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30 august 1999

i suppose the highlight of the weekend was the time spent in the Johnny Rockets in Hoboken. See, this weekend was the weekend when we were supposed to go wandering around different neighborhoods getting a feel for what they were like and where we might want to live. Housing plans may have changed for the time being (most defintely, actually), but that is unimportant right now. What is important is that Johnny Rockets is the most bizarre restaurant in the world.

See, first there's this whole question of whether or not it's a fastfood place or a sit-down place. Because you sit down, but you get your food served to you on paper plates. Then there's the whole question of whether or not things were really like this in the 50's. For the uninitiated (as I was myself before this weekend), Johnny Rockets is a chain of restaurants modeled after what I can only assume to be the traditional 50's soda shop diner thing. A jukebox at every booth and a large counter with the grill right in the center of the restaurant and music blasting (ranging from elvis to the b52's) and waitreses in white rounding out the overall look.

It all began when I sat down and the waitress snaps a nickel on the table, "for the jukebox." The ordering went pretty smoothly but as we were waiting for our food, "Love Shack" started playing and all of a sudden peaked normal background listening volume and hit "oh look all of the waitresses are dancing behind the counter" volume. Add to this the flashing of the restaurant lights and all of a sudden we have the full sensory experince. This music/lighting/dance combo was to repeat itself a couple of more times during the meal.

I suppose the oddest part of the experience wasn't the dancing, but rather the server who came by with our french fries and then procceded to pour ketchup into little paper dishes for us.

So should we come to expect this kind of service in our food services establishments? Should service come with a smile and a little dance? How about everyday interactions? The whole world has gotten so bitter that if you hapeen to see somebody smiling, the first reaction is to think of what it is that they're doing to screw you that would make them so happy.

Ok, so it's monday morning and I'm at work and I've decided that I really want to live in Manhattan even though I probably won't be able to really afford it with my thrifty-ass lifestyle so instead I decided to think about family values and the "good old days" which I really never experienced. Although when I was a kid (and even now in some places I suppose) people didn't lock their front doors because their neighborhoods were safe and they trusted their neighbors.

Ah, to live in such an innocent age again.

I think I'll now eat my yougurt. Spoon in the lid and fruit on the bottom. It doesn't get much better than this.

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