Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Tuesday eve on the patio...

So the writers gathered tonight at our usual place and usual table. Tables, really, since we have to slide a couple together to accomodate the number of us. Never know who will show up, so it's run from a low of four to a high of 20-something. Tonight I believe there were about nine. Gets a bit difficult to hear sometimes, since two or three conversations may be going on at once.

And they were tonight. The five at the end were having at it about politics and war, and the others at the other end were carrying on about dogs, dates during teenage years, Christmas presents, the horrid Paso del Posado and many other things...including politics.

And then we noticed that the reason we were having trouble hearing each other was that the patio had filled up from end to end. This is not a usual thing, since the patio is long and divided into three parts. From the front sidewalk toward the rear gate into the parking lot, there is, first, a section with round umbrella tables. That area is open to the sky and has plants and small trees on both sides, with small sculptures here and there among them. The middle section has a canvas roof and, on the open side, plants and more small trees edge the area. At present there is a clear plastic curtain rolled down because of possible rain and because the breeze is chilly at night. Square tables fill this middle section, and moving the iron-legged chairs on the floor's tiles makes a hell of a racket. Our group sits happily in the far left corner.

The third section at the rear of the patio has the same chairs and tables we have, but there is a wonderful fireplace at the very back, and a lattice screens separate the back section from ours. One large floor to ceiling screen on each side, and woven Mexican drapes are pulled back from each side to make a doorway. Very colorful. And colored light bulbs are draped throughout the patio sections. This back section also has a plastic roof.

And suddenly all three sections are crammed full of people, as is the private party room upstairs, and the interior of the restaurant. We deduced that people had guests staying at their homes and were not about to keep that holiday cooking going. Don't blame them a bit. Enough is enough. Time to dine out.

So there we were, talking, eating, drinking coffee, smoking and enjoying. Think we've been going there for close to six or seven years now. And the manager, who is by now a friend, comes over looking distressed and announces somebody called the health nazis agency and come Jan 1st, no more smoking on the patio sections with the plastic roofs and the plastic side curtains because that made them enclosed rooms. Manager tried to tell them that the side curtains roll up, but they'd made up their minds.

A couple of us are going to check out another restaurant with a patio...that is, with a roof covering for when it rains, side shields to block the wind, and heat...to see if we might transfer over there. Problem is, that possible new place has what have to be the most uncomfortable chairs possible. The seats are dead flat and square, and my feet don't touch the floor when I sit in one, and the backs of those wooden chairs go straight up. Which is one reason they no longer serve breakfast. People, me included, tried it out when they opened for business, but those chairs were so awful they quit sitting on the patio, and simply went elsewhere. But we're gonna look at it anyway. May have to put up with the chairs.

Now, an enclosed room is just where BushCo needs to be put, never to exit again. There he is, having left Camp David, down on his ranch in Crawford, Texas, "listening" and planning some kind of change in the Iraq War. Yeah, right. What he's really planning is planting nukes on Iran as soon as he thinks he can get away with it, no doubt.

What a contrast to former Repub President Gerald Ford, he is. Ford was a decent, truthful man. Ford was everything Bush is not. The new Dem Congress had best not fail to do its duty or the people in this nation will throw a fit they won't soon forget.


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