I would like to start out by saying that I manage to function fairly well in society. For the most part. And then there are evenings like the one the day after Christmas that one might liken to an electrical short.
The night was off to a good start when my immediate family and my aunt, uncle and cousins agreed to meet up at the local Mexican joint in Burkesville called El Rey. This happens to be one of my favorite Mexican spots, which might come as a surprise to most culinary connoisseurs considering the other dining choices in the one stoplight town are Subway, Annie Ruby’s, Jones Restaurant and Pizza Hut. As far as I’m concerned, between my grandmothers’ cooking, Annie Ruby’s, and El Rey, my days would be full and bright.
I ordered a number 5 combo, which is two enchiladas any way you like ‘em and what else but rice and beans. I went for chicken with verde sauce. Excellent choice if I do say so myself. My cousin Lauren got fajitas with shrimp and beef that looked like everything you could ever hope for in something hot and sizzling, my sister ordered fajitas nachos, which I think is a genius concept, and my cousin Kristen got chicken, cheese, and rice, a dish that has recently won me over. I couldn’t see far enough down the table to drool over whatever my parents, aunt and uncle ordered, but I’m sure all of their dishes didn’t disappoint.
I had nearly eaten a basket of warm tortilla chips all by myself when my food arrived. I don’t know what came over me, but I couldn’t get enough of that salsa. Though I’m sure I was beyond full at that point, I wolfed down my enchiladas as if I were being timed. I’m usually among the slowest of eaters. I can offer no explanation for why I continued to consume Mexican food as if my stomach were a bottomless pit. I sat back, thoroughly satisfied when our waiter came by to ask if I was finished. In what can only be described as a state of delirium induced by my bulging stomach, I responded, “I’m funnnyeah.”
I casually looked around the table to see if my cousins and sister had heard what I just said. Indeed, they had. They promptly started laughing hysterically as soon as the waiter had cleared my plate. I think the sound that came out of my mouth was the unfortunate, bigamous marriage of “finished,” “done” and “yes.” This was funny for the next few hours. I’m always happy to provide entertainment with the meal.
After our Mexican feast, Eugene, Lauren and I went to Glasgow to see Anchorman II. Now, every time I’ve ever been to this cinema, the approximately 50 seat theaters are about 1/7 full. We were a few minutes late, but figured the previews would still be playing and we would have our choice of seats. Wrong! We opened the door to the theater to find it packed full, with 2 open seats on the far left of the front row, which was approximately 4 feet behind the 25 foot screen. This sent us into a fit of giggles as we shuffled to the front of the theater and I sat on the edge of Eugene’s seat with my head craned back so far that I was sure I would need a neck brace immediately following the movie. Every minute for the first 5 minutes of this, one of us would get tickled over our movie-watching arrangement. By the grace of God, not far into the movie, a few people in the far right front row of the theater decided seeing Anchorman II from 4 feet away wasn’t worth scoliosis and left. Instantly recognizing out moment of opportunity, Eugene, Lauren and I scurried across the front of the theater to the right side where we could each enjoy the movie from our own seat. We were still so close that the screen was nearly out of focus, but I have to say, at such close range, every inch I could scoot back made a remarkable difference. Due to our intimate range from the screen, however, there were times during the movie when it was unclear whether we were so close that the image was distorted or if the actors were truly making funny faces.
On the way home from the movie, Eugene and Lauren had a few more good laughs over my mangled attempt at English from dinner. Miraculously, I had full range of motion in my neck the following morning.