The Twilight Zone

In the many many months (years?) since we’ve been frequenting a certain establishment each Thursday after Ceroc dance class, we’ve had many entertaining evenings. Well, alright, granted we’re easily amused but it’s just as well we are or else we might have just given up and decided early nights were a better option long ago! And, as I’ve said before, at 11pm on a Thursday night unless you want to go to a pub or club, it’s not like there’s a heckuva lot of options round here for a place to grab a snack and a drink.

So we’ve had some issues with bananas in the past. Like the ‘real’ banana in the banana smoothie – oops! Make that a ‘shake’ coz they don’t do ‘smoothies’, hence the request to blend a real banana into the concoction of milk and banana essence and pay $1 more and effectively have a smoothie…even though they don’t do smoothies. And we’ve had the not-so-smooth smoothie/shake, where the real banana was left whole and dumped in with the milk and banana essence, making for a rather interesting reaction at our table when our unsuspecting friend tried to slurp it up through his straw. We’ve had the limp vegetables – and not in a good way. We’ve had the root vegetables that were green – and not in a good way. We’ve had the hot water served in glasses, cups, soup tureens and tea-pots. And we’ve had the orders that didn’t turn up except for on the bill.

Yes, the service is sporadic and the quality of the meals often the same, but hey, when you’re with a great bunch of friends who’re just wanting to chill it’s all good.

Which is why we keep coming back and putting up with it all. Besides, didn’t some famous person say, “The only thing that makes a perfect meal at a perfect restaurant even better is when some tiny little thing goes wrong…so you can enjoy complaining about it for the next century!” (Or something to that effect.)

So we’re sitting at our normal tables down the back, having fought to get them this particular evening because ‘they’ didn’t want us to sit there because then they’d have to walk down the back of the restaurant to clean the tables. Huh? Well, that’s what we were told! But anyway, in the end we prevailed because we’re such good customers and we’re there, sitting at the same tables like every freaking Thursday! And halfway through our meals the light fitting starts to drip. With water. Like… a lot of water. Which is kinda entertaining and kinda scary! So a glass is ceremonially placed on the carpet to catch the drips…which rapidly become more than just drips.

Of course we alert the staff to the problem. And they ignore it. Must have been a busy night or something. Yeah. Riiiiiight. More like ‘or something!’

By this time, we’re getting concerned enough to insist one of our friends, who’s sitting quite close to this stream of water, move to the other side of the table. Coz, like, the ceiling panel is bulging!

He moves. He leaves his plate because he’s finished his meal…luckily, as it turns out. Not two minutes after he moves, the ceiling panel comes crashing down and the light fighting pops off and lands in his plate!

Silence in the restaurant. We burst out laughing – half shock, half amusement. The rest of the patrons laugh with us. The staff remain conspicuously absent.

About ten minutes later, a staff member decides to check no-one’s died. We point out the now not-so-little problem – again! The air conditioning duct in the ceiling is still leaking water everywhere. The ceiling panel’s still on the floor. A light is hanging by a wire. The rest of the light is still sitting in the plate on the table. Hmmmm. He climbs a ladder and seems set on poking round in the ceiling. We respectfully point out he might prefer to switch the power off first, since there’s, yanno, live electrical fittings up there!!!! Rather than find us another table to move to, he mooches off and…still no-one has asked whether anyone was hurt, despite the rather obvious light-fitting-sitting-in-the-middle-of-patron’s-plate scenario.

Bad enough yet? You’d think so. I mean, lucky this is New Zealand and we don’t sue people…yet.

But wait. There’s more. (Isn’t there always?)

After we’ve pretended to be reporters at the scene and taken a few cell-phone video clips just for fun – I told you we were easily entertained! And who knows, this could be big news! Hey, it’s New Zealand, this IS big news! – we decide it’s time to put the staff out of their misery, pay the bill and go home.

The staff member behind the cash register apologises for the fright we got when the ceiling panel did its swan-dive…and then ruins it with a big ole ‘but’. As in, “But I told you not to sit there!”

As an apology, that pretty much took the cake – which is actually quite relevant in this case because MY chocolate mudcake did not actually arrive but you guessed it: it was on the bill! But of course that little problem aside, we had much more interesting dilemmas to concern ourselves with. Like, OMG! Was the waitress like, psychic? Did she know the panel was gonna get so weighed down with water from the aircon duct, it’d fall down and a light fitting was gonna practically fall on someone’s head? Is that why she didn’t want us sitting down the back of the restaurant????

Nananana nananana…. Welcome to the Twilight Zone. Or as they say downunder: “Ooooh! Spooky, possums!” Goodness, it was so exciting I could barely wait to tell my hubby all about it when I woke up next morning.

So will we risk life and limb by returning to this particular establishment?

You betcha!

And hey, we did finally get an apology…even if it was a pretty sucky one!

Stay tuned for the next installment in the Thursday night adventures of a group of intrepid Ceroc dancers. Whatever the future has in store for us at this ‘particular establishment’ it’s sure to be entertaining.



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