7 Blog

Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

Rod Serling showed his face at Applebee’s

My brother and I had an interesting dinner at Applebee's the other night. We'd just gotten out of a 5 p.m. movie ("This Is the End": don't ask) and were looking for something to eat. "What do you want?" I asked, to which my brother replied, "Something with meat and vegetables."

To which I thought, "That means steak."

Trouble is, we're talking about just before 7 on a Saturday evening. But as I was driving east on 29th, I saw the Applebee's sign, thought "why not?" and drove through the parking lot to see it it was crowded. It wasn't, so we went inside and got seated right away.

Our server was attentive, if not overly prompt (it was fairly busy, if not packed), but the specials looked tasty enough and well within our price guidelines. So we ordered "bottomless" lemonades and waited.

Pretty soon a guy was at our table asking if we knew the score to the Mariners game. I looked it up on my phone and then listened as the guy went on about this being his 68th birthday and he was there with his family and Felix Hernandez was a helluva pitcher and … you get the idea. Friendly. In a small-town, neighborly kind of way. Something I'm neither used to or particularly comfortable with. But I can pretend politeness with the best of them.

Then they sat another guy, alone, at a nearby table. He was carrying a Clive Cussler novel, started downing glasses of red wine, never made eye contact with anyone but his server and kept his eye on the hockey game playing on one of the many overhead TVs. And then, for reasons I still don't understand, he started chanting — about every three minutes or so — "Mo-HEEEEEE-toh!"

Uh, OK. Our meals came, they were better than bland. We ate as quickly as we could. Skipped dessert. And we exited. And I swear the last thing I heard as we passed through the doors was — "Mo-HEEEEEE-toh!"

That was my Saturday night. How was yours?