Friday, February 23, 2018

Night of the Living Pretentious Guy

Once a year in Kansas City--always during the coldest week in January, it seems--the annual tradition of "Restaurant Week" occurs. A great deal of hoity-toity restaurants conspire to offer fancy-schmancy dinners for $30 and lunches for $15. It's a great way to try joints we've only read about, always mean to try, and then forget about them. And if you like bisque, you're in luck. (But you've gotta really like bisque; lots and lots and lots of bisque).

At one of these upper-scale joints (so upper-scale, I had to actually iron khakis!), we found ourselves enjoying some excellent food. However, the place was dark and murky, full of interior bubble windows, adorned with odd, swooping walls, and splashed with dour and shimmering aquas and teals: the ambiance of an aquarium. Worse, the tables were so close to one another, I became extremely familiar with the waiter's butt.

And then THEY sat down next to us. 

At first, they seemed harmless enough: an older couple and a younger couple (I envied the guy because HE got to wear jeans). That's where my envy stopped. Desperate to impress the older couple (I kinda assumed they were the younger gal's parents), the young guy wouldn't--couldn't--shut up. When he wasn't bragging about himself, he let the world know about his seemingly endless array of impressive best friends who'd done everything from curing cancer to revolutionizing the world of cuisine.

"My best friend's the head chef at The Drunken Antler," he bragged. "I guarantee it'll change the way you see beef."

An actual quote! (The only way I ever see beef is on a plate; definitely NOT the cute barnyard animals. But now that this has been imprinted on my brain, I just might have to go vegetarian.)

"When you go," Mr. Hotcha continued, "I need to be the one to take you. I want to study the look of satisfaction on your face."

Noooooooo! Trapped, nowhere to go, uncomfortable in my khakis, I was held captive to the relentless pontificating.

"My other best friend is a world-class mixologist in Portland. He's created some top-of-the-line tastes and drinks, the best anywhere."

Make it stop! Please!

But the younger guy didn't. I don't think he could. Like a Hyde persona, the driving force of pretentiousness swept him away. He monopolized our waiter (although to be fair, I got a lotta butt-face time with him), and soon Mr. Too-Cool-For-School somehow roped the bartender into his growing cult. 

This time the older guy (run, potential father-in-law, run fast and hard!) reiterated all of Mr. Young Pretentious Guy's brags to the bartender.

The bartender, squirmy and ill-at-ease, jut out a stand-up comic's hand, and said, "You know, I just mix drinks, and sometimes, you know, I add stuff to 'em. You know." With a perpetual grimace on his face and a finger working loose his collar, the bartender couldn't wait to escape back to the safety of his bar. We felt his pain.

Having run out of best friends to yak about, Mr. Pompous decided the time had come for him to wax on about himself. And wax on he did. "The other day, I gave a presentation (snootily pronounced "PREE-san-tation"), and made sure to run long, carrying over into our lunch break. I've found that's the most efficient way to present my case and keep the nay-sayers' questions at bay. Quite an effective tool."

Only tool I saw was sporting trendy and perfectly manicured 5:00 shadow.

We gobbled and got out before the pretentiousness rubbed off on us.

Beware the pretentious, ladies and gents. They're out there. Waiting. Lurking. Pontificating.

There's not an ounce of pretentiousness in Nightmare of Nannies. Just good ol' fashioned mystery and stoopid comedy.
One click away keeps the pretension at bay!


  1. Not only in Kansas - we get these types in Britain too! I've found they always give themselves away in the end = and that is so satisfying to watch :)

  2. I would have had a really difficult time keeping quiet, and if I had succeeded, my eyes would have been sore from rolling constantly.