Saturday night whilst in Virginia Beach Earl and I were walking the resort area looking for a place to eat. The last time we were there we ate at the Abbey Road something or other so we decided not to try that again. I’m not a big seafood person and being on the ocean and all, Virginia Beach has a lot to offer in the way of seafood. I was about to cave in and eat some scrod or whatever when we found Murphy’s Irish Pub. They used that celtic looking font and everything on the sign. We decided to give it a try.
We went entered Murphy’s the first thing we noticed was that Virginia still allows smoking in restaurants. I chuckle at the idea of “smoking” and “non-smoking” areas of buildings because if you really think about it, it’s like trying to have a “piss” and “no piss” section of a swimming pool. We kindly asked the hostess for a seat in the non-smoking section where she promptly took us to a different room and seated us at a very nice booth.
In the corner.
Next to a birthday party.
Where there were 30 people gathered around a very long table.
Said people were drunk.
The party was apparently for an older gentleman, I assuming grandfather or father, it was hard to gauge which due to the huge amount of makeup on the party attendees. I had the feeling that the guest of honour had no idea where he was, who he was or what was going on because he had a vacant, bewildered look on his face the entire time.
A little annoyed but somewhat amused by the activity around our table, (the hot waiter climbed over a woman to get to our table to ask us what we wanted to drink), I asked Earl if he saw anything good on the menu. He yelled “WHAT?” as he couldn’t hear a word I said. It was then that we just started talking really loudly. People didn’t care.
We finally got the dinner ordered and whatnot and were enjoying the loud atmosphere when a band came in. They announced that they were an Irish band and after a few announcements and a chorus of “Happy Birthday” for the bewildered man, they promptly started singing “Take Me Home, Country Roads”. Now I don’t know if this is a requirement on the other side of the Mason-Dixon Line or what, but this is where the entire restaurant took on this really weird vibe and everyone started singing along with the band with the same fervor, warmth and intensity that is usually reserved for “Ava Maria” or “God Bless America”. One of the smattering of drunk women at the table screamed out “I love the south” and started weeping.
I think I said “Sweet Jesus” and went back to eating my supper.
It was then that Earl and I decided to have a political discussion. As a child I was trained to NEVER discuss politics at the supper table so this was treading into some unfamiliar territory for me. I’m not the best debater in the room, mostly because my brain doesn’t properly communicate to my mouth the words I want to say and that’s why I usually resort to writing my feelings down. To have this political discussion amongst the yelling, squealing and weeping at the recognition of Country Roads, Earl and I had to yell at the top of our voice at each other. Even before we started disagreeing.
There seems to be a rumour that I am anti-American. This is not true. I am not anti-American. Not at all. I love the United States of America and I think it’s a beautiful place and I think that we have freedoms and liberties that I take for granted but would nonetheless find nowhere else. It’s the people that drive me insane lately as it seems the American People have gone cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs over the past decade or so. Yes, I believe that the government has become entirely too intrusive in our lives, that there is an unreasonable amount of mingling of church and state in progress and that for the most part politicians can’t be trusted because they’re no longer in it for the greater good. However, I think the foundation of our country is solid and is a brilliant piece of fluid work. I don’t convey my arguments well, I’m the first to admit that, so when Earl and I were screaming at each other about gay rights, war prisoners, universal health care and the economy, the discussion got a little heated.
But the party around us never missed a beat. The bewildered man posed for pictures with a lot of floppy breasted women that were screaming and throwing beer and crawling over chairs to get to one another. Somewhere there is a MySpace page with a lot of photos of this event.
And one particular photo with a set of bunny ears being held up behind one of the women by the Yankee in the corner.
When all was said and done, it was an amusing, intense and somewhat enjoyable dinner.