Thursday, January 25, 2007

Pointing Out Ludicrosity (and at the same time, pointing out there's no such word)

In an effort to solidify my position among the revelers on Valentine's Day, (or Balumtime's Day, as Emily calls it) I called to make reservations at The Melting Pot.

I had an hunch this would begin to happen - restaurants now require CONTRACTS for dining.

First, they don't even offer their standard menu on Valentine's Day, only a steak/lobster 5-course meal. Second, the cost is 70 per person, with an automatic 20 percent gratuity, and... are you sitting down? You must pay for your meal at the signing of the contract. 100 percent up-front payment required, which is $168, not including drinks.

If you're 15 minutes late, or you have to cancel due to illness or death, you get NO refund and no food... once your card is charged, (which is the same day you sign the contract) you get nothing back. Not even the gratuity.

Believe me, I am not a tight-ass when it comes to dining. I like nicer restaurants, and it's not unusual to have 150 to 200 dollar tabs for a good meal now and then. But requiring a contract is too much... and paying in advance? HA. That'll be the day.

I do love the Melting Pot as a specialty destination... but I am incensed about their Valentine's Day policy. I wrote them an email to express that - and to cancel my reservation request.


At the coffee house where I go about 3 times a week, they know my first name. I know theirs. It's very cool.

And they get artistic with my Latte'. Enough for me to take this picture:

Matthew and Bob are the greatest, and I never have to sign a contract to get my coffee. What would life be without the simple pleasures?


The lottery is something I am really looking forward to winning someday. Maybe not even so much "looking forward," more of a "must-win" situation. I've made commitments that depend on it.

A group of friends were talking the other night about what we'd do if we won the lottery. The Powerball is up to 250 million now... so CLEARLY, we're all playing. Some of the interesting things we decided we'd do included:

1 - Buying the home on each side of someone who screwed you over. Allow trashy people to live there free, complete with a 1975 Camaro on blocks, non-mowed yard and loud, loud music.

2 - Hire an attorney to make someone miserable. An ex-spouse, for instance. A real Jekyl/Hyde person who had (hypothetically, of course) taken advantage of your generosity early in the relationship by letting you pay off all her debts from HER PREVIOUS MARRIAGE, her attorneys fees and mechanical bills, then screwed someone else while you were married, left you with all the debt and sued you for divorce, lied like a RUG in court about her income, your marriage and your pets, gotten the judge to believe her bullshit, and secured a judgment which would practically buy her a house that she didn't earn and furniture she didn't have to buy. (again, of course all hypothetical)

3 - Pay off mortgages of family and close friends. But don't just give them cash.

4 - Pay off all personal debt and invest every dime of the rest in a moderately aggressive fashion, and try to live off the interest earnings... which would be probably 5 to 10 million a year.

5 - Buy a property on the beach in Mexico, a property in the mountains and a place in between.

6 - Start a hobby business that will pay for itself and be personally fulfilling.
Did you notice that much of the ideas expressed among our friends involves revenge-like activity? I realize it's a waste of time and resources, but c'mon... don't you have at least one person you'd screw with a little?

What is the first thing you'd do if you won 250 mil?


Anonymous said...

I can't wrap my mind around a sum that huge. First thing that comes to mind is a new car, heh. Uh, for everyone I know! Yeah! That's a little better.

Seriously, a contract? Payment up front? That's nuts.

Next, you're going to have to sign a contract to play the lottery. One that states you will not use your winnings to screw other people ;)

Anonymous said...

"Balumtime's" Day is kind of like "rablioli." Thanks for not making fun...

Although I love the Melting Pot, too, I think that they are kind of asking their patrons to bend over and take it in the ass with the whole contract thing. I mean, how many people who go to the trouble of making dinner reservations for Valentine's end up cancelling them? I can't imagine that there are too many... We'll go to the Melting Pot another day.

Did they make that design in your latte on purpose? I thought it was maybe just one of those things.

You know, I think we both are aware that when we win the big one, we are going to be so happy that people who we resent won't even cross our minds. And, when those people get wind of our good fortune, their jealousy of our happiness will be the sweetest revenge.

Anonymous said...

1) We NEVER go out on Valentine's Day, for the exact reasons you mentioned. Hell, most of the time, we don't even remember it IS Valentine's Day.

2) I'm undermining Sparky's chances at having good grammar by teaching her to say Balentine's Day and libary. I know it's wrong, but it's so much fun to say them that way.

3) In regard to your #3, just remember that I've been a friend for a very long time and will expect prompt payment of my mortgage upon disbursement of your lottery winnings.

Anonymous said...

Your latte looks a bit like the Scottish rugby logo.

Anonymous said...

I'd do the debt payoff first, for myself and my fam/friends. Then buy a new house; one that is more efficient and doesn't have the washer and dryer OUTSIDE in the carport.

It might be obnoxious, but then I really would build an animal shelter. One that isn't just a concrete prison for furkids, but more like the Washington Animal Rescue League setup. This would be fun for me and finally give me a place to take all of the strays that find their way to my door at home and at work!

Then I'd take Greg to Italy and buy lots of clothes, jewelry, art and food.

Man, way to get my hopes up.

randommoments said...

1. Travel
2. Open my jewelry/fashion boutique so I can play for work
3. Pay off all my parents' debt so they can retire

I often dream of ways to take revenge on those who have wronged me. My favorite scenario is me dumping a million pounds of bird feed in their yard, on top of their cars and roof etc. Think about it.

Anonymous said...

Lucky for you, the winner is in MO, and the ticket was bought in St. LOuis. You may have to follow through with your promises!

GOod luck.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't me. Damn it.

BTW, we've done the Melting Pot on Valentine's Day thing before. It was good, but expensive and a lot of food.

Waiting between courses makes your body feel satiated. My the time they get to a wonderful dessert, it's time to puke.

Anonymous said...

Pay off all our debt.

Buy a house near the Ocean - so I have my own beach.

Donate some money here and there - and maybe my donation will help find a cure for cancers, etc.

S said...

I would pay all my bills and then send several thousand dollars to all the utility companies and tell them NOT to contact me again until my money ran out...

I also like the revenge idea.. I have a couple of people who I would ummm, find. And buy houses on either side of them, too!

Anonymous said...


i used to eat at the melting pot when i lived in chapel hill and durham, it...

that is crazy about the valentine's day stuff.

that holiday is always so stressful, no way around it. pressure, even if you tell eachother that it is not going to be, it is just existing, like steam in a steam room.

when i win big, i will:
1. get all debt PAID OFF :-)
2. take a fabulous vacation with some people that i really love
3. take a second vacation with some other people that i really love.
(i am way overdue)
4. figure out how to do what with my writing and get serious with it...i would like to make a the area of bipolar disorder.
5. take a photography class

that is enough for now... :-)

(it is fun to dream)

Anonymous said...

That's ridiculous. Though I too love the MP and we have done the full Big Shebang 4 course on several occasions... we now just skip the menu and go for dessert. How much fucking fondue can one take?!

All of that cheese and oil and chocolate... you wouldn't want V Day nookie anyways. You can't leave there without feeling like a beached whale. Try somewhere else...=)

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Dave, many good points. But I have to address the Melting Pot.

Fuck that shit!

Where do they get their balls? Non-refundable contracts? Imposed gratuities? What if the food sucks? What if the service sucks?

Fuck them. You know, I'm still trying to be OK with $5 coffee. I'm not ready for pre-dining contracts.

BDD, will you do your friend LBB a favor and cook the delightful Violet a romantic meal at home? Stick it to the man... and then to Violet.