Our friend Lee Riggs plays flute and whistle in a 5-person Celtic group called Riggity Jig. They've been together for nearly 15 years and are well known at various gatherings around this area.
A couple of years ago, we got an announcement that they would be playing at Little Prague Restaurant here in Davis for St Patrick's day (not quite sure what Ireland and Czechoslovakia have in common, but music is the great leveler, I guess!).
We went and had a great dinner and a great time. The group played outside and we sat at a table near an open fire, tapped our feet, took pictures and video and just enjoyed the Irish music that we love so much.
They are at Little Prague every year on St. Patrick's day, but this was the first year that we had the opportunity to go again. Reservations were recommended, so I called ahead and made a reservation for 6:30 and asked if we could be outdoors again, so we could hear the music better.
The man taking the reservations said they weren't sure if the band would be outside or inside and I said that I really didn't care where we sat,but that we were coming for the music and just wanted to be wherever the band was. He was very nice about it.
I was looking forward to our night out all day today. I love Irish music and I was really looking forward to sitting there again tapping my toe, making some video and enjoying a good meal.
We were a little early and saw the band playing inside. Lee waved at us and we waved back. We waited longer than we should have to be seated and when the woman finally came to seat us, she took us to the patio area. I complained that I had specifically requested being with the band. "But we take people in order and these people were ahead of you," she said. I pointed out that I had specifically requested a table near the band and had been told I could have it. She shrugged and saiid there was nothing we could do and that surely we could see and hear the band from our outside seats.
We could barely see them.
aw...c'mon...sure you see them there, don't you, behind that tall
women sitting at the window and the waitress taking her order?
...and as for hearing them, well...you decide.
As you can see, yes, technically I can hear the band. But there is a difference between hearing, as in being aware that somewhere in the distance there is a musical instrument playing, and really HEARING the band, listening to the words, the blend of the instruments, etc.. What with all the people at other tables talking, dishes clattering and babies crying, I could see Lee playing the whistle, but I never heard him. I never knew you could be that close to a bagpipe and never hear it. I sat there wanting to cry. I had so been looking forward to this evening all day.
What was the unkindest cut of all was that I had thought I saw a small table near the kitchen when we arrived, but when it was not offered to us, I decided my eyes must have deceived me. However, 30 minutes after we got our dinner, a couple was led to that very table and seated.
Oh the food was good.
I had lamb stew and Walt had corned beef. They rarely checked my water glass and it sat there while they filled water glasses at other tables.
In the end, the waitress asked us if we had a good time. I don't usually get bitchy, but I complained again about how we had been promised a table near the music and couldn't hear it. "Of course you can hear it!" she said, determined to make me happy. But I wasn't.
And, as I said, I won't make the mistake of returning to Little Prague next year for St. Patrick's Day.
But the evening wasn't a total loss. We went inside the restaurant before going home to say good bye to some friends we saw sitting in there and actually got five minutes of hearing the music. And it was good. And our friend told me he loved reading my reviews because I was so honest.
Then, as we were driving down home we stopped at a stoplight and a guy on a bike next to us knocked on the door of the car window and yelled "I love your writing" to me. I rolled down the window and he bemoaned the loss of Derrick, but said he was glad we were at least still writing for the paper.
I guess I've become something of a town celebrity. Sort of. (But if that's true, how come I get lousy seating when I go out to listen to music?)