Monday, March 13, 2006

slice me off another slab of beef, boys...

After my Nonie died, my grandfather (Da) reconnected with an old lady friend who happened to be widowed herself. For 10 years, they were “together.” I don’t really know the parameters of their relationship, but Joanne O. became a big part of our family and like a second grandmother to me. Joanne’s grandson, Man on the Inside, felt the same way about Da, possessing an intense appreciation for my incredibly wonderful and quirky grandfather. Both Joanne O. and Da have since passed away, and MOI and I have maintained a tradition of celebrating them with family dinners every few months. These dinners can only take place at restaurants Da and Joanne frequented and MOI always orders Da’s drink, a Bourbon and Seven.
After Da passed away, I was going through his things and found a fabulous Polaroid of him and Joanne, neatly fit in a House of Prime Rib paper frame. I treasured this Polaroid and kept it taped to my fridge. When MOI was shipped off to war in the Middle East, I gave him the Polaroid for good luck. The Polaroid has, needless to say, disappeared, and while MOI claims to have it “somewhere,” I’ve been desperate for a present day replacement.
Normally, our Da and Joanne dinners take place at Liverpool Lil’s, however MOI refuses to dine there after an unfortunate run-in with some bad Beef Wellington. This was my chance for a Polaroid. “Hey, what about the House of Prime Rib?”
“Reservations for 6. I’m on it.”
I was slightly worried the free Polaroid in the paper frame was a thing of the past, and I mentioned my concern to the family as we sat in the bar waiting to be seated. “Well just ask.”
“I don’t want to ask.” I whined. “That’s dorky.”
What if the Polaroid costs a fortune? What if they don’t make the frames anymore? What if I die without my House of Prime Rib Polaroid?
An adorable man in a suit came over to seat us, asking for MOI and his party. Suddenly, he exclaimed, “Spotswoods?!?”
“Um, oh my god. Evan from kindergarten is the maitre’d at The House of Prime Rib.”
Screams, hugs, handshakes.
I silently thought to myself, “Yes! Polaroid, here I come.”
Evan put us at a fabulous table and introduced us to our server, Becky, who was hilarious. MOI leaned over, in all seriousness. “You think I’m a Man on the Inside? That Evan guy’s running the front of the House of Prime Rib. Talk about Man on the Inside.”
“Really?”
“Uh, yeah Beth. That guy’s connected.”
I think MOI has an unhealthy reverence for old time San Francisco, red-meat mafia joints, but I’m delighted to have such an in. I spotted Becky out of the corner of my eye, Polaroid camera in hand.
“The Polaroid!” I screamed. I called Becky over and explained the long history of Da and Joanne O.
“Oh my god, that’s the cutest story I’ve ever heard. I love it. We’re doing a photo shoot.”
“Folks.” I announced. “Fix your hair. My dream is becoming a reality…”

1 comment:

Sunset Boy said...

awesome
BEN