Gather round dear friends, for I have a story to tell. One of great horror and mediocre Italian food. The story is true, however the names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.
Richardo and Honoria were a quiet couple who spent many years not socializing. But, instead choosing to stay home and raise their 4 eclectic, genious and beautiful children. (cough cough)
As the children grew older, not needing their devoted parents as much as they once did, Richardo decided it was time to venture out into a social event he'd heard of called "couples date". One in which seemingly like minded people come together at a local eatery and discuss life in general.
Off they went to meet their friends Cassius, Brunhilda, and the young Alexander for dinner at the phenomenon known as The Olive Garden. Richardo and Honoria had ventured here before, with their own children years earlier. Experiencing long waits, high prices and mediocre foods and service. Not wanting to seem unfriendly, they go along with the plan set out by Cassius and his bride Brunhilda.
The wait outside to be seated was only 15 minutes longer than the 25 they were told. Allowing Brunhilda ample time to complain about how cold it was indoors everytime another patron came in or out of the building. The kindly old lady that called out patron's names was not left bored, as Cassius plied her with inappropriate jokes to pass the time.
After being seated by said little old lady, the wait for salads and breadsticks began. The group of 5 were met by the perky, young waitress named Peggy. Brunhilda was a regular at The Olive Garden and immediately refused to use the computer at the table to order her appetizers. Instead, insisting Peggy bring her some deep fried lasagna. This proved to be delicious and pleasing to all who sat among them. At that time, it was explained that bread sticks and salad were free and plentiful. But, as time went on it became apparent that dear Peggy had gone missing. Honoria became worried, her own dear daughter also waited tables and she knew how tiring it could be. Cassius assured her there was no need to worry, "She's probably in the cooler, getting some..." Insert crude gesture here.
Alas, Peggy did arrive with the missing food. Looking harried and heavily laden with the food of many tables. Dismayed by a disapproving Burnhilda's comments, Peggy felt obligated to appease her with another table's bread sticks. Richardo's suspicions were confirmed as he later over hears Peggy explaining to the next table she would leave the salad here and be right back with their bread sticks. This dismays Richardo greatly as he wishes no harm to others.
Once the orders are taken, the wait for main courses began. Here, it becomes readily apparent that Cassius and Brunhilda are unable to hold an adult conversation without making crude, sexually explicit jokes. Nearly. Every. Word. Spoken. Becomes foder for the juvenile brain.
Then comes the meal. Honoria digs in. Richardo is satisfied with his culinary choices. But, wait, something is amiss. Apparently, the devious chef has substituted the pasta in Brunhilda's Baked Ziti. Clearly this is not Ziti! This appears to be Rigatoni. What horror! What disgust! Peggy must immediately be repremanded for such an offense. How dare she try to pull this treachery over on Brunhilda! She has married into an Italian family by the name of Smith, therefore, she KNOWS her pasta! Peggy knows shes been caught. Fear is in her eyes, her body begins to shake. Immediately, she tries to cover her tracks by getting her manager.
The manager was clearly in on the conspiracy as well. Giving Brunhilda the unbelievable tale that the chef had, indeed, run out of Ziti. Just as Richardo had suggested. Inconceivable! Knowing their gig was up, the exhausted manager asks Brunhilda to please choose any other dish of her choosing. Free of charge. Meanwhile, bread sticks and Dr. Pepper begin to fill the table to overflowing in an attempt to appease the unhappy customer. Brunhilda, with death in her eyes, looks at the menu again. No! Nothing will do, she must have her Baked Ziti! Richardo and Honoria sit, stunned by what has been unfolded before them. They begin throwing out suggestions of alternative edible delights. After all, Brunhilda had partaken of the fried lasagna with vigor.
Nothing was good enough. Brunhilda demanded the first thing she had received to be brought to her again. Not even Peggy's offer of fried doughnuts could make her forget the betrayal. She sat there, depressed, pushing her food around on her plate. Knowing that her dinner out had been ruined by those around her, she notices that the quiet, young Alexander had not touched his dinner. "Eat, Alexander, we're almost ready to go home." "No," says Alexander, "it looks funny." Honoria takes a moment to look at his untouched meal of pepperoni pizza. It looked just like every other pepperoni pizza she had ever seen. The mystery continues. What brought on this strange behavior by the young Alexander? His parents may never know.
As with all good things, the evening came to an end. Richardo and Honoria ordered some Shrimp Parmesan to go for their beloved Etienne, whom stayed at home. It was a long drive home that night. Both, exhausted by the restraunt's obvious attempt to ruin everyone's evening. Later that evening, it was discovered that Etienne's Shrimp Parmesan was in fact, Chicken Parmesan. Drat! The devious chef got the final word!