My blog contains a large number of posts. A few are included in various other publications, or as attached stories and chronicles in my emails; many more are found on loose leaves, while some are written carelessly in margins and blank spaces of my notebooks. Of the last sort most are nonsense, now often unintelligible even when legible, or half-remembered fragments. Enjoy responsibly.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

To the Gentleman Eating the Steak Across From Me


I’ve been coming to this pub for several years now and have ordered that same Guinness and medium-rare steak more times than I care to count. I know Julie, your server, because I’ve given her rides home when her car was in the shop and when Dave, her husband, was sick. Yes, I know your precise predicament well. So please allow me to give you a couple bits of advice.

1. Slow down. From the sloppy clothes and both your casual lexical and careless syntactic elaboration of your speech, I could tell that you're not accustomed to eating a steak like that in an environment like this. That’s All right; we all had to start somewhere and this is a better place than most.

2. Actually taste the steak. You just paid $25 dollars for a hunk of meat that is now being shoveled carelessly into your gullet. So let me tell you about what you are eating. It is a steak cooked by, in my opinion, the best chef for a hundred miles. It is a hand-selected, aged, prime cut of organic meat that came from a cow that was slaughtered humanly in less than an hours drive from this very restaurant. It’s a good steak. When you take small cuts into your mouth, chew slowly and let the juices flow around your tongue. Feel how it gives back when your incisors cut through it? See how you instinctually roll the shredded meat back to your molars to finish the job - that’s 200 million years of mammalian evolution. You would be wise not to ignore the process. Savor every bite.

3. Enjoy the experience. You are obviously here for a reason. I personally don’t care if a good day or a bad day has fated you to be sitting across from me, but you are here and should try and take in everything that you can. The ambiance is excellent, the service is always superb, and the food never leaves me wanting. This is a place to let time move at your speed. Sip your Guinness and let the world bow to you, for tonight it is yours.

But right now you are still sitting across from me. Not following my untold advice. Not reading this letter that I’m writing instead of finishing the work that I came in here to do. Distracting me from my own Guinness. All I want to do is yell at you.

So for Mike’s sake, will you please stop wolfing down that perfectly good steak already!!!

Thank you,

Brian (the guy at the table across from you)

PS Make sure that you get the cheesecake for dessert - it’s wonderful

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