...  wrong night at the wrong restaurant...  I hate it when this shit happens...