CNPS numbers spotted 7 (860).
I ate in a fairly swanky Italian restaurant with a friend tonight. Despite it being fairly swanky, it was also Italian which meant that the waiters had arranged for a crappy portable TV to be placed in the room so they could watch the football.
I thought this was a little bit off - it was after all a fairly swanky restaurant - but at least it gave us the authentic Italian experience. "This is what it would be like if we were in Italy now," I reassured my companion. She was not so impressed. She thought I'd chosen to come here because I secretly wanted to watch the football. She obviously didn't realise that I was doing two gigs this week, both on the nights of England games. Though now I've been to this restaurant I might just put a little portable TV in the corner of my gig on Thursday so we can all keep up with what's going on.
There was a waitress also working in the restaurant, but I hadn't seen her there before and I had a feeling that she was only employed this evening so that the men would have more time to watch the football. She certainly didn't seem to have any idea what she was doing. Satisfyingly this meant that one of the men had to always come to the table and rectify her mistakes anyway. Which is one in the eye for men who like football and a victory for all women who hate it.
The mood in the restaurant was low to begin with, Italy were losing when we arrived, but an equaliser in the second half gave the waiters some hope. Then Italy were ahead and there was a cheer, but bad news came from the other game where a 2-2 draw meant that Italy couldn't qualify whatever happened. The service became very poor at this point. It's a shame. I'm sure there would have been free drinks for everyone if they'd got through. But then it is nice for the Italians to have to experience the disappointment of defeat, something they have done many times on the battle-field but rarely on the football pitch. We in England have the opposite experience, though I suspect many people would prefer it if it was the other way round.
Service was included in the bill and I considered taking it off, but then that would be kicking men when they were down. Though both at this restaurant and the wine bar we were at before, even though the service was included in the bill, there was a space on the credit card slip to add some more. I think this is wrong and that the establishments are trying to trick you into tipping twice in the hope you haven't noticed that your tip is on the bill. C'mon Tony Blairs, it's time you made a law to stop this despicable practice.
See how I have changed in just two days, from a parachuting hero to a whingeing old man. I need more excitement.
Luckily I am walking on burning coals tomorrow.