So I’m sitting on the couch watching “The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, sitting in tonight for Scott is that bald guy who used to do the morning show,” when my pants start vibrating.
What the?! Why are my pants vibrating? What’s that buzzing noise? I’m not necessarily complaining but, whoa, there it is again!
I finally figure out that it’s my new cellphone. Who’s calling my cellphone? I don’t remember giving that number out. I pull it out of my pocket and push 4 or 5 buttons until eventually I hit the right one.
“Ronnie, it’s Kristin.”
“What’s up, Yellow?”
“I’ve been calling Llywelyn’s for the past hour and no one will pick up! It just rings and rings and then cuts off! What are we going to do?”
Now, at this point in “The Executive Committee Holiday Dinner: The Movie” we would go into flashback mode to give you the proper background and context to understand what is going on in our exciting opening scene. So let’s do that:
Yellow has been in charge of the ECHD for several years now and she usually does a fine job. Last year she wanted to go to Llywelyn’s Pub down on Main Street. The building used to be a bank and so she reserved the vault room for us. You can fit eight people, a table and chairs in the vault. We had 16 people. Oh, how I chastised Yellow for the next 11 months.
This year she was determined to return to Llywelyn’s but this time do it right. A week ago she called the pub about making reservations only to be told that they don’t take reservations anymore. She explained to them that we had 15 people coming. They said to call one hour before arrival time and they’d see what they could do.
And now you’re caught up.
“Well, it’s too late to make reservations someplace else. I guess we’ll just show up a little early and see what we can do. It’s 6 p.m. on a Thursday night, how busy could they be?”
I hop in the Saturn and head downtown. Cars everywhere. The lot behind Llywelyn’s is full. The lot next to it is full. There are cars parked all along Riverside Drive. I eventually find a spot three parking lots away.
Silly me. I forgot Roy’s Law of St. Louis: If Ronnie Roy wants to go anywhere in St. Louis, EVERYONE ELSE IN ST. LOUIS WILL GO THERE TOO. Why? Why is that? On Wednesday morning I went to the Missouri History Museum and had to park a mile away because EVERYONE ELSE IN ST. LOUIS WAS THERE. Why? Why is that? Who says, “It’s Wednesday morning, let’s all go to the Missouri History Museum?” Sometimes I hate this town.
By the time I walked to Llywelyn’s it was — as you have already guessed — packed. Why? Why is that? Who goes out on Thursday night? Especially two days before New Year’s Eve?
Melfy and Greg had been the first to arrive, Gabe was at the bar, and Yellow had arrived shortly before me. Melfy had put in a table request but who knows when it would be honored? Plus, the pub really isn’t set up for a table for 16 even with advance notice, what are the odds that 16 diners sitting next to each other will finish at the same time?
Carrie shows up, then Pokin, then Stevie, then Melissa and Pete, then Fagan. We’re still waiting for a table — and the Peines. Fagan, Yellow, Mel and Pete decide to go on reconnaissance to see if any other restaurants down the street can accommodate us. Mel and Pete return a few minutes later to tell us we can get a table at Quintessential Restaurant & Night Club.
At the same moment we are told two tables have opened up but we said, “Thanks but since you refused to let us make reservations like last year and since you wouldn’t answer the phone when we called ahead like you told us to do and since we’ve found another place that will seat us promptly and all together, we’ll take our business elsewhere.” (That’s not really what we said. We just left.)
Now hopefully I will never have to look up how to spell Llywelyn’s ever again, although Quintessential is just about as bad.
We march down the street to Q, as it is thankfully better known. The Peines still have not arrived so Stevie calls them to let them know the change of venue. The downstairs area is full so we head upstairs where Yellow and Fagan have dragged four round tables together. Hey, it works.
The Peines finally arrive and quickly complain about the heat. It was warm upstairs. Our server goes to see if they can turn the heat down and soon all is well. There are large television screens on one wall showing sports of some sort, but I’m sitting with my back to it and Fagan is facing it so all is well. There’s a guy playing guitar who is pretty good, but a little loud for my tastes.
I had never been to Q before but the menu had several acceptable items on it. I was going to order my usual Buffalo Chicken Wrap but decided to be adventurous and instead ordered the Creole Burger, which was a burger with spicy sauce and blackened shrimp. Shrimp on a burger? Why haven’t I been here before?
The meal was tasty and the company was fine. We had near-perfect attendance (Spaulding had a sick cat. Don’t get me started) and I scored a donation for The Son’s school, two Spider-Man mugs with hot chocolate packs, and a set of Thor coasters. All in all a sweet night.
At 9 p.m. we learned that the upstairs was the night club half of Quintessential Restaurant & Night Club. The lights went down, the dance music went up and the laser light show started. I wanted to stay and boogie ’til dawn and enjoy the light show but all my old, tired, cranky friends said it was time to go home.
I considered firing Yellow as organizer of the ECHD — I am the MOD after all — but no one else would do it. Besides, all’s well that ends well and now I can chastise her about this year’s near-debacle for the next 11 months.