Something happened on Friday. Something that may haunt Patrick forever.
I don’t think he was in his right mind, really. He couldn’t have been. And I should have known it when I said, “If I don’t eat something soon I am going to tear off my own arm, dunk it in nacho cheese, and eat it,” and he replied, “I need steak. Let’s go to Texas Roadhouse.”
I was also apparently not in my right mind (please see arm/nacho cheese eating scenario above), because I said, “Um, ok.”
The thing is, we are not really Texas Roadhouse people. If we were on a TV show, we would walk into a place like Texas Roadhouse and there would be a record scratching sound and everybody would turn around to look at us. And also, everybody would for some reason talk like those old Pace Picante Sauce commercials where cowboys point out that inferior picante sauces are “made in Noo York City!” And then apparently there would be some sort of folksy cannibalism.
There was a fifteen minute wait for a table when we arrived at our local Texas Roadhouse. The first thing I noticed when we grabbed a spot in the waiting area was that we were the only people not wearing some sort of camouflage – everything from hunting jackets that may or may not have been scented with doe urine to a pink camo iPhone case, which I guess would come in handy when you need to Instagram a selfie from your Strawberry Shortcake themed duck blind, or because the people around you require a helpful reminder that you identify as a ~*~girlie girl ~*~. The second thing I noticed, as I watched Patrick pick through the giant barrel of peanuts trying to locate one that hadn’t been pawed at by a child whose hair was threatening to turn mullet, was that Patrick was becoming more imperious and haughty by the minute. This, by the way, is how Patrick deals with encounters of the heehaw kind – he morphs into a freaking Crane brother.
“Look! They have a jukebox!” I said, hoping to distract him until we were seated. “Maybe they have something that’s not complete crap!” And they did – I was happy to add a few classic tracks from Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, and Kitty Wells to the shitshow playlist of songs about trucks, white t-shirts, and sexually attractive farm equipment. Even Patrick perked up a bit. He even tried to add Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire to the playlist, but his finger slipped and he wound up requesting Take This Job and Shove It by Johnny Paycheck. So then he looked like this:
This continued until Take This Job And Shove It started playing over the restaurant’s sound system, at which point Patrick tried to disappear by employing the fail proof method of pulling his jacket over his head. And then, thankfully, our table became available. We had to snake through a phalanx of line dancing waiters, who were all wearing T-shirts that read “I love my job,” to get there. The T-shirts greatly concerned Patrick. “What kind of sadistic Texas gulag makes their employees wear T-shirts that say ‘I love my job?'” he asked. I think he was envisioning a scenario in which smooth talking Texas Roadhouse executives entranced gullible small town teens with promises of big tips and fast living, only to drug them, transport them to the nearest Texas Roadhouse, and chain them in the basement, only to emerge when attired in an “I love my job” T-shirt and forced to line dance ankle deep in peanut shells while flogging reasonably priced steaks to an unsuspecting public.
Sometimes, the line dancing waiters would sing. Birthday songs, mostly, that seemed to consist of listing various kinds of fried foods. And that kicked Patrick’s Acute Secondary Embarrassment Syndrome (ASES) into Defcon 3, Code Red levels of manifestation. He started trying to eat his fist.
On the way out the door, Patrick proclaimed, “We’re never coming here again!” and fired off a scathing Tweet at Texas Roadhouse.
“That was profoundly stupid,” I said. They’re going to see that and insist on ‘making it right,’ and then we’re going to be a trend piece on Gawker that inexplicably ends in shooting.”
“No, they won’t!” he said. “They’ll never see it!”
Oh. But they did. Yesterday. They want him to call them. And then they started following him on Twitter. His big plan right now is to ignore them and do nothing, but I really don’t think they’ll let it end there. I think they’re watching. Waiting. Planning the perfect moment for their attack. Planning the moment they’re going to make us….disappear. Dreaming of the moment we wake up, woozy and disoriented, on a nest of peanut shells, clad only in T-shirts reading “I love my job,” late for our first day at forced line dancing camp.