Connect Four, Bitch!
One of the characteristics of my area of Los Angeles (referred to derisively as the Inland Empire--IE--or The 909) is the less-than-mediocre level of customer service one finds at the neighborhood venues. I established this fact along ago during a brief 6-month stint in the area and am still unable to come up with a valid reason for it. Perhaps it is just growing pains, these pre-fabricated cities rising from nothingness and somehow civilization is playing catch up.
Fortunately, I am "at peace" and yesterday handled back-to-back incidents with aplomb. First, I went to pick up my dry cleaning. I've been happy with the place, one I chose because of its close proximity to my apartment. I'm picky about dry cleaners, as I am with my clothes, and have had to change my patronage on many occasions in the past due to what I consider sub-standard care. Like the place that actually used a black grease pencil to write my name on my shirts, which is not so cool when it's a white shirt and I wear it untucked. Or the place that thought "light starch" meant treating the shirt so it could stand unaided. But, until yesterday, I hadn't had any problems with the new joint. AJ likes it too because the guy lets him work the buttons and gives him candy.
Yesterday's mistake, however, is unforgivable and I will be finding a new place to launder my garments. My pile of shirts contained one that did not belong to me, which wouldn't be so terrible if one of mine wasn't also missing. My favorite shirt, to be exact. Yes, they found it, with my extensive help, but I can't run the risk of that happening again. We're talking about sacred stuff here. Handle with care and all that. I feel violated. As if someone broke into my walk-in closet and re-arranged my clothes, putting shirts with pants and blues with browns. Just thinking about it gives me the shivers.
Then it was off to a local "Restaurant and Sports Bar." I've never been to this establishment, but the refrigerator was a little thin and I didn't feel like cooking, so AJ and I made our way over. We arrived a little before 7 and I took note of the five TVs in the dining room and how they were all showing the same game--Tribe/Sawx. I ordered a Fat Tire and a Sicilian pizza and asked a passing hostess if it would be possible to change one of the TVs to A's/Angels since, you know, this IS Los Angeles and the local team IS playing a rival for first place in the division. She said sure, she'd tell the manager. Twenty minutes later, I was still looking at Tribe/Sawx on all five TVs and I politely inquired again. The hostess provided a lame excuse, which I interpreted as "I forgot," but immediately promised to get it done. By the time AJ and I had finished our meal, I was watching Baseball Tonight on five TVs, the Sawx having Ortizzled the Tribe. When the waitress came by with a box, I asked to see the manager.
I might have mentioned previously how I am trying to be more assertive and I'm happy to report this is the first time I've ever asked to see a restaurant manager. She arrived and I--again, politely--explained what had happened and that perhaps a SPORTS BAR in LOS ANGELES might be aware of when the local teams are playing and automatically have them on a couple screens, especially at the head of the season's home stretch and even more especially since the winner of this particular game would be in first place. I then opined that the manager of a SPORTS BAR in LOS ANGELES would probably want to be even more sensitive to showing the game WHEN A CUSTOMER SPECIFICALLY ASKS FOR IT.
I told her that this was my first time in their establishment, that I came, in part, to watch the game and that I would not be coming back. She comped us anyway (Free Beer!) and even threw in a desert for AJ. Assertiveness is cool.
And then we went home to watch the A's beat those stupid Angels. I've said all along, the only thing this A's club has lacked is a sociopath. With Milton Bradley, they're finally complete.
Also be sure to refresh often today over at Pauly's House for all the up close and personal tales of poker action during Day 2A of the Main Event, featuring bloggers Ryan and Tuscaloosa Johnny.
Also check out the Poker Stars Blog where some of my--and your--favorite writers are pounding out some excellent work, though with fewer pictures of hot chicks than Pauly.