Monday, May 23, 2011

SCAMPI:The review: Not a four star restaurant.


 I am committed to good food.

My wife (the little French Lady) and myself have become addicted to Geocaching.  We have been doing our little adventure of finding Tupperware in the woods using million dollar satellites for about 6 months.   We are getting further from home, looking for caches.

Last weekend we were about 30 miles from home.  The day was winding down and we were getting hungry. Enough geocaching for one day.  We should get something to eat. We were famished.  We weren't too familiar with the area so we just drove around looking for a place to eat.  We were not interested in Burger King or Kentucky Fried Chicken.

We finally saw a place that sounded pretty interesting.  It was called SCAMPI.   I like Italian food, and so does my wife.  We pulled into the parking lot; it was a huge parking lot. Good sign.  I must say the building was quite impressive also.

As we walked through the parking lot we noticed a security guard walking about. Another good sign.

We were met at the door by a very distinguished gentleman.  He was obviously the maitre'd of SCAMPI. We were greeted.
"Good evening, My name is Sigmund and you are....?"
"Jonathan Hemlock."
"... and she is?" "Ms Hemlock."

Sigmund walked over to his computer and I saw him type my name into google. His eyebrows raised and mumbled something like, "I thought he would be taller."
I took this to be a good sign.
"Ah, Mr. Hemlock! Welcome."
"We would like to be seated near a window . Preferably in a booth"
"I'm sorry we do not have any windows or booths, Mr. Hemlock."
"Whatever.  We will have the special."
"Fine. Mr. Capote will bring it to you."

This guy had a real large attitude problem.  He wanted to be called Truman. He thinks he is a president or something.  He acted very gay.  A gay president. What next?

As we waited for our food a couple of gentlemen joined us at our table.  They were introduced as Mr. Harry Callahan and Mr. Walter Kowalski.  These guys also had a surly attitude, yet I felt strangely comfortable with them.  We introduced ourselves.  Their attitude brightened when I told them my name.

"Hemlock?...huh, I've heard of you." Callahan queried.  "What are you doing here?" "Geocaching." I answered.
Callahan and Kowalski just looked at each other and shrugged.
Our food finally showed up.  It wasn't scampi.  It was Shepard's Pie.
"Truman, you gave us the wrong meal."
Truman's attitude became condescending and huffy.

Harry stood up. "I've had trouble with this guy, too. I think he stole my bread stick."
He grabbed Truman by the lapels and said, "I know what you're thinking, punk! Did he have five breadsticks or six? Well, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being these are Olive Garden Bread Sticks, the most tasty breadsticks in the world, and would clearly satisfy anybody's appetite, you have to ask yourself one question. Do you feel hungry, punk?...Well, do ya?....?"
"Do you have anything to add to that, Kowalski?"
"Ummm...No...just stay off my lawn."
"Check please!!!"  Harry and Walt were getting a little cranky.

We told Sigmund that we received the wrong food.  He told us to sign the release and there would be no charge.  We signed.

"Bernard will show you to your room."  Bernard was a wiry little guy.
"You can call me Barney. Everyone does. Hey, would you like to hear me recite the Preamble to the constitution?....We.... We?"
"Nip it, Barney. We are not staying here tonight."
Sure you are.  You just signed yourself into SCAMPI."
"We just came here for the food. We didn't even get our scampi."
"Well, there's your problem right there. Sigmund we have a problem."
Sigmund reappeared.  Bernard explained. Whispering and nodding. "Aha!!!"
The situation was explained to us.

RECAP: All the things we thought were a good sign, were bad signs.  We were just told that we have signed ourselves into SCAMPI: the South Carolina Asylum for the Media Programming Indoctrinated.  We thought we were in an Italian Bistro, but it was really a mental asylum for people who have watched too many movies, too much television, read too many books and lost their identity.   
We probably would not have gotten into SCAMPI if I had used my real name.  I used my blogging name and Geocaching name.  This usually is not a problem.  However when Sigmund (Freud) googled me, my name came up as a fictional character... Jonathan Hemlock, a character in the movie Eiger Sanction, played by Clint Eastwood.

When we sat at our table we were seated with Mr. Callahan (Dirty Harry!!) and Mr. Walter Kowalski (Grand Torino). Both were characters in Clint Eastwood movies.  This is why I felt comfortable with these guys. What could be more natural?

So there was a little misunderstanding.  Our friends are horrified with what has happened to us.  We will be here for at least the next 45 days.
I will bring some ice cold
Silver Bullet beer, guys.
If I get drunk enough I
will give you a peek under my
They are trying to get us released. I told them to mind their own business. 
"Your deal, Hemlock!"
I am enjoying playing pinochle with Johnny Carson, Adolph Hitler and the Lone Ranger tonight.
I hope I don't get Hitler as a partner again.
My wife is having a nice French meal with Charles De Gaulle and Napoleon. Ahhh... Home cooking.  
Bring me back some cretons.  The guys will love it.

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