Saturday, July 2, 2011

Stuff Happens

As I look back on my life, I realize I have been affected more than my share by Murphy's know the adage, if something can go wrong, it will.  It must be due to my Irish heritage.  When I was young, I took it personally.  As I grew older, I was often piqued by circumstance.  Now as I round the bend squarely into middle age...I plan on living a long time; God and Murphy willing... when stuff happens, I make note and sometimes write a blog.

So as I relate a few of my recent brushes with Murphy's law, please note it is just an observation, not a criticism (well there may be a bit of criticism and all for humor's sake).  When Murphy strikes, I often think back to the scene from Forrest Gump...when he steps in a pile of dog droppings and calmly states, "It happens."...thus spawning the somewhat infamous bumper sticker, "$#!T Happens!"   Well it does.  Let me preface, I am the person for whom Murphy's law was written...if I need to be on time for something extremely important, I will be a few cars behind the truck that jack-knifes... go for a colonoscopy...they find and remove polyps...when given the task for ordering wine at a restaurant, I always pick the bottle from the list that they no longer have...I stand in line at an event and the person in front of me gets the know how it goes.  Darn you Murphy!

I have been told that I always pick the best meal off the menu and am often asked by others to make I am usually the last to order.  Last night, Bill and I went to one of the few restaurant chains I like, Legal Seafood.  I was excited to go because a very special menu item had reappeared after a few years absence.  I learned of the additon from the June Legal Seafood wine e-newsletter that I receive...and the topic was wines from Alsace and one my favorite meals ever was to be the selection for the wine pairing.  We hit the Legal down at the Burlington Mall.  The menu still had the insert for the Alsace event and the wood grilled trout with juniper scented choucroute (sauerkraut) was still featured!  I knew what I was having. But, just in case the June Alsace specials were was July 1, I knew I would like the fish and chips as my second choice.   Bill wasn't in the mood for trout  or fish and chips, so he asked me what I thought he might like.  There was a crab-stuffed flounder Florentine with spring pea ravioli that I thought might fit the Bill...yes, there is a pun intended there...when the waitress came for our order, I asked her if the trout was still available...she said of course that it was.  I was so happy I actually clapped my hands!  Then she looked at Bill and asked what he wanted...the flounder...she looked back at me and I could hardly believe I needed to say it, but I did enthusiastically order the trout. 

As we recounted our day and the 18 holes of golf we walked, it dawned on us that dinner was taking an awfully long time getting to the table.  Just as the thought popped into my head, the restaurant manager came to the table asking who had ordered the crab stuffed flounder...I pointed to Bill and he again asked, did we order the flounder and the choucroute...Bill said yes, and the manager said, that he was sorry to say they just ran out of it.  So presenting Bill with a menu, he asked him to make another selection and stepped away from the table...Bill looked at me and said, "I am not surprised that they ran out of something YOU picked."  I then replied, "Yeah, I am surprised its the flounder...that kind of thing happens to me all the time."  Bill then selected the wood grilled fish platter...very much to his taste, but not mine.  I like lighter white fish...swordfish, salmon and barramundi are not my favorites.  The order went in...our seafood sampler appetizer came out and all was right with the world again.  Our server cleared the dishes and we waited and waited and finally out came our dishes...a different server asked,"Who gets the grilled fish and who gets the flounder?"  Neither of us replied because we weren't sure of what we had just heard.  He asked again..."Who gets the wood grilled fish platter?"  Bill raised a finger.  "Here's your flounder. "  I said," I ordered the trout choucroute.  We were told you were out of the flounder."  MURPHY!!!!

The server took the flounder back to the kitchen.  Our original waitress came back to the table with the flounder, her apologizing and saying that it was the trout they were out of and I could have the flounder...I looked at Bill, who wanted the flounder, but who was now enjoying the salmon...which I do not care for and I agreed to take the flounder. I really didn't want flounder, but I was not asked if there was something else I would rather have...I guess our server,  1)  would rather not bring the flounder back to the kitchen and 2) assumed the late hour might mean I wouldn't want to wait any longer for food...but she never asked...she just placed the overly caper laden fish in front of me. fish and chips.  I like flounder.  I make a mean sole meuniere.  But when your heart is set upon one of the most memorable meals you've ever had...the flounder, well..meh.

Eventually, the manager returned to our table, apologizing for the mix up (he admits that he never said there was no trout)...seeing my picked over plate, asked me if I would rather have something else...I could keep the flounder and they would bring me something else...or perhaps we might save room for dessert or bring some dessert home...on the house of course...I just looked at him...I might have had a slight puss on...and finally he said, "And of course, we won't charge you for the dinner you didn't want".  At this point, I was no longer hungry.  As a matter of fact, I was feeling a little green in the gills.  I didn't want dessert, but the staff insisted that we order something since it would be free...I just wanted cappuccino (they wouldn't comp that), so Bill ordered some ice cream bon bons...their peace offering had been made and accepted. 

10 years ago, I probably would have made a stink and been really ticked off.  Last night, it was just what was...and of course I said to Bill that this is the stuff of blogs!  With age comes wisdom and patience.  I am still honing those attributes in my life...thanks to Murphy...but I also understand that in this world there are so many people who go without...who do without...who suffer and don't complain.  If Murphy needs to kick me in the butt now and again to remind me of all my blessings, then I'll take the hit and grow as a person...and perhaps tell a somewhat amusing  fish tale.

I am inspired to try and recreate the trout recipe from memory!  I'll let you know if Murphy comes to that dinner.


No comments:

Post a Comment