Enough chemicals for one night
By the time I returned from grocery shopping with Kat and Sean this afternoon, I was somewhere between light-headed and seriously low on blood sugar. A quick rummage in the fridge turned up real honest-to-goodness yogurt—the real kind, with fruit, sugar, and calories.
After I ate it, I settled down at my desk to fire off some emails. Jeff came in with a dinner idea, just as I was finishing giving Gareth the details he needed for a script I've been begging him to write for me. "Why not try the new Vietnamese place?" Jeff suggested. "Okay," I said. "Give me a sec, and let me finish giving Gareth the information he needs to write this script."
After that, a shave on Jeff's part and a momentary hunt for keys on my part, we headed out. We tiptoed into the restaurant an hour before they closed, and settled in at our side table in the mostly-deserted restaurant. A quick scan of the room indicated that Anglos were in the minority. (In Huntsville, this is usually a good sign; the blonde Anglo types tend to stick to the Americanized restaurants.)
Somewhere between the drinks, the appetizer, and the free-flowing conversation, my headache began to lift. With its absence came my curiosity—no, not the three fellows stuffing down pho as fast as they could cram it into their mouths—but, instead, the music.
You'd expect something at least vaguely-ethnic when eating at a Vietnamese restaurant, no?
Do orchestral versions of Beatles tunes count? What about orchestral versions of "Auld Lang Syne" and the theme from The Godfather?
I tried making sense of that while chomping on my appetizer. Didn't work very well. Not at all. Someone in Vietnam has apparently found a way to cross Barry Manilow, Paul McCartney, and James Horner, and the resulting combination is quite frightening.
When the waitress finally refilled our drinks, I found myself wanting to ask her to please ease up on the psychedelic ingredients in the pho. It's a good restaurant, I suppose; they have both ticklingly-warm and slightly-incendiary hot sauces available for the diners. I availed myself of both, and was eventually forced to admit to my spouse that maybe I'd overspiced mine a bit (the runny nose and watery eyes were a definite tip-off).
But the wafting, slightly-psychedelic music made it all better.
On the way home I found myself craving—of all things—coffee. Which I almost never crave. Since coming back from Arkansas, I've had a vacuum-sealed packet of Turkish coffee waiting for whenever my next coffee urge would be.
Not tonight, though; I think the wafting psychedelics and the capsaicin from the Vietnamese restaurant were enough chemicals for one night. If my craving coffee isn't enough of a sign, I don't know what is.