Josh (jmcada, you know, the Perlcast guy) and his wife just moved to town, so I thought I'd impress them by showing them where Chicago pizza was born. Josh tells me their bad luck, so I should blame them for all I'm about to tell you about, but in abridged form because I still have work to do tonight.
Pizzeria Uno is a big draw. That's not Numero Uno: it's the thing everyone else copied. It's the root of the tree. It doesn't take reservations, seats about 50, and it takes an hour to get your food but that's okay because it takes an hour to get a table.
No matter. It's an event. We were having a good time talking (and not even about Perl). The pizza is worth it.
We finally get our table, and as Josh and his wife are sitting in the booth I go up to the bar to get a Coke (but, "Pepsi, no Coke"). I was tired of waiting for the waitress. While I'm doing that, I hear my name. The waitress is at our table saying my name very loudly. I walk up to her and say "I'm brian." and she says "I'm not talking to you" as she turns back to Josh and says "Who's Brian?" It gets a bit more involved than that, so I finally put on my command voice and say "Look, here's what's going to happen. We're going to order some food, you're going to take our order, and all of our food is going to come to this table." She goes on "Where am supposed to bring the pizzas for Brian?" I repeat "Bring them to this table."
Apparently, before I got there, she was talking some nonsense about how we weren't here when we were supposed to be here, yadda yadda yadda. The pizza order is all messed up and they'll have to redo them. Sure, whatever. When you have them, bring them to our table.
It's not exactly the way I like to act in front of people I just met (that is, Josh's wife), but then I forgot that you don't cross Southern women. They will eat you alive.
No problem. We sort out that and we're moving forward. Except, everytime we get our Pepsis (not Cokes), they're flat. Flat like they've been sitting out for a while. We take turns taking them up to the bar to exchange them because we get tired of waiting for the waitress to come back. All she really does is ignore us and mumble anyway.
We start to openly talk about who's going to get to talk to the manager. It's almost like fighting over the last peice of cake or who gets the new laptop. We're turning into a pack of dogs.
It's my turn to exchange the drinks, so I flag by a manager-looking guy. He's not the manager though, so he goes to find her. I'm still waiting at the bar because the bartender is gone. I ask the hostess to get the manager. "Is anything wrong?" she asks. "Many things are wrong", I say.
It takes a while for the manager to find us, but she introduces herself nicely and I introduce myself nicely and explain how I have these out-of-town friends and I wanted to impress them so I brought them here, how we had to wait an excessively long time, that our drinks are flat, and so on. She apologizes and asks how the food is. A normal person might say "It's fine", but why let them off the hook? "It's not as good as it usually is." I say, adding "We're just wondering how much of this is going to be free." Apparently, all of it. Yay for our side.
You know. Free as in pizza.
Welcome to Chicago Josh.